FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
June 9, 2013
MAYOR BLOOMBERG DISCUSSES MAJOR ADVANCEMENTS IN IMPROVING EDUCATION AND TRANSPORTATION IN THE CITY IN WEEKLY RADIO ADDRESS
The following is the text of Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg’s weekly radio address as prepared for delivery on 1010 WINS News Radio for Sunday, June 9, 2013.
“Good Morning. This is Mayor Mike Bloomberg.
“In recent days, we’ve had good news from the State capital concerning two of New Yorkers’ most basic concerns – and two of our Administration’s top priorities: Improving the education of our children; and making it easier to get around our town. And in both cases, reforms that we’ve fought for took big steps forward.
“First as to education: For 11 years, we’ve worked to establish accountability at every level of our public schools. And that effort got a big boost on June 1st, when State Education Commissioner John King laid out the new process we’ll be using to evaluate the performance of teachers in New York City public schools. It was a major victory for our kids, because it gives school principals the tools they need to help teachers improve their classroom performance – and also remove teachers who, even after they get additional help, just don’t measure up.
“Very importantly, Commissioner King rejected any ‘sunset’ of the evaluation process of the kind that the teachers’ union had urged. We’d resisted that. And for good reason – because if the union had prevailed, the ability to remove ineffective teachers would have been cut off before it could be completed, turning the whole process into a sham. Instead, New York City public schools now have the strongest teacher evaluation process in the entire State – a process closely resembling one we’ve already instituted on a pilot basis in some 200 City schools. And that’s going to help us ensure that there are first-rate teachers in every classroom in the city – one of our top goals.
“A second decision in Albany also cleared the way toward another major goal: At long last making it easier for the vast majority of New Yorkers to hail taxis on their community streets. Right now, some 95 percent of yellow cab trips begin in Manhattan below 96th Street, or at area airports. That’s why we proposed a State law – enacted in December 2011 – that gives up to18,000 ‘borough taxis,’ starting with currently operating car service vehicles, legal authority to make street-hail pickups of passengers in Northern Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens, the Bronx, and on Staten Island.
“Unfortunately, special interest groups sued to keep the law from going into effect. But last Thursday, New York State’s highest court settled the case with a unanimous ruling in favor of the borough taxi plan. The result: In the months ahead, New Yorkers will begin to have a safe, convenient, and reliable new way to travel. An additional big benefit of the court’s decision is that we’ll be able to go ahead with the sale of medallions for the 2,000 new wheelchair-accessible yellow cabs the 2011 State law also authorized. And a separate court ruling on Thursday was also in the City’s favor and lifted a ban on using smartphone apps to make “e-hails” of taxis.
"If you ask average New Yorkers what matters most to them, good teachers for their kids and safe and fast transportation will probably be near the top of most lists. I couldn’t agree more – and that’s why we fought hard for the reforms that have now seen such big wins.
“This is Mayor Mike Bloomberg. Thanks for listening.”
Marc La Vorgna (212) 788-2958
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