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RE: 2013 NYC Mayoral election feature: Where the candidates stand on education

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  • Leonie Haimson
    GothamSchools has put together a useful site about the mayoral candidates positions on various issues. See below. It is an interesting site and people should
    Message 1 of 1 , May 15, 2013
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      GothamSchools has put together a useful site about the mayoral candidates’ positions on various issues. See below.

       

      It is an interesting site and people should take a look; but as I noted on its webpage it has some serious errors. 

       

      It has this intro, for example, on the issue of class size [which is buried inside a topic area called “Inside Schools”]

       

      “On the Department of Education’s annual survey, parents consistently say that they want smaller classes. But Mayor Bloomberg never supported the issue and instead favored working to ensure that larger classes have excellent teachers.”

       

      First of all, it’s not just that parents say they want smaller classes; it is always their #1 priority on the DOE surveys. Secondly, it sets up a false dichotomy between class size and quality teaching. What has the mayor done to “ensure that larger classes have excellent teachers?”  In fact, as studies show, large classes lead to high teacher turnover which ensures lower quality teaching.

       

      But most seriously, it mistakes Bloomberg’s switcheroo on the issue. The Mayor did indeed support smaller classes, and promised when he first ran for office to reduce class sizes in ALL schools in grades K-3; as I have recounted many times on our blog and even posted his campaign literature; see here for example.

      http://nycpublicschoolparents.blogspot.com/2009/10/bloombergs-original-campaign-promises.html

       

      http://nycpublicschoolparents.blogspot.com/2011/09/class-sizes-sharply-rising-7000.html

       

      He repeated this goal in his State of the City address in 2005, (See Fernanda Santos recounting of this here:

      http://www.nytimes.com/schoolbook/2012/01/13/mayor-bloombergs-promises-for-education-an-annotated-scorecard/ )

       

      and it was contained in his schools capital plan as late as 2006 and 2007.

       

      From: Geoffrey Decker [mailto:gdecker@...]
      Sent: Wednesday, May 15, 2013 9:32 AM
      To: undisclosed-recipients:
      Subject: 2013 NYC Mayoral election feature: Where the candidates stand on education

       

      Hi reporters, 

      For those of you covering education or the NYC mayoral race, please keep this tool in mind as a resource as the campaign heats up. It's our way of cutting through the candidate clutter of forums and stump speeches that we see and hear on a daily basis. 

      A link to the feature is here and also below. 

      Let me know what you think and feel free to forward to anyone you think would be interested in seeing it. 

      GothamSchools launches 2013 mayoral tool for education policy 

      More than 150 opinions from the mayoral candidates on specific issues, 

      such as charter schools, standardized testing, and mayoral control

      With education emerging as an important issue for voters in the upcoming 2013 mayoral election, GothamSchools has launched The Next Education Mayor, a comprehensive issue-tracker to explore where the candidates stand on complex education policies. 

      "Our mission is to produce news stories that help all education stakeholders make better decisions," said GothamSchools Managing Editor Philissa Cramer. "That includes voters, and we believed it was important to create a feature to help people who care about the school system make sense of the campaign."

      The Next Education Mayor launched today with over 150 opinions on 19 specific issues from all nine leading candidates. Their opinions were been culled from candidates' responses to exclusive GothamSchools questionnaires, news clips covering forums and campaign web sites. Opinions will be updated as candidates release more details about their education platforms and stances on issues important to parents, educators and voters who make up GothamSchools' 75,000 unique monthly readers.

      Readers navigating The Next Education Mayor can browse all opinions of an individual candidates (Christine Quinn's has 16 opinions) or compare candidates on specific issues, which include charter schoolsstandardized testing, and mayoral control.  

      Education advocates lauded The Next Education Mayor as an important tool to inform voters and elevate the discussion during the mayoral race. 

      "This tool will help community-based organizations keep parents up-to-date on where the candidates stand on important education issues, so they can push candidates on their priority issues and make informed choices as voters," said Megan Hester, a coordinator for Annenberg Institute for School reform, a group that supports parent organizing.  

      "Teachers have a lot riding on the outcome of the mayor's race and it's critical they know where the candidates stand on the key issues affecting their profession," said Jonathan Schleifer, executive director of Educators4Excellence. "The Next Education Mayor feature on GothamSchools will be very useful in helping teachers make informed decisions on election day."

      About GothamSchools and the Education News Network

      GothamSchools is an award-winning nonprofit news organization producing daily independent coverage of the New York City public schools. In January 2013, GothamSchools merged with EdNews Colorado, a Denver-based news site, to form the Education News Network, a new nonprofit news organization covering the national effort to transform public education. 

       

      -- 

      Geoff Decker
      Staff Reporter
      GothamSchools
      917-388-9061 (o)
      518-312-3541 (c)

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