With Assist From Olivia Wilde, de Blasio-Backed Nonprofit Shifts Pre-K Focus

Olivia Wilde. (Photo: Gage Skidmore/Wikimedia)
Olivia Wilde. (Photo: Gage Skidmore/Wikimedia)

Actress Olivia Wilde is joining the celebrity bandwagon supporting Mayor Bill de Blasio’s campaign for universal prekindergarten, but like the mayor, Ms. Wilde is shifting the focus away from his signature tax-the-rich proposal to fund the effort.

“The progress we’re making on early education and after-school means a lot to me personally. I’m about to become a mom and I’m grateful for everyone – yourself included – who is helping to fight for our kids,” Ms. Wilde wrote in an email, which will be sent to Mr. de Blasio’s pre-K supporters later this morning. Continue reading “With Assist From Olivia Wilde, de Blasio-Backed Nonprofit Shifts Pre-K Focus”

Public School Advocates Protest ‘Quid Pro Cuomo’

Public school advocates protest in lobby
Public school advocates protest in lobby

Step aside, “Status Cuomo.” Hello, “Quid Pro Cuomo.”

A small crowd of public school parents and advocates stormed the lobby of midtown building where Gov. Andrew Cuomo was believed to have a meeting this afternoon. Waving “Quid Pro Cuomo” posters, the two dozen or so protesters rallied against proposed budget language that would give the state government some jurisdiction over city schools. Continue reading “Public School Advocates Protest ‘Quid Pro Cuomo’”

‘The Mayor Eats Food’: Bill de Blasio’s Job, According to Schoolchildren

Bill de Blasio at the schoolchildren earlier today. (Photo: Twitter/@BilldeBlasio)
Bill de Blasio at the schoolchildren earlier today. (Photo: Twitter/@BilldeBlasio)

Mayor Bill de Blasio visited a prekindergarten program in Sunnyside, Queen today, where he learned all kinds of interesting, increasingly cute things about his job, according to a pool report from the event.

“Who is the president?” a boy asked, to laughs, after Mr. de Blasio strolled in. Continue reading “‘The Mayor Eats Food’: Bill de Blasio’s Job, According to Schoolchildren”

Cuomo Says Charters, Not Pre-K, Will ‘Be the Main Educational Issue’ in Budget

Andrew Cuomo presenting his executive budget earlier this year. (Photo: Governor's Office/Flickr)
Andrew Cuomo presenting his executive budget earlier this year. (Photo: Governor’s Office/Flickr)

Universal prekindergarten? That debate is so yesterday’s news, according to the governor.

In a radio interview today, Andrew Cuomo repeatedly glossed over the high-profile debate over pre-K funding–an apparent snub against Mayor Bill de Blasio, who has made a tax on high-income earners the signature issue of his new administration. Continue reading “Cuomo Says Charters, Not Pre-K, Will ‘Be the Main Educational Issue’ in Budget”

Pre-K Campaign Launches Robocalls to Thank State Assembly

UPKNYC's Logo. (photo: upknyc.org)
UPKNYC’s Logo. (photo: upknyc.org)

A nonprofit lunched to push Mayor Bill de Blasio’s signature prekindergarten plan made over 200,000 robocalls last night to tout its progress, Dan Levitan, a spokesman for UPKNYC, told the Observer this morning.

In the robocall, a UPKNYC field director praises the State Assembly for including Mr. de Blasio’s tax on high income earners to fund expansive pre-K and after-school programs in its preliminary budget plan. Continue reading “Pre-K Campaign Launches Robocalls to Thank State Assembly”

‘Morning Joe’ Takes a Third Pass at de Blasio’s Charter Policy

Mika with some charter school children. (embed: msnbc.com)
Mika Brzezinski with some charter school children.

After some bruising coverage of Mayor Bill de Blasio’s decision to cancel a handful of charter school co-locations, MSNBC’s Morning Joe returned to the issue a third time today.

This morning’s show featured a handful of young children learning as they would at their embattled Success Academy charter school: playing chess, solving multi-step fraction problems, making molecular models and, for one student, “doing some writing before she dances.” Continue reading “‘Morning Joe’ Takes a Third Pass at de Blasio’s Charter Policy”

Cuomo Praises Charter Schools After de Blasio Bombarded With Criticism

Gov. Andrew Cuomo at a pro-charter rally last week. (Photo: Cuomo's Office/Flickr)
Andrew Cuomo at a pro-charter rally last week. (Photo: Cuomo’s Office/Flickr)

After Mayor Bill de Blasio took a pounding on MSNBC’s Morning Joe today for his sometimes critical approach to charter schools, Gov. Andrew Cuomo scheduled an appearance on The Brian Lehrer Show to praise them.

Not only are charter schools not a threat, Mr. Cuomo said, but they are part of the solution to failing public schools, which he called “the civil rights issue of our day.” Continue reading “Cuomo Praises Charter Schools After de Blasio Bombarded With Criticism”