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Bloomberg touts selective schools again on weekly radio show

Wrapping up a week that he started by visiting a citywide gifted school that had top test scores, Mayor Bloomberg again touted the fact that 22 of the state’s 25 highest-scoring schools are in New York City during his weekly radio address on Sunday.

As we reported last week, the vast majority of the top-rated city schools heavily screen their students, raising questions about how much their success can be attributed to Bloomberg’s education policy.

Bloomberg’s full comments, as prepared for delivery, are below:

MAYOR BLOOMBERG DISCUSSES PROGRESS MADE IN NEW YORK CITY PUBLIC SCHOOLS SINCE 2001 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, September 22, 2013.

“Good Morning. This is Mayor Mike Bloomberg.”

“For decades, it was taken for granted that New York City’s public schools could not compete with schools in the rest of the state. But our Administration refused to accept that idea. Our core philosophy when it comes to education has always been that if we raise our expectations, our kids will meet them. And now, after 12 years reforming our once-broken school system, it’s clear that our hard work has paid huge dividends for our students.”

“That’s because New York City’s schools aren’t just competing with schools in the rest of the state, we’re outperforming them. Twenty-two of the top 25 elementary and middle schools in the state are in New York City –including seven schools that were created during our Administration. When we came into office 12 years ago, not a single school that ranked in the state’s top 25 was located within the five boroughs.”

“That’s a remarkable turnaround. And last Monday, senior leaders in our Administration visited all 22 of our top schools to thank students, teachers, and principals for reaching such a major milestone. We’re not going to rest, though. We’re continuing to work every day to make sure all our schools are at the front of the pack. And we’re doing that in a number of key ways, including three that I’ll briefly mention.”

“First, we’re continuing to create hundreds of new schools – which have given parents more quality school choices. Our Administration opened 76 schools this fall alone. We have now created a total of 654 new schools – that’s more than a third of the entire public school system. It’s the greatest number of new schools created by any Administration in the City’s history. At the same time, we’ve also given parents real information about all schools, so they can make informed choices.”

“Second, we’re continuing to improve the quality of classroom education. This year, for the first time, we’re implementing our new teacher evaluation system, which will mean more rigorous evaluations for teachers – and also provide teachers with more targeted support and professional development.”

“And third, we’re creating dynamic new course offerings that reflect the changing 21st century economy. For example, this month the Department of Education launched a software engineering course at 20 schools in grades six through nine. Students at these schools will be able to receive comprehensive computer science and software engineering instruction. And many of the new courses will help students earn certifications, which employers value in their hiring decisions.”

“Achieving success begins with expecting success. By raising standards for our students and making the investments necessary to help them succeed, our City’s schools are now leading the way for the rest of the state.”

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

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