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Former Chancellor Klein Says Some Mayoral Candidates' Positions On Education "Lack Courage"

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Former Schools Chancellor Joel Klein has kept a low profile since leaving the city's Department of Education, but he injected himself right into the mayor's race Tuesday, taking aim at the candidates looking to replace his old boss. Washington bureau reporter Michael Scotto filed the following report for NY1.

He didn't name names, but former Schools Chancellor Joel Klein said the public should be worried about some of the candidates running for mayor.

"Some of these people want to turn back the clock and take choice and opportunity away from parents," Klein said.

Klein used a Tuesday Washington, D.C. conference on charter schools to defend Mayor Michael Bloomberg's record and warn that the next administration may put the charter school movement in danger.

That's because some of the candidates want to put a hold on co-location, the practice of allowing charter schools to share space with traditional public schools.

"Without co-location, to be so, to be blunt about it, given the real estate costs in New York, you're sending a clear message there'll be no more charters to speak of," Klein said.

Democrats Bill de Blasio, William Thompson, John Liu and Sal Albanese all support a moratorium on co-location, and they're striking back against Klein's comments.

In a statement, Liu said, "The Bloomberg/Klein model had been about stacking the deck for charter schools unfairly against other schools and following through with public relations spin machines."

"They're letting schools fail and then co-locating, whether it's smaller schools or charters there, and that is mistake," Thompson said.

Klein's remarks in the nation's capitol came as the mayor works to solidify his legacy. In recent weeks, the administration has not only defended its education record, but warned that the next mayor might be in the pocket of special interests.

On June 17, just days before Thompson picked up the backing of the teachers' union, a group the mayor has battled for years, Bloomberg said, "If the UFT wants it, it ain't good, and you don't want that person."

As the Bloomberg administration winds down, it's tapping into anxiety about the future in order to defend its past.

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