A number of real estate executives have come out today in support of Mayor Bill de Blasio‘s plan to tax high-earners to fund universal prekindergarten and after-school programs, representing the latest group of executives to join a grassroots campaign called UPKNYC, Commercial Observer has learned. Read More
The campaign against the pro-charter school political organization “StudentsFirstNY” is amassing support from current and aspiring politicians.
The anti-StudentsFirst group formed last week and quickly caused a number of 2013 mayoral candidates looking at signing on a pledge to avoid any contributions from StudentsFirst, with Comptroller John Liu completely signing on and Council Speaker Christine Quinn declining to do so. But pro-public school advocates didn’t slow down there and they’ve rolled out a plethora of officials who have signed the pledge, including contenders for Gracie Mansion, various borough halls, and the City Council. Read More
Michelle Rhee, the former chancellor of the Washington DC school system and now the the head of Students FirstNY, a new group dedicated to electing education reformers in New York, appeared on “Good Day New York this morning to lay out her agenda.
“We want to make sure that the incredible work that has been done in New York City over the last decade or so continues on. A very strong foundation has been built. In many ways, New York City serves as the model for other cities across the country, particularly for Democratic mayors who want to get involved in education,” she said. “We don’t want to see any kind of a backslide. We want to make sure that the next mayor, whoever that person is, is putting education at the forefront.” Read More
On John Gambling’s radio show this morning, Mayor Michael Bloomberg was asked about the New York Daily News report on teachers accused of sexual misconduct being able to keep their jobs and had rather blunt words to describe the situation, suggesting if a teacher “were a serial ax murderer, you might get a slap on the wrist.” Read More
In a special election competition that had been increasingly marred with negative personal attacks between the two candidates, a substantive issue has finally emerged that the candidates are staking their ground on: tuition relief for private school students, especially those attending yeshivas in the heavily Jewish district.
Earlier this morning, the Republican candidate in the race to replace corrupt former State Senator Carl Kruger, David Storobin, sent out a positive press release touting his support for a voucher system granting money to parents of private school students.
“The voucher issue is a big one in this district,” Mr. Storobin said in the statement. “For the orthodox Jewish, it’s particularly important. Private tuition for yeshivas can be as much as $10,000 or more per high school student, and almost as much for children in primary school. To a family with five or six children, that is a tremendous burden.” Read More
The details have emerged on the long-awaited deal between the teachers union and the state government for how to handle teacher evaluations, a decision the state said is necessary to secure $700 million in federal dollars. The new system will use 60% of a teacher’s score based on “rigorous performance measures” and 40% based on ”student achievement in state and local assessments.” The deal also streamlines the appeals process for teachers.
New York State and City’s top politicians quickly sent out a barrage of press releases applauding the decision, with the occasional swipe at Mayor Michael Bloomberg over school closures. Read More
A Quinnipiac University poll released today is sure to turn some heads in the education debate as it found New York State voters trust Governor Andrew Cuomo more than the teachers’ union by a 50% to 38% margin “to protect the interests of New York State public school students.” This all comes as the state is in last-minute negotiations over teacher evaluations.
“The teachers’ union is a political punching bag these days, and New York voters share that negative view,” Maurice Carroll, director of the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute, said in the press release. ”Support for the union isn’t high even in union households.” Read More
This week, President Barack Obama’s administration decided to grant waivers to ten states — including New Jersey — to the rigorous standards set in place by the No Child Left Behind law, and asked about it on John Gambling’s radio show this morning, Mayor Michael Bloomberg said he disagreed.
“I haven’t talked to the President about it,” Mr. Bloomberg stated. “My gut reaction is that we should keep increasing the standards, raising the standards, not reducing them.”
Mr. Bloomberg then made the case for why education is not just an issue that’s important to the individual states. Read More
The State University of New York Board of Trustees passed a resolution yesterday calling for legislation that would give undocumented immigrant students access to tuition assistance, loans and in-state tuition rates “as intended by the DREAM Act.”
“The current demographic realities of New York State indicate that many of the brightest and hardest working students eligible to enroll at SUNY are of undocumented status, and it is imperative that SUNY remain accessible to these students,” Board Chairman H. Carl McCall said. Read More
Michael Mulgrew stood in a drizzly rain last week outside Morris High School in the Bronx and grimly attempted to put a positive spin on what had just occurred or, at the very least, to mount a defense.
For the previous hour, thousands of heads in the high school auditorium had been scanning the seats for Mr. Mulgrew as Mayor Bloomberg delivered his annual State of the City address. Eight times in that address had Mr. Bloomberg mentioned by name the union that Mr. Mulgrew heads—the United Federation of Teachers—excoriating the city’s chief educators’ union as antistudent and the enemy of progress.
“When we sit down with the UFT, there are two groups in the room: the UFT and our school children,” Mayor Bloomberg said, adding that the latter group is “who we work for…We have an obligation to stand up for their lives, their futures.” Read More