Posts tagged "the road to city hall"
May 3, 2013
City schools’ annual letter grades would become a thing of the past if any of the mayoral candidates who attended a parent-oriented forum in Brooklyn Thursday evening takes over City Hall next year.
Sal Albanese, Bill de Blasio, John Liu, and Bill Thompson each vowed to stop issuing the grades, which the Bloomberg administration has issued since 2007. The city has used the grades — which are almost entirely based on student test scores for elementary and middle schools — to pick which schools to close and which principals to reward.
City Council Speaker Christine Quinn and all of the non-Democratic candidates in the race skipped the forum, which was organized by a parent group that formed to oppose high-stakes testing and co-sponsored by the teachers union-aligned Alliance for Quality Education.
The school grading issue was one on which the candidates had not clearly staked out positions before moderator — and outspoken critic of the Bloomberg administration — Diane Ravitch asked them about it. But their unanimity reflected the tenor of the evening, in which the four men clamored to demonstrate their alignment with the parents who organized the event and against Mayor Bloomberg’s school policies. (more…)
March 13, 2013
A coalition hoping to rid the city of Mayor Bloomberg’s favored education policies launched an ambitious voter registration drive today — with the help of the four Democrats vying to become the next mayor.
The splashy tour — which will make more than two dozen stops across all five boroughs in a week’s time — kicked off this morning near City Hall. Standing against the backdrop of a teal-painted school bus that has been retrofitted on the inside to display policy information, the candidates delivered short stump speeches that stuck closely to the positions they have set out before.
The coalition, A+NYC, is made up of more than 45 community groups, many of which are also members of an anti-Bloomberg coalition, New Yorkers for Great Public Schools, that is funded by labor unions. (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 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…)
November 29, 2012
In a series of short stump speeches last night to a group fiercely opposed Mayor Bloomberg, four Democratic mayoral contenders delivered abbreviated versions of their visions for the future of education in New York City.
Given just five minutes to speak, the candidates didn’t have much time to get into specifics — something that, 10 months before the primary election, most are being careful about doing.
If anything, the night was an opportunity to make a good first impression for New Yorkers for Great Public Schools, the group formed by union and progressive community leaders to oppose the Bloomberg administration’s schools policies in the mayoral election. Interspersed among the candidates’ speeches, parents and religious leaders criticized the co-locations, budget cuts, and school closures that have taken place under Mayor Bloomberg.
The appearance was also an important one to make for candidates who hope their path to victory includes a coveted endorsement from the teachers union. (more…)