Liu announces plan to reform education

John Liu stands with students in front of Bayside High School last week as he unveils his education reform plan. Photo by Kelsey Durham
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State Senate hopeful John Liu met with parents and educators in Bayside last week to unveil a comprehensive plan aimed at reforming public education.

The Democratic candidate stood outside Bayside High School, at 32-24 Corporal Kennedy St., and named three priorities he said would help better the state’s education system.

As students held up signs in support of his plan, Liu touched on three steps — reforming Common Core, reducing class size and reforming mayoral control — he said should be undertaken in order to improve education.

“Make no mistake about it, public schools are the key to what our future is about,” he said. “Education is a key issue and a fundamental responsibility of government.”

Liu said one of the first changes that needs to be made to education is to reform the Common Core curriculum that state legislators agreed to implement but have since voted to delay due to controversy over its heavy reliance on standardized testing.

He said the curriculum has brought about much controversy and would be better for students, teachers and parents if it focused more on a different way of evaluating students’ progress without so much testing.

“This is a common-sense reform that will seek transparency and accountability in the system but also seek to reduce this outside emphasis on the high-stakes exams,” he said.

Liu also named reducing class size and eliminating trailers as a key priority, saying he would like to use a data-driven approach to try to reduce overcrowding in schools. His plan includes the requirement that the city Department of Education create a five-year capital construction plan and new zoning lines that would allow schools to have space for all their students without using trailers.

“Queens has some of the most severe overcrowding in the city,” he said. “We still have so many students going to classes in trailers that were supposed to be temporary.”

Liu said his plan would ask the DOE to work with other city agencies to develop population trends and see which communities are growing the most rapidly and how their needs can best be addressed. It would also give local community boards the power to veto plans to construct new schools in their neighborhoods, he said.

The last leg of the plan is to reform mayoral control over schools to give parents more input on important decisions to education policy. Liu said his plan would implement additional appointments to the city Panel for Education Policy and require that a retired educator, a parent from the community education councils and a CUNY representative be named to the panel.

“The panel has left parents in the community out of the equation,” Liu said. “We need to bring them back in so they have meaningful input.”

Reach reporter Kelsey Durham at 718-260-4573 or by e-mail at

Posted 12:00 am, August 10, 2014
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Reader feedback

anon from queens says:
Liu, if you really want to reduce class sizes then explain to your fellow Asian people that it's not OK to put 4 families in a two family house and it's not OK to move all of China and Korea into the same corner of Queens. Why can't your fellow Asian venture out and go to other areas of Queens? Francis Lewis high school has an 85 percent Asian population but yet flushing high school only has a 15 percent Asian population.....meanwhile flushing is all Asian and Hispanic but yet flushing high school has a huge black population when hardly any black people live in flushing. Go figure that one! Discrimination in the school sysystem? I think so! I think it's time we started busing the Asian kids into other schools that have more black students or Hispanic students in it.
Aug. 10, 2014, 7:10 am
Marie from Whitestone says:
Alfredo, your endless multi-name using racist ranting, has never helped anything or anyone. Why do you continue ? We all know it's you. The Senator is now even keeping a distance from you. What is wrong with you ?
Aug. 10, 2014, 11:29 am
time to learn from queens says:
Time for Liu to learn our laws. Never too old.
Aug. 10, 2014, 12:23 pm
Marie from Whitestone says:
Again, Alfredo, what is wrong with you ?
Aug. 10, 2014, 1:39 pm
I an not him from queens says:
Why do you crazy people always blame Mr. Centola for the comments you don't agree with? He is the only working civic leader making a difference in Queens. He cares about preserving parklands and education of your children. Thank you Al, keep up the good work.
Aug. 10, 2014, 1:56 pm
Carmine says:
Very well said, I am not him.
Aug. 10, 2014, 2 pm
Chicklet from Bayside says:
What should we expect from a politician?
Honesty- not in my book.
Integrity, fairness, respect for all races- history proves he is not the guy.

Say all you want about Avella, he's an honest guy who fights for the people of the district. Be sure to vote!
Aug. 10, 2014, 6:16 pm
anon from Flushing says:
BS. Avella is just as corrupt. They're all corrupt.

Voting for best of the worst... easy, VOTE FOR LIU
Aug. 11, 2014, 1:38 pm
not fooled from queens says:
Shame anon is dumb enough to not see through Jian Liu.
Aug. 11, 2014, 7:25 pm
Marie from Whitestone says:
Alfredo, the negative and hatful comments you post is getting very old.

You are known in political and social arenas as a nut. One reading your multi-name anti Senator Avella or Mr. Liu comments, always pulse with a chuckle and then say, "it's just Alfredo again". Don't you find that sad ?
Aug. 12, 2014, 7:19 am
marie what is your problem from Queens says:
Marie, your boy Alfredo is not the one writing comments pointing out Jian Liu's disregard for American laws. Get off your soap box, you are out of your mind.
Aug. 12, 2014, 8:19 am
Marie from Whitestone says:
Alfredo, you must be a deeply disturbed individual or a two faced phony at best. We expected your no named denial to follow my comment. Alfredo you need help, I sincerely hope it is in your future.

We all know who you are. Please stop.
Aug. 12, 2014, 11:45 am
anon from Flushing says:
Talk about denial, you are the two faced phony dancing around the facts, not Alfredo. I post the truth and I know that Mr. Centola is also one that does the same.

We are good people that care about our community. You people only cause problems. What is your real name Maria ? Who are you working for, Hmmm ??

Leave Al alone.
Aug. 12, 2014, 12:31 pm
who are marie and alfredo from queens says:
Who are these nuts Marie and Alfredo. Don't know don't care. The point is that Liu is a DANGER to the community because he thinks he is above the law. All the crazy comments cannot mask a crook.
Aug. 12, 2014, 12:38 pm
Lou from Bayside says:
Do we need government? Down with these bums!
Aug. 12, 2014, 12:53 pm
Marie from Whitestone says:
Alfredo, now proof positive you are also the infamous Lou from Bayside. How do you keep track of the endless names you use ?

Once again, you are not fooling anyone, we know who you are.

This is not Queens Crap, Christina is not here to protect you.
Aug. 12, 2014, 2:51 pm
Lou from Bayside says:
Al does not need protection from anyone, Marie?. He is the only hard working civic leader in Queens. He is a man of great character with his own ideas and opinions. He does not comment of this site, he is not here and I am not him.

I can only hope someday he will runs for office. Maybe next time around we can all say. Vote for Al, He wins for Queens.
Aug. 12, 2014, 3:14 pm
Marie from Whitestone says:
I sincerely rest my case.
Aug. 12, 2014, 4:56 pm
Paul says:
Marie. If you like I can set up a meet with your idol. This way you can finally get to ask him personally for his autograph. You mention Christina helping Al. Who's Christina? You sure do drop a lot of names in your attacks. I'm assuming you don't care for this Christina either.
Aug. 13, 2014, 8:53 am
Marie from Whitestone says:
I would adore that Paul this way I can gauge for myself what he really is all about
Aug. 13, 2014, 1:33 pm
A. Resident says:
....All the negativity, angry racial, multi-name comments posted on this site are coming from only one man, Alfredo Centola of Whitestone.

It is important that the Liu campaign be aware of this problem.
Aug. 15, 2014, 2:36 pm
A. Resident says:
I'm a lying ass
I slander for fun
I sex with Marie all night long like Lionel did
Aug. 15, 2014, 9:14 pm
Tom from Queens says:
Disgusting and pathetic how these no scruples candidates Avella and Centola have no problem playing up the stereotype and xenophobe angle.
Aug. 21, 2014, 8:50 am
Tim says:
Hey tom Avella is the only candidate here and centola is a stand up guy who has called out every crooked politician in our community. Al has done a lot of good things for his community. Too bad a handful of paid dirtbags are out to slander him in the hopes that he goes away.

As a resident I pray he doesn't.
Get the facts straight is all.
Aug. 21, 2014, 11:13 am

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