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PR- 217-13
June 23, 2013


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 23, 2013.

“Good Morning.  This is Mayor Mike Bloomberg.

“This time of year, families around the five boroughs cheer proudly as public high school students graduate and receive their diplomas. And these days there’s plenty for our city to celebrate: Thanks in part to our Administration’s ambitious reforms to hold schools accountable, raise academic standards, and support and develop great teachers, our public school students are making tremendous progress. Graduation figures for 2012, which were released by State officials just last week, show that more students are graduating better prepared for success than ever before.

“Since 2005, the four-year graduation rate for New York City public high schools has increased by a remarkable 39 percent. At the same time, the dropout rate in the City has fallen by nearly half. Today, it’s at an all-time low. That means that, thanks to our school reforms, between 2005 and 2012, nearly 60,000 public high school students graduated who would not have if the graduation rate we had eight years ago had remained constant.

“That’s true even though the State has raised requirements for a high school diploma in each of the last four years – a step our Administration has wholeheartedly supported. Today, it takes more than ever to graduate; and to get a sense of how much more, consider that in 2005, only 32 percent of students would have graduated by today’s standards – less than half of the percentage that did in 2012. But as we’ve raised standards, students are meeting them. And the progress has been shared across the board: Graduation rates are up for every ethnic group – and our black and Latino students have led the way. Graduation rates for black students are up 49 percent since 2005, while Hispanic students saw an increase of 54 percent.

“We’ve asked more of our students, and they’ve delivered. But we’ve also demanded more of our schools, and held them accountable for results. We’ve closed 60 underperforming high schools, and replaced them with smaller schools that give more choices to parents and students. That strategy has brought outstanding results. At schools we phased out between 2004 and 2011, the overall graduation rate increased from about 38 percent in 2002 to about 68 percent in the new schools in the same buildings in 2012. That translates to an increase of more than 2,000 graduates every year – and that means thousands of young New Yorkers have opportunities they wouldn’t have if we’d allowed those failing schools to stay open, as some special interest groups insisted on doing. 

“There’s still a long way to go towards the ultimate goal of every single student graduating ready for professional success. But today, our schools are in better shape than they’ve ever been – and that’s thanks to an incredible amount of hard work by teachers, principals, and most of all by our students. We couldn’t be more proud of them – and we’ll keep working to help even more students succeed with every day we have left in City Hall.

“This is Mayor Mike Bloomberg.  Thanks for listening.”


Marc La Vorgna   (212) 788-2958


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