DFER New York
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New York Public Education Too Important To Abandon Competitive Grants
March 8, 2013
Statement from DFER's Joe Williams on attempts to eliminate Gov. Andrew Cuomo's competitive grants for public school districts:
"Eliminating these grants to hard-working school districts is exactly the wrong way to go if you are trying to convince taxpayers that our public schools are worth funding at higher levels. This is not money that would be thrown at the same old crap. Taxpayers very much want to support their public schools, but they keep telling us in community after community that they care how the moolah is being spent. The Governor took a huge step in the right direction by linking funding to innovation and success. Walking away from that principle will have disastrous consequences for the long-term fiscal sustainability of our state's struggling public education systems."
Hey Adolfo, You Don't Have To Leave The Party To Want Better Schools!
January 17, 2013
In this morning’s New York Daily News, former Bronx Borough Prez (and former Obama Urban Affairs Director) Adolfo Carrion eviscerates the United Federation of Teachers for being an “embarrassment” and “standing in the way of progress” over new teacher evaluations.
It certainly has looked like a Freak Circus, with Mike Mulgrew as the ring leader. But that’s not the point.
Carrion, whose own kids went to city public schools, is saying the kinds of things that most New Yorkers are saying this week as it dawns on them that the UFT cares little about either quality public schools or (believe it or not) the integrity of the collective bargaining concept.
But then he goes overboard:
Last year, I became a political independent to help demonstrate that, as a city, we can change this kind of corrosive atmosphere. Negotiations between government and organized labor should be moments when new ideas are debated, improved and implemented — not when respective sides hunker down and political brinkmanship distracts us from the issue at hand.
Say it aint so, Adolfo. You don’t have to leave the Democratic Party if you believe that teacher union leaders should be part of the solution rather than a cynical driver of the problem.
As the last few years have shown, the Democratic Party mainstream now accepts that possibility as a core of its belief system. The problem isn’t you, Adolfo. It is the likes of the United Federation of Teachers and the Chicago Teachers Union who are operating on the margins.
Come on back, brother
- Joe Williams
NYC Mayoral Hopeful Christine Quinn Talks Education
January 16, 2013
(Originally Published on Teachers for Education Reform's Website)
By Omar Lopez, Director of Teacher Policy
Today at The New School, NYC mayoral hopeful Christine C. Quinn spoke about her plans for education in a speech she named “Stronger Schools for NYC.”
With this speech, Quinn solidified her stance as the most reform-friendly mayoral candidate - though that’s compared to the other candidates who have campaigned in direct opposition to current NYC Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s education policies.
Quinn’s plan broke down into four sections:
1. Best Practices: She plans on taking the best practices in the current education system and using them to help replicate success. She gave Truman High School as an example of what can be done to turn around a large high school before it’s closed and split into smaller schools. In addition, Quinn plans on conducting a system-wide study with Columbia University’s Teachers College to find out what is working in the system.
New teachers can look forward to having an experienced teacher mentor them in their first year of instruction, using current professional development dollars to pay for it.
2. Learning 24/7: Also in the works is an online, multi-language parent university which will allow parents to see what their children are studying and receive complementary materials if they want to brush up on their skills. A ComptStat for parents called Parent 311 is also planned. This is meant to provide parents with the most up-to-date information on how schools are performing.
3. Comprehensive community schools approach: Inspired by schools she has visited, Quinn wants to build new schools with extra space for doctors and clinics from the community to offer services. She spoke at length about the multiple city agencies that do not currently coordinate. She plans to rectify this by the creating a new office, the Deputy Mayor for Education and Children that will work to bring these agencies together.
Statement from Joe Williams on NY Gov Cuomo's State of the State address
January 9, 2013
Statement from DFER's Joe Williams on New York Governor Andrew Cuomo's State of the State address:
"Governor Cuomo is right to include modernizing our public education system in his plans for a better New York. Investments in concepts like quality early childhood education and extended learning time will go a long way if we ensure these additional resources are allocated smartly."
Statement from Joe Williams on release of NY Education Reform Commission report
January 2, 2013
Statement from DFER’s Joe Williams on the release of the New York Education Reform Commission report today:
Gov. Cuomo’s Education Reform Commission took a solid first step in establishing priorities for improving the state’s public schools. As the Governor noted today, drilling down on the specifics of how to make it work is undoubtedly going to kick up quite a bit of political dust. But few worthwhile endeavors in politics ever succeed without a fight and New York’s school children are worth it.
Read the report here.
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