As he continued to deflect attention away from his online misdeeds, Anthony Weiner released a second set of policy proposals today, including more than a dozen priorities for the schools system that would guide him as mayor.
Some of the ideas, contained in an updated version of his “Keys to the City” policy book, are new to the mayoral race. For instance, he wants to make financial literacy a required high school subject to help students manage college debt, and to create a new school leadership position that would exclusively handle a school’s operational needs.
But many of the priorities blend into similar proposals that have been offered repeatedly by other candidates in some form or another throughout the campaign. They include holding onto mayoral control, as well as proposals to improve career and technical education, increase teacher retention, extend learning time and expand community services provided by schools.
One proposal, no. 89, is unclear about what new school reform it is trying to address. It says that new learning standards, known as the Common Core, are being introduced in the fall, and that teachers will “receive a very short training session” on implementation this month. But the new standards — and state tests aligned to them — rolled out last year and the city says it has spent more than $100 million to train teachers on the standards in the past two years.
Weiner first released his policy book in 2009, when he considered running for mayor. In April, Weiner dusted off the old version with minor revisions, then resurrected a mayoral bid that many had presumed dead after he resigned from Congress in disgrace in 2011.
This summer, Weiner has referred to the 2009 version often while campaigning, touting an education proposal to pour more resources into city government to better support private schools.
Although initially seen as frontrunner, Weiner’s fortunes plummeted when revelations that he sent lewd pictures to women online, long after he resigned from Congress for similar reasons, surfaced last month.
Today, Weiner downplayed the lack of support his candidacy has received in the form of endorsements. Several candidates, including Bill de Blasio and Bill Thompson have called on Weiner to resign from the race.
“Campaigns should be when ideas are debated and citizens can gather insight into what their lives will look like in the four years ahead,” Weiner said in a statement. “While they may be interested in which famous people have endorsed a candidate, I am banking on the notion that what voters really want to see is what you have planned for them.”
The updated policy book comes a day before Weiner is scheduled to be interviewed in a public event by former state education commissioner David Steiner, who is now director of the CUNY Institute for Education Policy.
Below is the education portion of his updated “Keys to the City” book: