bill thompson

New York

Parents would get a seat on Bill Thompson's proposed PEP

A day after his rival Bill de Blasio scooped up another endorsement from parents, mayoral candidate Bill Thompson is promising to give a specially elected parent a seat at the decision-making table. According to a parent engagement plan released today by Thompson's campaign, Thompson would reserve one of his appointed seats on the Panel for Educational Policy to a parent who gets voted in by a diverse group of other parents. Rather than appointing his own voting member, Thompson would select whichever parent is picked by parent leaders culled from each of the 32 Community Education Councils. The CECs are diminished holdovers from when districts were controlled by school boards. Thompson's campaign staff said the proposal is an example of how Thompson would cede some of the mayor's control over the Panel for Educational Policy, a power that Mayor Bloomberg has used to aggressively — and contentiously — push through sweeping changes to the school system. In 12 years in office, a Department of Education proposal has never been rejected by the PEP, which consists of eight mayoral appointees and five members appointed by borough presidents. Under this proposal, the elected parent would remain an appointee of the mayor. That means that Thompson could technically remove the  panel member at any time, a privilege that Bloomberg once exercised with cunning precision when he fired three of his appointees in 2004 for opposing his proposed ban on social promotion. It's unclear if Thompson is willing to actually give up any of the eight seats that are appointed by the mayor, a change that would require an amendment to state law. When he ran for mayor in 2009, he proposed a plan in which he would pick from a slate of diverse candidates selected by a 19-member nominating committee.
New York

Candidates slam Bloomberg school plans that they may inherit

New York

As candidates squabble over universal pre-K funds, a fact check