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An emotional Bloomberg talks schools in final ABNY speech


Mayor Bloomberg continued a string of legacybolstering events this week with a speech Thursday morning to the well-connected crowd at the Association for a Better New York, where he occasionally choked up during his remarks.

Here’s what he said about education:

Investing in our future also means including our public school system, something the city had also stopped doing. When our administration began, high school graduation rates had been stuck at 50 percent for 20 years. Think about that. Twenty years and no improvement. It was inexcusably wrong. When city government can’t see beyond special interests or beyond the next election children suffer. But when city government looks ahead and invests in policies and programs that put students first, children succeed. And we’ve certainly seen that over the past 12 years. Today, not only are high school graduation rates more than 40 percent higher, but so are college readiness rates. And now, 22 of the state’s top 25 elementary and middle schools are in our five boroughs. Back in 2001, we did not have a single school inside the top 25 statewide. We’ve also invested $25 million in building and modernizing school facilities, which has helped us add 126,000 more classroom seats to get parents and students more top-quality school options.