Friday, June 29, 2007

NY Post: Imitate Our Class Act: Mike by Chuck Bennett...

Mayor Bloomberg says other cities should look to New York as a national model for fixing troubled schools - and vowed to fight to retain mayoral control over them.

"Other cities are looking to us for guidance in turning their schools around, because they see that we're no longer writing off generation after generation of students," Bloomberg said yesterday at a Crain's Business Breakfast Forum in Midtown.

To keep from backsliding, Bloomberg said mayoral control must extend beyond its scheduled expiration date in 2009.

"It would be very hard for the legislature to look [parents] in the eye and say, 'Let's go back to the old days of patronage and failure,' " he said.

The mayor cited numerous improvements since he took control in 2002, including: a rise in students between grades 3 and 8 meeting math standards to 65 percent this year, from 37 percent in 2002; half of the same students meeting reading standards, compared to 39 percent in 2002; and a hike in graduation rates to 60 percent, from 48 percent in 2002.