New York's Mayoral Race: Bill Thompson

What’s your vision for New York City’s public school system?

I want to do a number of things that would restore content back to our public education system that will help all students, particularly Black and Latino students, compete and graduate so that they can go to college and have the skills they need to succeed.  I’d like to reduce class size, especially in the early grades, bring things like arts and music education that help create well-rounded students. Given my background, I am probably the most prepared person to be the next mayor of this city when it comes to education.

The United Federation of Teachers supported you.

I find that the UFT, when it comes to things like the interest of children, they will work with us to make sure that children are educated. What you’ve seen recently is a lot of animosity between City Hall and the UFT and lot of it has been needless. I think a lot of the conflict is over teacher evaluations. And no matter what the situation is, I’ve always been able to bring people together to get things done. My mother was a public school teacher for thirty years. When you look at teachers they want students to succeed and that is why they went into teaching.

What’s your vision for creating jobs and opportunity for careers so that men and women can have jobs that actually support their families? 

We need someone in City hall—a job czar or a Chief Jobs Officer for the City of New York.