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PR- 136-12
April 17, 2012


Academy for Software Engineering in Union Square Will Build on City’s Applied Sciences Capacity

New Schools Will Serve More than 21,000 Students in all Five Boroughs, Grades K-12

Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg and Schools Chancellor Dennis M. Walcott today announced that 54 new schools will open in the coming 2012-2013 school year, bringing the number of new schools opened under the Bloomberg Administration to 589. The new schools will welcome more than 7,000 students next year, and over 21,000 when they grow to full size. Evidence shows that new schools rank higher on parent satisfaction surveys than other schools across the City; perform better than schools they have replaced on the state’s annual math and reading exams; and graduate students at significantly higher rates, on average by 20 points and in some cases more than doubling that of schools they replace. The Mayor and Chancellor made the announcement at Washington Irving, the future site of the Academy for Software Engineering – a new 9-12 school where students will get deep exposure to a variety of career options in technology and programming and learn what it takes to be innovators in those industries. The Mayor and Chancellor were joined today at the Washington Irving High School campus in Union Square by Deputy Chancellor Marc Sternberg, more than 30 new school principals, Union Square Ventures founder Fred Wilson and Union Square Partnership Executive Director Jennifer Falk.

“Our children deserve great schools, our parents deserve great options, and our Administration is committed to delivering them to families in every neighborhood in the five boroughs,” said Mayor Bloomberg. “The 54 new schools that will open next year reflect our commitment to children and parents, and they will build on the successful records established by the hundreds of new small schools we have already created. These new schools, including our new Academy for Software Engineering, which will train students not just in the language of computers but also in the language of innovation, will help prepare our students to succeed in the new global economy.”

“As we’ve seen over the past decade, new schools have changed thousands of lives in New York City for the better, helping more students graduate and prepare for college and careers,” said Chancellor Walcott.  “I want to thank all 54 new school principals, who have taken the bold step of building a new school community and offering families high quality options. Every child and every neighborhood deserve a great school, and we are proud to continue a strategy that has delivered just that for the past 10 years.”

“Mayor Bloomberg is committed to growing and attracting New York’s talent base to ensure that the City is well positioned to compete – and win – in the economy of the future,” said Deputy Mayor for Economic Development Robert K. Steel. “AFSE will be a critical component of the Mayor’s talent strategy, and we appreciate the leadership and contributions of Fred Wilson and other members of the tech community that will both ensure the school has the resources to succeed as well as ensure that students will be connected with career and internship opportunities.”

“New York City is already home to some of the brightest young minds on the planet,” said New York City Economic Development President Seth W. Pinsky. “Harnessing and developing this enormous talent is a key element of our strategy to grow the City’s innovation economy.  As with the Cornell-Technion campus and expansions at other New York universities already underway, this new secondary school will help establish the City as a global hub of technology and innovation for future generations. I would like to congratulate Mayor Bloomberg, Deputy Mayor Bob Steel, Fred Wilson and all those involved in spearheading this exciting new initiative.”

“The Academy for Software Engineering is a visionary school that will equip New York City’s children with the tools they need to succeed and help shape the world,” said Chief Digital Officer Rachel Sterne. “It is a vital step forward in Mayor Bloomberg’s roadmap to realize New York City’s digital potential. I am honored to join Mayor Bloomberg today for this wonderful announcement, and applaud Deputy Mayor Steel, Chancellor Walcott, Fred Wilson and all who contributed to this promising initiative.”

“There has never been a more exciting time in New York City tech than what we are experiencing right now,” said Union Square Ventures founder Fred Wilson. “However, every single one of the tech companies that our firm has invested in struggles to find enough talented software engineers. The Academy For Software Engineering is one way we can address this shortage, and we hope AFSE will be a beacon for others to follow. This is a great thing for our City’s future, and I thank the Mayor and his team for their unwavering support.”

“An ever increasing number of tech companies and venture capital firms are calling Union Square home, and the addition of a new tech-oriented high school further reinforces Union Square’s position at the center of New York City’s Digital District,” said Union Square Partnership Executive Director Jennifer Falk. “Union Square has earned its reputation as Manhattan’s ultimate neighborhood destination – home to the City’s largest Greenmarket, a beautiful historic park, hundreds of the best restaurants and retailers, and a thriving residential and commercial base, and the new Academy for Software Engineering will serve to deepen Union Square’s entrepreneurial edge. We thank Mayor Bloomberg, Chancellor Walcott and his team, as well as our partner and neighborhood booster Fred Wilson of Union Square Ventures, for choosing to launch the Academy for Software Engineering in Union Square.”

In December of 2011, Mayor Bloomberg announced an historic partnership with Cornell University and Technion-Israel Institute of Technology President to build a two-million-square-foot applied science and engineering campus on Roosevelt Island. When completed, the new Roosevelt Island campus will result in an increase in the number of full-time, graduate engineering students enrolled in leading New York City Master’s and Ph.D. programs by approximately 70 percent. In December, Cornell and The Technion announced that as part of the campus, they would create education enhancement programs that will impact a minimum of 10,000 New York City students and 200 New York City teachers per year.

Under Mayor Bloomberg the Department of Education has opened 589 new schools since 2002, including those slated to open this fall, bringing the total number of schools citywide to 1,750.  Many of these have followed the model of smaller schools, a strategy that the nonpartisan education and social policy research group, MDRC, found in January to “markedly improves graduation rates for a large population of low-income, disadvantaged students of color.”  The conclusion supports Department of Education data that shows annual English Language Arts and Math scores are substantially higher at new schools than at those they replaced, and that new high schools are doing a better job graduating students college and career-ready.

New schools serve similar percentages of black and Latino students, English language learners, and students with disabilities than the schools they replace. In addition, new schools on the whole serve more black, Hispanic, and students with disabilities than the citywide average.

Of the new schools slated to open this fall, 30 will be run by the district and 24 are charters.  They will serve students spanning all grade levels, from Kindergarten through High School. These schools will receive strong community support from partners such as the Young Women’s Leadership Foundation, NYC Outward Bound, and Urban Assembly—as well as charter operators like KIPP, Success Charter Network, Beginning with Children, and Expeditionary  Learning. The new schools are listed here:

  • Academy for Software Engineering
  • Beginning with Children Charter School II
  • Blueprint Middle School
  • Bronx Compass High School
  • Bronx Works Middle School
  • Brooklyn Arbor Elementary School
  • Brooklyn Arts and Science Elementary School
  • Brooklyn Institute for Liberal Arts
  • Brooklyn Success Academy Charter School 2
  • Brooklyn Success Academy Charter School 3
  • Brooklyn Success Academy Charter School 4
  • Brownsville Collaborative Middle School
  • Castle Bridge Elementary School
  • Central Queens Academy Charter School
  • Children's Aid Society Community Charter School
  • Claremont International High School
  • Democracy Prep 3
  • Evergreen Middle School for Urban Exploration
  • Explore Exceed Charter School
  • Family Life Academy Charter School - II
  • Global Community Charter School
  • Harvest Collegiate High School
  • Heketi Community Charter School
  • High School for Energy and Technology
  • Icahn Charter School 6
  • KIPP NYC Washington Heights Academy I Charter School
  • Launch Expeditionary Learning Charter School
  • Linden Tree Elementary
  • Madiba Prep Middle School
  • Manhattan Charter School II
  • Mott Hall Charter School
  • Mott Haven Community High School
  • Mount Eden Children’s Academy
  • Neighborhood Charter School of Harlem
  • New Dawn Charter Transfer High School
  • New Heights Middle School
  • New Visions Charter High School for Advanced Math and Science, II
  • New Visions Charter High School for the Humanities, II
  • PS 527
  • Pelham Gardens Middle School
  • PS 78
  • Riverdale Avenue Elementary School
  • ROADS Charter School I
  • ROADS Charter School II
  • School for Tourism and Hospitality
  • Spring Creek Community School
  • Tech International Charter School
  • The Peck Slip School
  • The Urban Assembly Unison School
  • Union Square High School for Health Sciences
  • Urban Dove Charter School
  • Wave Preparatory School
  • Westchester Square Academy
  • Young Women's Leadership School of the Bronx


Stu Loeser/Lauren Passalacqua   (212) 788-2958

Matt Mittenthal/Frank Thomas (Education)   (212) 374-5141


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