Vice President Joe Biden isn’t the only one in the Obama administration who’s “comfortable” with gay marriage. U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan also voiced his support for same sex marriage after he was asked about the widespread discussion of Mr. Biden’s remarks on Morning Joe this morning.
“Yes, I do,” Mr. Duncan said unequivocally.
Council Members Al Vann and Robert Jackson, who is chair of the Education Committee, introduced a resolution today asking the State Legislature to limit mayoral control of city schools. The resolution, which comes following growing controversy over recent school closings, calls on the legislature to give community councils approval over school closures and co-locations.
“The process for proposing and approving these significant changes to schools has disenfranchised communities and parents,” Mr. Vann said. “Providing a significant role for CECs in the co-location and school closure process will not only ensure that proposals are thoughtful and truly include input from communities and parents, but also will enhance community and parental involvement in our public schools.”
Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer, a likely candidate for Mayor in 2013, held a press conference earlier today to call on the New York City Department of Education to “immediately remove ammonia treated meat byproducts,” otherwise known as “pink slime.”
Pink slime, according to Mr. Stringer’s office, is a filler food made from fatty pieces of leftover beef, which are then subjected to extreme heat and treated with ammonia hydroxide to kill deadly bacteria.
Mayor Bloomberg’s education policies have come under fire in recent weeks due to the closing of several city schools. After the mayor’s preliminary budget presentation today, Department of Education Chancellor Dennis Walcott defended mayoral control of city schools and said he doesn’t “buy into” criticism the city hasn’t been transparent enough about school closures.
“Mayoral control has worked, it’s worked well, and we are continuing to improve and refine it to make sure it’s even better,” Mr. Walcott told Politicker.
Assemblyman Keith Wright said the Department of Education’s plan to close the middle school at Wadleigh Secondary School of Performing Arts is the final straw that has convinced him to propose a bill that would repeal mayoral control of city public schools.
“People are up in arms. They are quite frankly tired of the dictatorial and despotic policies coming out of City Hall where they just arbitrarily and capriciously decide that they’re going to close schools,” Mr. Wright told The Politicker. “This is the Alamo as far as I’m concerned right now. This is the absolute Alamo and I’m not going to take it anymore.”
Manhattan Borough President and possible 2013 mayoral candidate Scott Stringer blasted the New York City Department of Education at a press conference today following the publication of a New York Times report documenting the DOE’s failure to claim millions of dollars in federal Medicaid reimbursements for services provided to students with special needs from 2006 to 2010. Mr. Stringer called for hearings investigating the missed reimbursements, which he described as a missed opportunity to curb school budget cuts and evidence of widespread problems at the DOE.
“This calls out for state and city hearings immediately, there’s no time to waste. This agency has been going down this perilous path for many years, but nobody could have imagined that, when it came for reimbursement, they would fail so miserably. I am shocked and I am outraged,” Mr. Stringer said.
Mayor Bloomberg said he doesn’t want to “second-guess” Governor Cuomo’s tax plan.
Bill Clinton said his wife, Hillary, has no plans to run for office again. “She wants to stay in one place for two or three days and get a good night’s sleep for a week or two.”
Occupy Albany protesters got a permit that will allow them to stay in Academy Park for two more weeks.
You remember what it was like, sitting in a special classroom, maybe one with couches instead of desks. The boys typically congregated to one side and the girls to the other. And the teacher—not your regular teacher—went around the room and made everyone say the words “penis” and “vagina” without laughing, while your best friend sat across from you flicking his tongue between two of his fingers.
Yes, that adolescent rite of passage known as the school-sanctioned sex ed class will arrive in New York City schools next year, albeit with stakes far more serious than misspelling “fallopian”: it comes accompanied by the kind of media maelstrom reminiscent of the culture wars of 20 years ago. (Jocelyn Elders, is that you?)
A group being led by former State Assemblyman Michael Benjamin says a new sex ed program mandated by Mayor Bloomberg and the New York City Department of Education involves field trips to abortion clinics and visits to “a sexually-explicit website.” City school officials tell the Observer there isn’t any specific sex ed curriculum and deny the site in question appears in their recommended materials.