DFER's mission is to encourage a more productive dialogue within the Democratic Party on the need to fundamentally reform American public education. Each month, we identify one candidate who is standing up for meaningful reform and innovation, and we help demonstrate the broad base of support for his or her efforts. Please give as generously as you can.
November 2009: New York State Assemb. Sam Hoyt (AD-144)
Sam Hoyt will go down in history as the first elected official in New York State to take President Obama’s “Race To The Top” education reform contest seriously. This fall, Hoyt (D-Buffalo) introduced a package of legislation designed to make New York State more competitive in the contest for nearly $5 billion in federal funding.
A self-described "leading proponent for charter schools," Assemblyman Hoyt has a history of standing behind progressive education. He was a strong and early supporter of charter schools in New York - long before it was popular - often defending the concept and legislation in legislative sessions and budget deliberations. In 2004 he was honored by the New York Charter Schools Association (NYCSA) with the annual Charter School Champion Award along with New York City Schools Chancellor Joel I. Klein. At that time, NYCSA President Bill Phillips stated that Hoyt was "a fighter for children and a hero to the charter school movement, particularly in the City of Buffalo where charters are changing the face of public education."