Friday, April 13, 2012

Mayoral Hopefuls All Make Time for Teachers’ Union Leader

Watching the NYC mayoral hopefuls kowtow to Mulgrew is a sobering reminder of how quickly reformers' gains in NYC could be undone.  I wonder if the candidates are even aware of the fact that a teacher-union-endorsed candidate hasn't won in NYC in more than 20 years!

Mr. Mulgrew has been preparing his union for battle, grooming political soldiers from the ranks of teachers, secretaries and school counselors. His union has trained its members over the past year in door-knocking and leafleting strategies. Some have attended meetings of block associations and civic groups, looking to channel parents' frustrations.

The teachers' union has run advertisements so critical of Mr. Bloomberg that, Mr. Mulgrew said, a mayoral hopeful asked after they had been broadcast, "Did Mike Bloomberg run over your dog?"

Mr. Mulgrew's agenda is no secret: he seeks an end to closing schools for poor performance, an end to placing charter schools in district school buildings and an end to tight mayoral control of the school system.

…The candidates are also keeping an eye on an education movement backed by hedge fund managers who have been generally supportive of Mr. Bloomberg's policies. This movement has supported steps like increasing the number of charter schools in the city and awarding merit pay for top-performing teachers.

Joe Williams, executive director of Democrats for Education Reform, a national advocacy organization, said there had been "a lot of first dates" between supporters of his movement and the mayoral hopefuls over the past months, but "not a lot of answers."


Mayoral Hopefuls All Make Time for Teachers' Union Leader

Victor Blue for The New York Times

Comptroller John Liu, back turned, considered a mayoral contender until a fund-raising scandal engulfed him, with Michael Mulgrew, the United Federation of Teachers president, last month.

Published: March 20, 2012 

 Subscribe in a reader