Fighting for Public Education
Throughout his career as a public servant, Bill Thompson has been widely recognized as one of our city’s foremost advocates for a high-performing, well-funded, accountable and transparent public education system. The son of a public school teacher, Thompson was appointed to the New York City Board of Education in 1994. In five consecutive terms as its president, Thompson led a reform agenda that resulted in improved student achievement and greater public transparency. He championed a series of uncompromising accountability reforms that helped to pave the way for Mayoral control of the public schools. In his role as New York City Comptroller, Thompson continued his fight to improve New York City’s public education system.
To help New York City students develop the 21st Century skills they need, Thompson has:
- Exposed serious flaws in the City’s tracking of student graduation, finding that student transcripts did not have evidence supporting graduation for one out of every 10 students.
- Examined and exposed massive overcrowding in City schools, proposing new mechanisms to finance and accelerate school construction.
- Called for the expansion of universal pre-kindergarten classes for all city children from the pulpit of the New York Times op-ed page.
- Examined the benefits of investment in vocational training in New York City schools to provide young people with the skills to compete in an increasingly technical local economy.
- Advocated and provided public testimony in support of expanded physical education in schools to combat childhood obesity.
- Advocated for increased State and federal funding to New York City public schools.
- Spoke out in support of expanding our city’s many extraordinary charter schools.
- Proposed a plan to improve mayoral control to increase parental involvement on the Panel for Education Policy and on Community Education Councils.
- Proposed an independent body to audit test scores and graduation rates, given concerns over data manipulation related to improvements in those areas cited by the City.
- Condemned the Department of Education's ballooning use of no-bid contracts under mayoral control, and proposed fair and open competition in the awarding of City contracts.