Topics ranged from transportation issues students face in the 22nd District to finding the best option for funding the education system.
Costa Constantinides kicked off the forum, which was hosted by Zone 126, by stating his displeasure with alternatives to classrooms.
“I think the biggest challenge in Astoria is providing our student with the optimal opportunity and environment to learn,” said Constantinides. “Queens has become the king of trailers. Kids should be learning inside of classrooms.”
One of his leading opponents, who brought a large number of supporters with him, Gus Prentzas said schools shouldn’t wait on money from the city.
“We need to be able to team up with local businesses and bring in some more funding,” said Prentzas.
His goal would be to set up an “adopt a school” program, where private businesses would be able to sponsor a school, giving it resources such as free wi-fi.
One issue that was not supported by any candidate was standardized testing. Green Party candidate Lynn Serpe said she would work toward a well-rounded education system.
“The focus on high-stakes testing leads to stressed-out kids,” she said.
Her goal is to focus on creating smaller class sizes and using community organizations to create programs for students.
Prentzas criticized the current administration for allowing Chancellor Dennis Walcott to hold his position without a background in education.
“Once I’m elected, I’m going to make sure that the next chancellor to come in will be a true educator,” said Prentzas.