Posts tagged "Christine Quinn"
May 13, 2013
City Council Speaker Christine Quinn fought hard to distance herself from the Bloomberg administration during a mayoral debate hosted by the teachers union on Saturday, but she could not escape being the only candidate to be booed by union members angry at the mayor’s education policies.
When UFT officials asked the mayoral candidates at the teachers union’s spring conference whether they believed the next chancellor needs to be an educator, Quinn’s answer stood out from the chorus of “yes” responses.
“Not necessarily,” she said.
It was not a new stance for Quinn, who has said for months that she believes a qualified non-educator could successfully lead the school system. But when she cited as someone who fit the bill U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan, whose agenda overlaps with Bloomberg’s, she drew loud boos from the crowd.
It was a major misstep for Quinn, the Democratic frontrunner, as she worked to hit the right notes during the United Federation of Teachers’ mayoral debate, which came a month before the union — one of the city’s most powerful political forces — plans to endorse a mayoral candidate for the first time since 2001. (more…)
May 8, 2013
Mayoral candidates had to dig deep into history to unearth an unpleasant memory about the United Federation of Teachers at a schools forum in the Bronx on Tuesday night.
Asked to recall a time when they disagreed with the UFT, Bill Thompson and City Council Speaker Christine Quinn cited the union’s initial opposition to district centralization nearly 20 years ago.
Thompson at first praised the UFT’s role in the re-centralization, which shifted some hiring responsibilities to the chancellor and required changes to state law. Pressed to name a time that he disagreed with the UFT, Thompson said it was when the union obstructed the same shift.
“The resistance, before that, of the UFT to change the system that existed, to changing from decentralization, was a mistake,” he said. (more…)
May 2, 2013
It’s been a while since City Council Speaker Christine Quinn and the rest of the mayoral hopefuls have focused on education. In the two months since they last appeared at a schools forum, they’ve debated everything from public safety to technology to community gardens.
So tonight’s forum at P.S. 29 in Cobble Hill seemed to be an important chance for Quinn and her rivals to refresh the public’s memory about their ideas on education, which parents say will be a crucial issue for them when they cast their ballots later this year.
But of the four Democratic candidates who plans to attend, Quinn isn’t one of them. The race’s five non-Democratic candidates, including four Republicans, also declined invitations to attend.
A spokesman said Quinn has a scheduling conflict, an inevitability at a time when the candidates are making public appearances and private glad-handing with breakneck speed. (more…)
April 29, 2013
For thousands of sixth-graders at 20 city middle schools, the school day is about to get a lot longer.
The schools will offer an hour of intensive literacy tutoring and 90 additional minutes of community-inspired programming such as yoga and gardening, as part of the city’s latest effort to spur improvements in the lowest-performing middle schools.
Chancellor Dennis Walcott and City Council Speaker Christine Quinn announced today that they are adding 40 schools to the city’s two-year-old Middle School Quality Initiative. Twenty of those schools will be randomly chosen for the three-year extended day pilot program.
Walcott made middle schools his priority when he took office, rebranding an initiative that Quinn had spearheaded as MSQI and expanding it to include focuses on literacy, teacher collaboration, and using data to drive instruction. Since then, MSQI has grown from 18 to 49 schools, and in the fall, it will include 89 schools. (more…)
April 16, 2013
After years of pressing Mayor Bloomberg to make school discipline fairer, students and advocates are turning their attention to the candidates seeking to replace him.
At a rally outside City Hall just before a City Council hearing on school climate Monday, students and advocates the Dignity in Schools Campaign called on the next mayor to take a different approach to school discipline. They want a model that relies less on suspensions and other punitive measures, and also ensures that black and Latino students are not disproportionately affected by school discipline.
“We need a mayor that is going to implement and fund restorative justice in our schools,” said Benia Darius, a junior at Bushwick School for Social Justice. “I am soon going to start my training as a peer mediator, and I’m going to be part of the change in my school. But what I want to know today as a student is what you as mayoral candidates are going to do to change these issues in our schools?” (more…)
January 31, 2013
If education policy discussions among mayoral candidates were a song, the second verse would be the same as the first.
With two recent entrants to the Republican race absent, the lineup for Wednesday evening’s discussion, hosted by the Council of School Supervisors and Administrators, was identical to the first education debate held in November, and the conversation was similar, too.
The four Democratic candidates — Public Advocate Bill de Blasio, Comptroller John Liu, City Council Speaker Christine Quinn, and former comptroller Bill Thompson — and the single Republican, Manhattan Media publisher Tom Allon, rehashed now-familiar positions on school closures (most want a moratorium), educator as chancellor (almost all are committed to that), and community schools (after a visit to Cincinnati, they are all on board with the model).
But CSA President Ernest Logan told GothamSchools that he thought sharper distinctions would emerge in the coming months, particularly about which elements of the Bloomberg administration’s school policies each candidate would maintain.
“I think [the candidates] are trying to come into their own,” he said. “If you dig down deep, I think you can find some disagreement.” (more…)
January 23, 2013
Three mayoral candidates joined parents, advocates, and union representatives on the steps of City Hall today in calling for a moratorium on school closures and co-locations, centerpieces of the Bloomberg administration’s education policy.
The press conference was organized by New Yorkers for Great Public Schools, a group formed to oppose Mayor Bloomberg’s education policies in the lead-up to the mayoral election.
Earlier this month, State Sen. Tony Avella introduced a bill that would impose halt school closures until a state committee determines whether they benefit students.
Now advocates are looking for a sponsor in the Assembly as well, UFT President Michael Mulgrew said today. Hakeem Jeffries, the politician who sponsored a similar bill last year, has left the Assembly for the U.S. Congress. Asked who would sponsor a bill now, Mulgrew said, “There’s quite a few people who are looking at doing it.” (more…)
January 15, 2013
In her first major education policy address, City Council Speaker Christine Quinn signaled that she would depart in significant ways from Mayor Bloomberg’s approach to running the city’s schools.
Instead of pitting schools against each other, as Bloomberg’s policies have, Quinn said she would push them to collaborate. Instead of directing funds to pricey consultants, she said she would look for solutions within the system. And where Bloomberg spurred rapid growth in the city’s charter school sector, Quinn said she would keep the sector at its current size.
But on other issues, Quinn suggested that she would take a cue from the Bloomberg administration. For example, she said she would improve “customer service” to help families resolve problems but said only that she would “engage parents in relevant decisions and keep them in the loop.” One of Bloomberg’s first school policy changes, back in 2002, was to add parent coordinators to each school. But he has drawn sharp criticism for excluding parents from policy decisions.
Quinn’s ambitious list of education proposals includes extending school days, coordinating city services to provide comprehensive health and social services in schools, boosting literacy instruction, slashing some state testing, and buying a million tablets to replace textbooks. (more…)
January 2, 2013
Among the thousand visitors from across the country who streamed through Cincinnati’s Oyler School in the last year were all four of New York City’s likely Democratic candidates for mayor.
They made the trip at the invitation of UFT President Michael Mulgrew, who has been touting Oyler as the epitome of a school model that he hopes New York City’s next mayor will promote.
The trips have been held up as evidence that the candidates are all trying to win the union’s endorsement. But just as significant as why the candidates made the commute is what they saw when they got there.
Cincinnati has turned all of its more than 50 district schools into “community schools” that rely on partnerships with businesses and non-profits to provide an array of services. The school buildings stay open until late into the night and on the weekends, providing early childhood centers, adult education, access to gyms, translation services, tutoring, and food banks to the general public. Local hospitals embed nurses in the schools full-time to provide free health, dental, and vision services.
As one of the first schools in Cincinnati to make the evolution, a decade ago, Oyler is seen as an anchor for the model. (more…)
November 20, 2012
When the five leading mayoral candidates were asked on Monday how they would select the next schools chancellor at a forum on city education policy, the presumed longshot had the most specific answer.
Newspaper publisher Tom Allon, who recently switched his party affiliation from Democrat to Republican, was the only candidate to name names — and his shortlist contained an eclectic mix of people.
He started with Eric Nadelstern, a former Department of Education deputy who is bullish on school closures and other Bloomberg administration policies, then moved to Hunter College President Jennifer Raab before naming Linda Darling-Hammond, a Stanford University education professor who has been critical of policies favored by the Bloomberg administration. To round out his list, he named John White, who became Louisiana’s school superintendent not long after leaving the city Department of Education in 2011.
Allon’s list elicited laugher and whoops of surprise from the audience, as well as a disapproving remark from Comptroller John Liu, who was sitting beside Allon on the stage. The forum was hosted by Manhattan Media, the company that Allon owns, with help from GothamSchools. (View the entire event.)
The one thing all of people on Allon’s list have in common is that they have experience working with schools and educators, which Mayor Bloomberg’s three chancellors have not had. Bloomberg’s first and longest-serving chancellor, Joel Klein, drew criticism because he had come from the corporate world, and most of the candidates were eager to say they would not make the same decision. Liu, Public Advocate Bill de Blasio, and former comptroller Bill Thompson all promised to choose an educator to lead the schools.
City Council Speaker Christine Quinn was the only outlier. She said she did not think the next schools chancellor should necessarily have an education background. (more…)