School & District Management

N.Y.C. Mayoral Candidates Eye School Changes

By Robert C. Johnston — October 03, 2001 2 min read
  • Save to favorites
  • Print

New York City’s mayoral primary, held last week after a two-week delay because of the World Trade Center attack, produced a clear-cut Republican nominee and set up an Oct. 11 runoff between two Democratic hopefuls.

But Mayor Rudolph W. Giuliani is not out of the picture. He is trying to negotiate a three-month extension of his tenure, a plan two of the candidates accepted last week.

Even as New Yorkers dealt with the uncertainty over Mr. Giuliani and recovery from the Sept. 11 terrorism, they remained focused on education, exit polls found.

Michael R. Bloomberg, a financial-media magnate, was an easy GOP winner in the Sept. 25 balloting. Mr. Bloomberg, who wants to raise teachers’ salaries and abolish the city’s board of education, won 72 percent of the votes, routing former U.S. Rep. Herman Badillo, who gained 28 percent, according to preliminary results.

“We must move forward,” Mr. Bloomberg said in a speech following his win. “The alternative is not acceptable. It just wouldn’t be New York.”

Bronx Borough President Fernando Ferrer gained 36 percent of the votes cast in the Democratic primary. Public Advocate Mark Green took 31 percent. Because neither candidate won the 40 percent necessary to secure the nomination, they will compete in a runoff next week. Mr. Ferrer is vying to become the city’s first Hispanic mayor. He benefited from a high turnout of Hispanic voters—roughly 29 percent, or some 5 percentage points above that of previous elections.

He wants to issue report cards on schools and raise money to train parent leaders. “I understand the transforming power of education. It meant the difference in my life—transporting me from a tough street in the South Bronx and giving me the chance to run for mayor,” Mr. Ferrer said in a postprimary speech.

His rival in the runoff, Mr. Green, has pledged to streamline child-care services and implement prekindergarten for the city’s 3- to 5-year-olds. He also wants to give the mayor direct control of schools.

The New York Council of Supervisors and Administrators, the city principals’ and administrators’ union, has endorsed Mr. Green. The United Federation of Teachers, the local affiliate of the American Federation of Teachers, endorsed Comptroller Alan G. Hevesi, the fourth-place Democratic finisher.

Education at Issue

The outcome of the Nov. 6 general election could help decide some major education issues, such as whether control of the city schools should be wrested from the board of education and given to the mayor. Such a step would require state legislation. Other matters that may hinge on the result include how open the district will be to privatizing school management, the outlook for teacher raises, and the future of Schools Chancellor Harold O. Levy.

Added Robert L. Hughes, the president of New Visions for Public Schools, a local education fund: “There will be necessary shifting in the budget ... but it would be a mistake to cut the schools’ funding as we’ve done in other times of emergency.”

Related Tags:


This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Equity & Diversity Webinar
Classroom Strategies for Building Equity and Student Confidence
Shape equity, confidence, and success for your middle school students. Join the discussion and Q&A for proven strategies.
Content provided by Project Lead The Way
This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Professional Development Webinar
Disrupting PD Day in Schools with Continuous Professional Learning Experiences
Hear how this NC School District achieved district-wide change by shifting from traditional PD days to year-long professional learning cycles
Content provided by BetterLesson
Jobs Virtual Career Fair for Teachers and K-12 Staff
Find teaching jobs and other jobs in K-12 education at the EdWeek Top School Jobs virtual career fair.

EdWeek Top School Jobs

Teacher Jobs
Search over ten thousand teaching jobs nationwide — elementary, middle, high school and more.
View Jobs
Principal Jobs
Find hundreds of jobs for principals, assistant principals, and other school leadership roles.
View Jobs
Administrator Jobs
Over a thousand district-level jobs: superintendents, directors, more.
View Jobs
Support Staff Jobs
Search thousands of jobs, from paraprofessionals to counselors and more.
View Jobs

Read Next

School & District Management Did Principal Turnover Increase During the Pandemic? Here's What We Know
The data are still scant, but what’s emerging shows a drop in 2020-21 and an increase the following year.
6 min read
Black and white male and female figures walking in different directions on a light blue textured background. One male figure is walking out of an open door.
Anton Vierietin/Getty
School & District Management MAP: Where School Employees Can and Can't Strike
See which states do and don't allow public school employees to go on strike.
2 min read
Amy Chapman and her daughter, first grader Corinne Anderson, pose for a photo while they support teachers on strike outside Whetstone High School in Columbus, Ohio, on Wednesday, Aug. 24, 2022.
Amy Chapman and her daughter, 1st grader Corinne Anderson, show support for teachers on strike outside Whetstone High School in Columbus, Ohio, on Aug. 24, 2022.
Samantha Hendrickson/AP
School & District Management Opinion How to Build a More Effective School Board
Board members are well-intentioned, but they've been mis-trained into focusing on adult inputs rather than student needs.
5 min read
Image shows a multi-tailed arrow hitting the bullseye of a target.
DigitalVision Vectors/Getty
School & District Management What's Behind Texas' Takeover of Houston Schools
State takeovers of districts began in the 1980s but have waned recently following limited evidence of academic benefit.
5 min read
People stand in a row outside while holding signs that say "stop takeover," "hands off our schools," and "no HISD take over."
People hold up signs at a March news conference in Houston while protesting the planned takeover of the city's school district by the Texas Education Agency.
Juan A. Lozano/AP