anthony weiner

New York

Anthony Weiner: Schools work is Bloomberg's "biggest failure"

Rep. Anthony Weiner at today criticized Mayor Bloomberg's work in the public schools — and seemed like he might want to keep doing that straight into City Hall. Anthony Weiner, the congressman who used to be a mayoral candidate and now is not so sure, sounded very much like he's still running at the Assembly hearing in Brooklyn today on mayoral control. In a brief interview with me, Weiner said that if he does run for mayor, education would be an important part of his case against the incumbent, Michael Bloomberg. "Arguably the most important part of the conversation," he said. He then declared of Bloomberg, "I think his most profound success was gaining mayoral control, and his biggest failure is what he's done with it." Weiner's testimony to the Assembly members who held the hearing comprised might have been his most bristling criticism of Mayor Bloomberg's education program yet — and was certainly a departure from previous declarations that he has made promising not to "undo" Bloomberg's work but to "build on" it. He said the mayor has both failed to empower parents and teachers — and has not produced good academic results. "When you look at the only true thing that you know can’t be fudged, how we’re doing on the national test, the results are decidedly mixed, and that’s putting it favorably," Weiner said. The candidate-like posturing came as a surprise to some at the hearing, who said they assumed the congressman's recent decision to hand back $60,000 in campaign contributions meant he was out of the race. One attendee, Damon Cabbagestalk Jr., a black reverend who has run for public advocate in the past, smacked Weiner on the back as he left the room at City Technical College and told him he hopes he runs for mayor. "You've got my vote," Cabbagestalk said.
New York

Thompson: Let mayor keep school control, but limit his options

Comptroller Bill Thompson. (Via ##http://flickr.com/photos/azipaybarah/2376506857/##Azi's Flickr##.) As the debate over mayoral control mounted this winter, Comptroller William Thompson, himself a mayoral hopeful, conspicuously did not address the essential question of whether the mayor should control a majority of members on the city school board. Today, Thompson revealed his position: The mayor should appoint every board member — but he shouldn't have unlimited choice. Instead, according to a plan that Thompson outlined before Assembly members at a hearing on school governance in Brooklyn this morning, the mayor should select board members for two-year-long terms from a slate of candidates put forth by a 19-member "nominating committee" representing a diverse set of interests. Under the plan, the committee would be composed of Five members appointed by the Mayor; One member apiece appointed by Borough Presidents; Four parent members chosen by the Chancellor's Parent Advisory Council; A teacher selected by the United Federation of Teachers; A principal chosen by the Council of School Supervisors and Administrators; A college or university president selected by the New York State Education Commissioner; A member of the business community appointed by an organized business entity selected by the Mayor; and An education school faculty member selected by the college or university president member In a statement, Thompson said the arrangement would allow the mayor to set education policy but would ensure that the perspectives of parents, teachers, and education experts are included in the decision-making process. A chief complaint of Mayor Bloomberg's control over the schools since 2002 is that those constituencies have been ignored. The man most considered most likely to join Thompson in the mayor's race (other than Bloomberg himself), Rep. Anthony Weiner, has said he supports "unfettered" mayoral control, with the mayor continuing to control most seats on the city school board. Thompson's full statement, which includes his proposals for strengthening parent involvement and monitoring education department data, is below the jump.
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