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PR- 265-08
July 6, 2008


The following is the text of Mayor Bloomberg’s weekly radio address as prepared for delivery on 1010 WINS News Radio for Sunday, July 6, 2008

Good Morning.  This is Mayor Mike Bloomberg.

Our public school students have just completed their first full week of summer vacation, and school is probably the last thing on their minds.  But at City Hall and at the City’s Department of Education, the schools always come first.  Last week was certainly no exception – and I’m happy to say that we got two pieces of very good news about our schools.

The first was that more and more parents think that our schools are on the right track.  How do we know?  They’ve told us so, by responding to our second annual Learning Environment Survey.  More than 800,000 parents, students, and teachers – that’s equal to roughly one out of every ten New Yorkers – answered this questionnaire.  And 92 percent of the nearly 348,000 parents who responded said that they were satisfied or very satisfied with the quality of education that their children are receiving; that’s up from 88 percent a year ago. 

We received a lot of encouraging results from students and teachers, too.  But, of course, not all the responses were positive – and that’s why we asked for them in the first place.  Because getting honest feedback is the only way to improve products and services.  Businesses know that, which is why they survey customers all the time.  Now we’re bringing the same approach to improving our most important product:  the education of our children.

We’re focusing a great deal of attention on our middle schools.  The statewide test scores released last month showed that middle school students, like all our students, made big strides last year.  But there’s still a lot of room for improvement.  And last week, we received some welcome help in the form of a five-year grant of almost $18 million from the GE Foundation, the philanthropic arm of the General Electric Company.  It’s the largest-ever corporate investment in New York City public schools.  We’re going to use it to continue to upgrade math and science instruction in the middle schools, starting with pilot programs in up to ten schools in Northern Manhattan this September. 

In the meantime, our students have every right to enjoy their summer vacations.  And why should they have all the fun?  There’s still one whole day left to this long Independence Day weekend.  So whatever your age or interest, get out and enjoy everything this great city has to offer.  For example, there’s a performance of Macbeth at Castle Clinton in Manhattan’s Battery Park and a ‘Hoops in the Sun’ basketball tournament at Orchard Beach in the Bronx.  There’s a daylong international African Arts Festival at Brooklyn’s Commodore Barry Park, a twilight lantern-lit tour of the caverns of historic Fort Totten in Queens and riveting true-life nature documentaries in the visitors’ center at Forest Park on Staten Island this evening. 

That’s just a sample; you can visit and check out everything else that’s going on in our City parks.  And it’s all free.  So what are you waiting for?  It’s summer in New York.  Live it up!   

This is Mayor Mike Bloomberg.  Thanks for listening.


Stu Loeser   (212) 788-2958

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