Saturday, November 16, 2013


Leonie Haimson, over at the NYC Parent's blog, yesterday listed candidate Bill de Blasio's campaign promises on education.  Leonie's group sent a survey to all of the candidates during the campaign and also held a candidate forum in June. 

Some of  de Blasio's positions very promising.  It's why Leonie and many progressive thinking people thought de Blasio was the best candidate in the Democratic Primary.  For example:

  • Minimize the use of high-stakes standardized tests and agree to not use tests to decide which schools to close and which students to be held back. (Forum)
  • Craft a teacher evaluation system that depends as little as possible on standardized test scores. (survey)
  • Refuse to expand standardized testing into other grades (Pre-K to 2nd). (Survey)
  • Encourage other NYC high schools to join the portfolio/alternative assessment consortium as opposed to basing graduation decisions on the results of the Regents exams. (Survey)
  • Develop a non-punitive process by which NYC parents can choose to have their children opt-out of standardized testing. (Survey)

Small schools, vocational schools and online learning
·         Relax the requirement that all new schools be of a small size. (Survey)
·         Ensure that students have full, face-to-face, in-person access to teacher, or continue to expand online learning as the alternative. (Survey)
·         Improve Career and Technical Education programs. (Survey)
·         Focus on ensuring there are quality schools in EVERY neighborhood. (Survey)

Help schools improve rather than close them
·         Have a moratorium on school closures. (Press Release 9/3/2013)
·         Support rather than close struggling schools. (Survey)
·         Create an early warning system for schools that are falling further behind. (Survey)
·         Schools identified as struggling will receive targeted support through a new “Office of Strategic Supports” housed in the DOE that will develop intervention strategies in conjunction with the school communities and target individual high-need schools which will receive short-term, intensive support. (Survey)

You get the idea.  The list is not perfect but it's fairly promising in many ways. Now let's see what our mayor elect does.


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