Education advocates have wanted mayoral candidates for months to "get on the bus" with school reforms. But on Wednesday, the candidates had an actual bus to board.
The school-bus-turned-interactive-exhibit is on a seven-day, five-borough, 40-stop tour. It is sponsored by A+ New York, a coalition of 45 advocacy groups that includes many of the mayor's most outspoken critics on education policy, like Class Size Matters, the New York Civil Liberties Union, the Coalition for Educational Justice, and New York Communities for Change. Many of the organizations have close ties to the teachers union.
"It's important to listen to parents, teachers, students, future mayors and stakeholders have to say about how our public schools should be run," said City Comptroller John Liu, a probably mayoral candidate.
"For the last almost 12 years now, no one has reached out. No one wants to hear," said William Thompson, another mayoral candidate and former city comptroller.
"Talking to parents, to teachers, to advocates, to other educators," said City Council Speaker Christine Quinn, another mayoral candidate.
"Involving parents, involving communities, which is something we haven't had for years," said Public Advocate Bill de Blasio, another mayoral candidate.
We'll see if the next mayor actually follows through on these or simply continues the same top-down, screw everybody but Eva Moskowitz policies Bloomberg pursues.