FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 20, 2006
MAYOR BLOOMBERG HOSTS LOS ANGELES MAYOR ANTONIO VILLARAIGOSA ON "LISTENING AND LEARNING" TOUR OF NEW YORK CITY SCHOOLS
Visit from Mayor Villaraigosa Gives New York City Biggest Chance Yet to Serve as Model for Mayoral Control of Public School System
The Nation's Second Largest School System Looks to New York City for Best Practices and Lessons Learned on Education Reform Under Mayoral Control
Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg today hosted Los Angeles Mayor Antonio R. Villaraigosa on a listening and learning tour of New York City Schools. Mayor Villaraigosa, elected in May 2005, has embarked on an ambitious education reform effort for the Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) - one similar to the bold and successful education reform agenda undertaken by Mayor Bloomberg at the start of his first term. Mayor Bloomberg and Mayor Villaraigosa spent the afternoon touring P.S. 282 in Park Slope, Brooklyn meeting with students and teachers to discuss New York's experience in education reform under mayoral control. They met with third and fourth grade students during their lunch period and held a "brown bag" lunch meeting with P.S. 282 Principal Magalie Alexis and P.S. 282 Parent Coordinator Kathleen Jackson Larkins. Mayors Bloomberg and Villaraigosa were joined by Schools Chancellor Joel I. Klein, Deputy Mayor Dennis Walcott, Counsel to the Los Angeles Mayor Tom Saenz and Los Angeles Associate Director for Education Marcus Castain.
"We've always said what we're doing in our schools is making history," said Mayor Bloomberg. "We've created a solid foundation that's producing great schools, increasing accountability and providing a sound education for every child. Our school system is getting better and that success is attracting attention nationwide. This is one of the great changes in our city that really bodes well for the future and we're happy to share our experiences with others. Mayor Villaraigosa's visit is evidence of the important progress we're making under the model we've adopted - where parents, students and teachers are working together to ensure that the more than one million students in our public schools get the education they deserve. Reforming education can be a daunting challenge, but having the courage to implement tough and groundbreaking policies and programs is essential to the success of all cities in the 21st century."
"I would like to thank Mayor Michael Bloomberg for hosting me in the great city of New York," said Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa. "I am here to 'go to school' on New York's education reforms. I wanted to study first-hand what education reforms are working in New York and what ideas might be applied to the Los Angeles school district. What I've learned is that large-scale, fundamental change in the bureaucracy can work."
"Under Mayor Bloomberg's leadership and the hard work of dedicated teachers, public accountability and rising test scores have been brought back to New York City's schools," continued Mayor Villaraigosa. "It's time to do the same in Los Angeles - reform our public schools - the stakes are too high and the needs too great to do anything less."
The New York City Department of Education (DOE) encompasses 1,400 schools across five boroughs with 1.1 million students and 140,000 employees, including 80,000 teachers. Focused on leadership, empowerment and accountability as drivers of educational improvement, Mayor Bloomberg's sweeping "Children First" reform agenda is creating a system where all students get the resources and support they need to reach their potential.
Accomplishments of the "Children First" reform agenda include:
"The innovative reforms we've made in our public schools have translated into real and measurable results," said Schools Chancellor Joel Klein. "We're happy to share our best practices with other cities looking for effective ways to provide each of their students with the opportunity to be successful. In New York, we've created a model based on the belief that strong and empowered school leadership, held accountable for performance, will result in high-functioning schools. We've seen exciting success with this approach, and look forward to building on the gains we've had thus far."
The LAUSD is only second in size to the New York City school system with more than 720,000 students enrolled in schools across Los Angeles County. Mayor Villaraigosa has launched an aggressive effort to increase the City's role in managing the success of the LAUSD - through greater parent and community engagement, increased city agency coordination and system-wide structural reform. In July 2005, Mayor Villaraigosa announced the establishment of his Council of Education Advisors and has begum implementing changes by increasing after-school programs and creating a safe havens network to increase safety in, and around schools.
Stu Loeser/Virginia Lam (212) 788-2958
Janelle Erickson (Mayor Villaraigosa) (213) 435-9932
David Cantor (Department of Education)
View the photos
Watch the video in 56k or 300k