Weiner Calls for Less Testing, Supports Space Sharing with Charters

Anthony Weiner does not oppose co-locating charter schools in the same buildings as regular public schools so long as there's space. This was one point he made during an in-studio interview with WNYC's Brian Lehrer on Thursday, in which education was one of a handful of issues discussed.

"I don't have an objection of co-locating charter schools and public schools where there's space. I do believe that we should not have a competition for space," he said.

Weiner noted more than once that his mother was a public school teacher for 31 years and a "card-carrying member of the UFT." He said he gladly would meet with the union's president, Michael Mulgrew, but wasn't waiting on an endorsement.

"If I don't get the UFT endorsement that doesn't mean I'm not going to try every single day to persuade every teacher, every supervisor every staff member that I want their vote," he said.

When asked about the scant attention to education in his Keys to the City policy book, and whether that means he supports most of Mayor Bloomberg's reforms he said "no," adding that he wanted to go beyond the "five or six hot button issues" that everyone seems to be talking about.

The Bloomberg administration "did a laudable thing to begin with" in getting control of the school system. Among the "crucial mistakes" he cited teachers who are now "chafing at their employer" and the emphasis on testing.

"I think there are too many standardized tests," he said. "And a bigger mistake we're making is too much reliance on state tests."