Archives of Rudolph W. Giuliani
MAYOR'S MESSAGE

Mayor's WINS Address
June 7, 1998



Reading Scores Rise Again
by Mayor Rudolph W. Giuliani


Students, teachers, superintendents, and parents had reason to be proud this week because student reading scores improved for the second straight year. In fact, scores improved in every single community district in the City - making the gain over the last two years the largest jump in 16 years. Students in grades three, four and eight exceeded the national average for the first time in a decade. This is exactly the kind of consistent and sustained improvement that we have been aiming for.

How is it happening? Under the leadership of Chancellor Rudy Crew, our school system has replaced a culture of unaccountability with a culture of performance. The chancellor now has the power to hire and fire his 32 community school district superintendents, and he's using this power wisely, creating a system whose primary mission is education, not job protection.

Project Read, the $125 million program the City started last year, has reached 100,000 students with intensive reading instruction during and after school. And the NYCHA Partners in Reading program is tutoring children in public housing community centers all across the City. I'm confident that these new initiatives - along with Project Smart Schools, Project Arts, and others - will continue to give students the tools and the motivation to achieve.

Now, to keep this momentum going, we have to end social promotion - the costly, dishonest, and destructive process of advancing students from grade to grade when they haven't met the necessary academic requirements. We also have to do away with principal tenure. Our primary on-site educational leaders cannot have permanent job security. Principals who do good jobs should be rewarded, and principals who do their jobs poorly should be removed.

When we make these changes and others, we'll give more and more students the quality education they deserve, enabling them to explore, and begin to fulfill, their exciting potential.



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