FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
July 11, 2011
MAYOR BLOOMBERG SIGNS LEGISLATION REQUIRING THE DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION TO POST DATA ON STUDENT DISCHARGES, TRANSFERS AND SCHOOL CLOSURES
Remarks by Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg at a Public Hearing on Local Laws
“The next two bills before me are Introductory Numbers 354-A and 364-A, which increase transparency relating to student discharges and transfers and school closures at the Department of Education. Thanks to the hard work of our students, parents, teachers and principals, we have made steady and consistent gains in our schools over the past nine years, and last month, we announced that our four-year graduation rate reached an all time high of 65.1 percent. At the same time, the dropout rate has fallen and discharges have also declined — a sign that the upward trend in graduation rates represents a genuine and significant rise in student achievement. That said, we all know there is still much more work to be done.
“The first bill, Introductory Number 354-A, is sponsored by Council Members Jackson, Barron, Brewer, Cabrera, Chin, Dickens, Dromm, Eugene, Fidler, Gentile, James, Koppell, Lander, Mark-Viverito, Mealy, Nelson, Palma, Rose, Sanders, Seabrook, Williams, Koslowitz, Lappin, Rodriguez, Vann, Crowley, Foster, Levin, Mendez, Van Bramer, Arroyo, Weprin, Gonzalez, Gennaro, Vacca, Greenfield, Halloran and Ulrich.
“Introductory Number 354-A requires the Department of Education to provide to the City Council and post online an annual report identifying the number of students discharged or transferred from each school, much of which is already posted online. This report must be disaggregated by a variety of demographic indicators, and the bill authorizes the Department to take appropriate measures to safeguard student privacy.
“The second bill, Introductory Number 364-A, is sponsored by Council Members Fidler, Brewer, Cabrera, Comrie, Dromm, Ferreras, Gentile, Gonzalez, James, Lander, Mealy, Palma, Recchia, Rose, Sanders, Vacca, Vann, Williams, Mendez, Koslowitz, Dickens, Jackson, Koppell, Eugene, Nelson, Levin, Van Bramer, Arroyo, Weprin, Gennaro, Barron, Chin, Rodriguez, Greenfield, Halloran and Ulrich.
“Introductory Number 364-A requires the Department of Education to provide to the City Council and post online an annual report identifying schools that have been closed and the number of students who did not complete graduation before the closure. This report must also be disaggregated by a variety of demographic indicators, and the same privacy protections provided for in Introductory Number 354-A would also apply to this report as well.
“Combined, these two bills will increase transparency for parents, teachers, and school advocates, giving the public additional tools to monitor student trends both at successful schools and at ones that are in the process of phasing out. Armed with the information contained in these reports, the Department, the Council, and parents will have the information they need to work together to ensure the best outcomes for students who leave a school or whose school closes before they graduate.
“I would like to thank Schools Chancellor Dennis Walcott and his staff for their work on these bills along with my Office of City Legislative Affairs. I would also like to thank the Council for approving this legislation.”
Stu Loeser/Evelyn Erskine (212) 788-2958
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