The United Federation of Teachers (UFT) endorsed Democrat Bill Thompson for New York City Mayor. As The New York Times reported, the UFT has not endorsed a winning candidate for NYC mayor since 1989:
The endorsement was something of a risk for the union, which has not aligned itself with a successful candidate for mayor since 1989, when it supported David N. Dinkins. The union has avoided many races since then; it last made an endorsement in 2001. It passed over Mr. Thompson in 2009, when he was the Democratic nominee running against Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg, a political independent.
Thompson has made an effort to reach out to his education critics. The New York Times reported that Thompson had met privately with charter school supporters to allay some of their concerns. But after receiving the UFT endorsement, some groups wonder which way Thompson will go on education issues:
Glen Weiner, acting executive director of StudentsFirstNY, an advocacy group, said he was concerned Mr. Thompson would adopt the union's policies, including its demands for retroactive raises. Mr. Thompson said on Wednesday that he supported raises, but did not comment on whether he would agree to retroactive payments.
"Espousing the teachers' union policies would turn back the clock on our kids," he said. "We don't want kids to be forced to attend failing schools."