57th Assembly Primary: Mosley, Forrest Weigh in Remote Learning


According to Governor Andrew Cuomo in partnership with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the future of education looks more like the inside of a Google-classroom meeting than a real one, and not everyone is cool with that. 

Harsh criticism followed the announcements of the partnership and the reimagining of the public school education system with one of the critical forefront voices being Michael Mulgrew, President of the United Federation of Teachers (UFT). 

“Anyone who wants to ‘re-imagine’ schools should go first to the people who have made the education of children their calling and their profession. Our teachers are the real experts, and they have lots of ideas about how schools could be improved,” he said. 

According to Cuomo, a time for change might be on the horizon.

“The old model of everybody goes and sits in a classroom and the teacher is in front of that classroom and teaches that class, and you do that all across the city, all across the state, all these buildings, all these physical classrooms – why, with all the technology that we have?” Cuomo said.

So KCP put the issue of remote learning and the reimagining of public school education to Assemblymember Walter Mosley (D-Fort Greene, Clinton Hill, Prospect Heights, Crown Heights) and his opponent Phara Souffrant Forrest, the two candidates running in the Democratic Primary for the 57th District Assembly seat.

They each had some things to say on this matter as well. 

Phara Souffrant Forrest

“We don’t need billionaires telling us how to run our public schools. Instead, we should listen to teachers, parents, and students, who actually understand the problems our schools face. What we DO need from billionaires, is for them to pay their fair share in taxes, so our public schools have the funding that our students deserve,” wrote Forrest.

Right now, our governor is trying to cut around 20 percent of our state’s education budget. Parents and educators know that small class sizes and in-person instruction are vital for students. Moving to virtual instruction on a permanent basis does nothing for students and instead keeps taxes low for the wealthiest in our society, while students suffer,” she added.

Mosley said the virtual world lived in before and the virtual world that will be applying during and post Covid-19 will be very different. 

Assemblyman Walter Mosley

“I have my reservations in terms of people like Micheal Bloomberg and his foundation and Bill and Melinda Gates and their foundation,” wrote Mosley. 

“There are some concerns about giving so much latitude and leeway to these organizations that want to deconstruct, in a large way, how we govern. I am quite concerned about that because when we are talking about setting up these commission groups and how we deal with this pandemic and its aftermath we can’t just rely on people and their goodwill to pull us through we have to rely on everyone -social scientists, agriculturists, economists, engineers and the IT world. Everybody has to be at the table. 

“To have it so heavy-handed in terms of being led by plutocrats and those who wish to disguise their intentions with the notion that they are doing it from a philanthropic perspective- we have to question people’s motives and make sure their motives are pure for the vernal good for our society as a whole,” he added. 

Early Voting starts June 13. The Primary is on June 23.

Editor’s Note: Walter Mosley’s comment was slightly edited for clarity.


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