too bad Spitzer hasn t taken the time to visit a traditional public school. Also, Randi s comments below that the way to replicate that the success he saw atMessage 1 of 1 , Oct 31, 2006View Source
too bad Spitzer hasn’t taken the time to visit a traditional public school. Also, Randi’s comments below that “the way to replicate that the success he saw at the UFT school is by settling the Campaign for Fiscal Equity lawsuit as soon as he takes office” is not necessarily true – as the city plan to spend only 2% of those funds for smaller classes. Funding without strings attached just won’t do the job.
Spitzer renews pledge to settle school funding suit
Oct 30, 2006 3:29 PM
Candidate for governor calls UFT Elementary Charter School a model for success
State Attorney General Eliot Spitzer, the union’s endorsed candidate for governor, observes a class at the UFT Elementary Charter School with (from left) School Leader Rita Danis, UFT President Randi Weingarten and Vice President for Elementary Schools Michelle Bodden.
The campaign crew finished its work hours before sunrise, putting up blue-and-red Spitzer-Paterson election posters around the East New York section of Brooklyn that houses the UFT Elementary Charter School . That was well in advance of the gubernatorial candidate’s whistle-stop school visit when, dressed in a navy blue suit and striped club tie, the youthful-looking Attorney General Eliot Spitzer joined UFT President Randi Weingarten in an Oct. 19 walk-through of the 300-student school.
Spitzer liked what he saw, he told reporters following the tour, as he stood with a group of schoolchildren at the school’s perimeter. The school visit was one the Democratic candidate/attorney general had promised to make when he first heard that the UFT had sponsored a school. It was part of a very long day, but a stop he said he suspected would be the most rewarding.
Posing with 2nd-graders, each dressed in the school’s golf-shirt uniforms, Spitzer said he saw the future and it worked.
“Randi has been talking about this school with pride,” he said, “and its operation is a model for what needs doing elsewhere.” He added that even as adults were still arguing about the right number of dollars needed to fund New York schools, “the numbers that matter are 25 kids and two teachers per class, and parents who are passionate about schooling.”
Weingarten told the gathering she had long wanted to bring Spitzer to the school “because we wanted [him] to see our educational vision in action.”
She called it a school where teachers have a voice and work collaboratively, where curricula is geared to state academic standards, where students and parents participate in governance and which operates under a union contract.
She also used the opportunity to remind Spitzer that the way to replicate that the success he saw at the UFT school is by settling the Campaign for Fiscal Equity lawsuit as soon as he takes office — something Spitzer is on record as promising to do.
That settlement is also something Spitzer’s Republican opponent, former Columbia County Assemblyman John Faso, opposes. His “Faso Plan for Education” focuses on tax cuts and austerity measures and is opposed to “throwing money at a broken system.”
Faso would instead “simplify the school funding formula” without increasing funding or even agreeing to settle the CFE case.
Faso’s education program wants merit pay, alternative certification procedures for teachers and an overhaul of the provisions of the state labor law that keep contract protections in place for expired contracts while collective bargaining continues.
None of these anti-labor measures are supported by Spitzer, the Democratic Party and Working Families Party candidate.
“When you compare their records and their plans, this is a no-brainer,” Weingarten said in explaining why the UFT was mobilizing to elect Eliot Spitzer governor.
Weingarten also urged a vote for the Spitzer team: Hillary Clinton for U.S. Senate, David Paterson for lieutenant governor and Andrew Cuomo for attorney general — and urged members to vote for them on Row E, where the top Democratic Party candidates are cross-endorsed by the union-backed Working Families Party [see Editorial on page 18].
The union is also maintaining its endorsement of Alan Hevesi.
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