FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
February 6, 2005
MAYOR MICHAEL R. BLOOMBERG DETAILS THE IMPORTANCE OF BUILDING AND IMPROVING STANDARDS IN SECONDARY PUBLIC SCHOOLS ACROSS THE CITY
The following is the text of Mayor Bloomberg's weekly radio address as prepared for delivery on 1010 WINS News Radio for Sunday, February 6, 2005
"Good Morning. This is Mayor Mike Bloomberg.
New York must be a city of opportunity for everyone-and for our children, education is the key that opens the doors of opportunity. That's why our Administration is reforming City schools. All our children need schools where they are safe, where they receive individual attention from teachers who know them, and where they get the help they need to meet high academic standards.
We're paying particular attention to our secondary schools-because for too long, they have failed to prepare students for the challenges of adult life and the workplace. We've got some of the best public high schools in the nation-but the sad fact is that in many others, fewer than half of the students even graduate. In today's world, where even entry-level jobs require higher and higher skills, that makes succeeding as an adult very difficult.
That's why our Administration is creating 200 new, small secondary schools and charter schools across the city by 2007. Over the last two years, we've established more than 100 of these schools-and last week, we unveiled plans to create 52 more in time for the new school year in September.
These schools are a crucial part of our strategy to close the achievement gap-to help our low-performing high school students, who are predominately African American and Hispanic, graduate with the skills they need in order to succeed. These new small secondary schools have enrollments of no more than 500 to 600 students. They have something else in common, too; they're WORKING. The early results are astonishing: The promotion rate for 9th graders in these new small schools is 93% compared with a 68% citywide average. And attendance in these schools is substantially higher than the citywide average, too-a sure sign that students are engaged and learning.
A big reason for that is that all of these new secondary schools are built around partnerships with organizations ranging from the Lincoln Center Institute, to colleges in the City University system, to the Bedford-Stuyvesant YMCA. These partnerships connect classroom education to the real world. They show students that there is a direct line between what they learn in school and the opportunities for jobs that will open up to them as adults when they graduate with Regents diplomas.
As middle school parents around the city already know, the high school admission process is already in high gear. There's still time to apply for one of these new schools, but you've got to act quickly. The deadline for submitting admission forms to middle school guidance counselors is March 1st. You can find out more about the process, and about what these new small schools have to offer, by attending citywide information fairs that will be held today, and again on Thursday, February 10th. Fairs will also be held in each of the boroughs next Saturday, February 12th and Sunday, February 13th. Call 311 or visit www.nyc.gov to get specific times and locations. Go find out about these great new schools; one of them just may be the door to opportunity in your child's life.
"This is Mayor Mike Bloomberg. Thanks for listening."
Edward Skyler (212) 788-2958