Speaking at the funeral services for Percy E. Sutton this morning, Mayor Michael Bloomberg said the best way to honor the civil rights activist and former Manhattan borough president is to name a school complex in Harlem after him.
Beginning today, a school building on Edgecombe Avenue, just north of 135th Street, will become the Percy Ellis Sutton Educational Complex, the mayor said. The building, which currently doesn’t have a formal name, is home to Mott Hall and Bread & Roses Integrated Arts High Schools, as well as a middle school, KAPPA IV.
The mayor also took the opportunity to tout his school reform efforts, citing the rise in test scores among Harlem students since 2002. Here’s the excerpt from Bloomberg’s remarks:
I can’t think of a better way to remember Percy. Harlem has been the epicenter of our public school reforms. In 2002, only 12 percent of eighth graders here were at proficiency level in math. Today it’s 61 percent. Now of course that’s not good enough, but it’s progress which would surely gratify a man whose own father was a school principal, whose mother was a teacher and who worked so hard against so many odds to educate himself. And we owe it to Percy and his legacy to continue those bold reforms, not just here in Harlem but throughout the entire city so that we produce future trailblazers like Percy who will lead this city, as well as the world.