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Flushing leaders applaud governor’s ed campaign

State Sen. Toby Stavisky (D-Whitestone), state Assemblywoman Ellen Young (D-Flushing) and City Councilman John Liu (D-Flushing) each had kind words for Spitzer, who promised to increase accountability among elementary and high schools and announced a broad-based effort to revitalize city and state colleges. "Without world class education, we cannot have a world class economy. Last year we focused on pre-school to grade 12. This year we must also look beyond high school to our colleges and universities," Spitzer said. At the center of Spitzer's higher education proposal is a plan to create a higher education endowment that would tap into the New York State Lotterry to provide upwards of $4 billion that could be dispersed among CUNY and SUNY schools. "After 12 years of benign neglect by the Pataki administration, it's refreshing to see higher education receive the attention that has been lacking in the past," Stavisky said.Young said she thinks Spitzer is "on the right track" with his higher education proposal. "By continuing to prioritize our state's educational system, we commit to advancing the skills of our students and preparing them for the jobs of the 21st century," she said.Liu, meanwhile, applauded Spitzer's plans for more accountability in the state's public schools. Spitzer said that in the coming year he plans to create improvement targets for specific school districts around the state, monitor them annually and intervene if necessary. "We agree with the governor that a more rigorous system of accountability must now be established to ensure concrete improvements for individual districts, schools and students will result from this massive infusion of education resources," Liu said. "This is certainly the case in New York City, where the Department of Education has demanded accountability from principals, teachers, parents - even from students and their parents -but has failed to hold itself accountable. More accountability at the tweed Courthouse is certainly welcome." Reach reporter Stephen Stirling by e-mail at Sstirling@timesledger.com or by phone at 718-229-0300, ext. 138.

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