FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
December 4, 2007
MAYOR BLOOMBERG AND CHANCELLOR KLEIN BRIEF HOUSE EDUCATION CHAIR GEORGE MILLER ON SCHOOL REFORMS, NEW SCHOOL REPORT CARDS AND LANDMARK TEACHER BONUS PLAN DURING TOUR OF P.S. 133
Education Chairman A Lead Architect in Reauthorizing No Child Left Behind
Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg and Schools Chancellor Joel I. Klein today hosted U.S. Representatives George Miller, Chairman of the House Education and Labor Committee, and Yvette D. Clarke, an Education Committee member from Brooklyn, as they visited New York City to learn about the City's public school reforms. Chairman Miller was an author of the 2001 No Child Left Behind Act and has taken the lead in the House's efforts to improve this legislation during its reauthorization. Chancellor Klein and Department of Education officials briefed Reps. Miller and Clarke on the City's new public school progress reports and the school-wide bonus program that will award cash bonuses to teachers at high-needs schools that raise student achievement. Mayor Bloomberg, Chancellor Klein, and Chairman Miller also visited P.S. 133 in Brooklyn, which received a B on its recent progress report after helping many of its most at-risk students make exemplary academic gains last year. They were joined at P.S. 133 by Principal Heather Foster-Mann.
"Progress reports and the school-wide bonus program embody the core principles that have helped our schools make tremendous strides over the last five years - empowering educators with the information and authority to make smart decisions and holding them accountable for student outcomes," said Mayor Bloomberg. "Chairman Miller's visit is further evidence that all of our work is making New York City a national model for urban education reform, and we're always happy to share what we've learned with others."
"Chairman Miller was kind enough to invite me to testify before his committee a few months ago, and I'm delighted he's come to New York City to see firsthand some of the reforms that helped us win the prestigious Broad Prize for Urban Education this year," said Chancellor Klein. "I hope the Chairman will find that focusing on student progress in evaluating schools and giving excellent teachers financial incentives to work in the highest-need schools are ideas that can be replicated nationwide."
School progress reports, which were released citywide last month, give parents and educators clear information about how their school is doing and how it compares to others. Each school receives a letter grade-A, B, C, D, or F-based on the academic achievement and progress of students as well as the results of surveys taken by parents, students, and teachers. The reports place the greatest emphasis on whether schools are helping all their students make significant academic progress each school year, regardless of their achievement level at the beginning of the year. Each school's results are compared against those of 40 "peer schools" that have served very similar student populations over the last three years, as well as against those of all schools citywide that serve the same grade levels.
The school-wide bonus program, announced in an agreement with the United Federation of Teachers (UFT) in October, is the largest initiative in the country to reward educators in high-needs schools on the basis of their success in helping students achieve academically. It will be implemented in about 200 of the City's highest-needs schools this school year and will expand to roughly 400 schools in the 2008-09 school year. Participating schools that help their students achieve significant academic progress will receive bonus money that they will distribute directly to teachers and other UFT members. Because only high-needs schools are eligible to participate in the program, it also creates an incentive for the City's best teachers to teach in schools that serve high-needs, low-achieving students.
Stu Loeser / Dawn Walker (212) 788-2958
David Cantor (Department of Education)
(212) 374- 5141
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