Candidate Spells Out Education Policy At Staten Island Campaign Stop

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — In a campaign stop on Staten Island Wednesday morning, Democratic mayoral candidate Bill Thompson spelled out his education policy – with a focus on moving away from testing.

As WCBS 880’s Paul Murnane reported, Thompson made a stop at the St. George Ferry Terminal Wednesday morning. Commuting parents questioned the need for compulsory testing.

“You’re teaching children how to pass a test,” one woman said. “You’re not teaching them how to learn.”

Thompson said what is needed is a new focus.

“What does a child do each and every day in a classroom? What’s their teacher evaluation of them?” Thompson said. “All those things should go into evaluating how a child does every year, not just standardized testing.”

Thompson also said rival Bill de Blasio’s plan to expand pre-kindergarten program using revenues from higher taxes is unrealistic.

“It’s a question also, when it comes to pre-K, of space,” Thompson said.

Thompson and de Blasio would both slow the closing of underperforming schools, which are often replaced by charter institutions. Fellow Democrat Christine Quinn and Republican Joe Lhota favor a charter expansion, although Quinn said enrollment would be watched closely.

Anthony Weiner and John Liu said the mayor should be able to mediate disputes in neighborhoods where charter schools are divisive issues.

The candidates said they would all tackle testing.

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