Former Congressman Anthony Weiner accused Mayor Michael Bloomberg of using school closures to skirt union rules and fudging test scores ahead of his 2005 re-election bid during a conversation on education policy this morning that represented a rare reprieve from relentless questions about his latest sexing scandal.
Still trying to shift the conversation away from revelations that have engulfed his fledgling mayoral campaign in recent weeks, Mr. Weiner spent nearly an hour discussing everything from test scores to classroom diversity during a CUNY Institute of Education Policy Breakfast at Hunter College.
Republican mayoral candidate Joe Lhota heaped praise on Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s education legacy in a speech this morning, commending the current mayor for achieving “incredible” results, and admonishing his Democratic rivals for failing to give him equal praise.
Mr. Lhota pointed to a smattering of improvements on state tests, as well as the city’s jump in graduation rates–which actually dipped slightly this year.
Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s administration came out swinging against a new policy book released this morning by Democratic mayoral candidate Bill de Blasio—slamming it on everything from its name to its proposals.
The 69-page book, entitled “One New York, Rising Together,” lays out dozens of ideas it claims “will reverse New York City’s growing economic divide through progressive reforms and renewed investments in education, small businesses, and affordable housing.” They include a universal city ID card regardless of immigration status, an expansion of the city’s bus system and gunshot-sensing technology in high-crime neighborhoods.
Before he announced his mayoral campaign earlier this month, Anthony Weiner released a policy booklet outlining his ideas for the city. But not everyone is on the same page.
In particular, a school parents group has taken offense at his cost-cutting proposal to eliminate paid parent coordinators from the city’s schools budget.
Organizers of a mayoral forum on education issues scheduled for tomorrow afternoon are fuming after City Council Speaker Christine Quinn pulled out at the last minute–allegedly, they charge, because she was worried she’d be subjected to attacks.
The debate, set up by the anti-Bloomberg group New Yorkers for Great Public Schools, which has been pushing for major changes in education policy in the next administration, is set to take place Tuesday afternoon at NYU.
politics & policy
This morning at the New School, Council Speaker Christine Quinn gave a sweeping speech on reforming New York City’s education system, where she rolled out ideas like tablets replacing textbooks and online service programs for both students and parents. Creatively using the online shoe company Zappos.com as an example, Ms. Quinn also pressed the case for how more should be done within the city’s existing educational framework.
“Now, not everything we’re talking about here requires a new program, sometimes it’s just about recommitting to doing things better,” Ms. Quinn said, quickly pivoting to a her shoe-based explanation. “I don’t know … how many of you are familiar with the online shoe company Zappos? Now, for those of you know me, I know you’re shocked I figured out how to work shoes into the speech. But I will say, 50 percent off online and they’re good, okay?”
Yesterday evening, most of the candidates for next year’s mayoral election gathered for what may have been their first sit-down under the explicit assumption that each of them–including those who have yet to announce their campaigns–is actually running to replace Mayor Bloomberg in 2013. The discussion, hosted by GothamSchools.org and Manhattan Media, featured Republican Tom Allon, the C.E.O. of Manhattan Media, and four Democrats, Council Speaker Christine Quinn, 2009 nominee Bill Thompson, Public Advocate Bill de Blasio and Comptroller John Liu.
Though the bluster of the Chicago teacher strike calmed down last week, the tensions between teacher’s unions and prominent mayors have not ceased. For his part, Mayor Michael Bloomberg is siding with his Second City counterpart, Rahm Emanuel, who pushed for changes to Chicago’s public school system despite opposition from the local teacher’s unions. Mr. Bloomberg discussed the situation this morning at NBC’s third annual Education Nation Summit at the Bartos Forum of the New York Public Library.
“I think Rahm Emanuel, the mayor of Chicago, was quite right to move towards a longer school day,” he said. “I also think Rahm was right in pushing towards evaluations as a reform that the Obama administration made as part of Race to the Top.”
Announcing that today is a day for all New Yorkers to smile, Mayor Michael Bloomberg held a press conference this afternoon highlighting significant improvements school test scores. The strongest gains came from chartered schools, and Mr. Bloomberg vowed to continue educational policies to expand their presence in the city.
“I’m happy to report that this year’s results are very positive, and they are not only a celebration for our students, but also the parents and educators that worked day in and day out to bring out the best in them,” he proclaimed.
Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg gave a $100 million grant to the public school system in 2010. Now, according to CBS News, officials are considering using some of that cash on buyouts to get rid of poorly performing teachers.