Network for Public Education endorses Consalvo

City Councilor Robert Consalvo, who along with Felix Arroyo is poised to receive the endorsement of the teachers union this evening, is getting support from another education group.

The Network for Public Education, a fledgling national organization that touts itself as a champion for public schools and eschews teacher testing, endorsed Consalvo earlier today.

He won the group’s support in large part because he wants to keep the cap on charter schools and believes schools should re-examine their reliance on standardized tests to evaluate teachers and student performance.

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“We throw our enthusiastic support to Rob Consalvo, and encourage those who care about public education to do the same,” the group said in a statement.

Consalvo and Arroyo, an at-large city councilor, are the two candidates recommended by the Boston Teachers Union, which has thousands of members living in the city and could provide a big boost to either candidate on election day with volunteers. The union will formally vote today on endorsements.

The Network for Public Education, which formed last March and also fights against privatizing public schools, will not bring such advantages for Consalvo, said group spokesman Anthony Cody.

However, “I think the main thing our endorsement brings is attention to the issues around education and the fact that grass-roots activists who care about public schools and are not on the payroll of corporate reform are really excited about [Consalvo’s] candidacy,” Cody said.

Cody said the organization decided to endorse someone in the Boston mayor’s race after members living in the city, most of them teachers in the school system, told the group about the race. The members were especially interested in seeing the group endorse Consalvo, Cody said.

The network sent a survey to all of the candidates for whom they could find email addresses. Consalvo was the only candidate who responded, Cody said.

“We really appreciated the thoughtfulness of [Consalvo’s] answers and the fact that they connected well to the issues that we care about,” Cody said.