2016-01-20 / Front Page

De Blasio, Farina Say Yes To Public Schools Success

By Joyce Vetere Milowski and Dan Miller

Mayor Bill de Blasio visited the High School for Arts and Business in Corona to announce improvements in the public schools, including the increase in the citywide graduation rates for students in all ethnic groups. This school had a 90 percent graduation rate, 20 percentage points above the city average of 70 percent. Joining the mayor were School Chancellor Carmen Fariña, UFT President Michael Mulgrew, Principal Ana Zambrano Burako, Assemblywoman Catherine Nolan and state Senator Toby Ann Stavisky and student and parents from the school.

Photo by Dan Miller/DMD IMAGESMayor Bill de Blasio visited the High School for Arts and Business in Corona to announce improvements in the public schools, including the increase in the citywide graduation rates for students in all ethnic groups. This school had a 90 percent graduation rate, 20 percentage points above the city average of 70 percent. Joining the mayor were School Chancellor Carmen Fariña, UFT President Michael Mulgrew, Principal Ana Zambrano Burako, Assemblywoman Catherine Nolan and state Senator Toby Ann Stavisky and student and parents from the school. Photo by Dan Miller/DMD IMAGES

Mayor Bill de Blasio went to the High School for Arts and Business in Corona to make a major announcement concerning improvements in city public schools.

The mayor was flanked by Chancellor Carmen Fariña, UFT President Michael Mulgrew, high school Principal Ana Zambrano Burako along with Assemblywoman Catherine Nolan and state Senator Toby Ann Stavisky as well as students and parents from the school.

The chancellor announced that the New York City high school graduation rates have improved to the highest level ever. The citywide average has reached 70 percent, with the Queens school leading all city high schools with a graduation rate of 90 percent.
The mayor congratulated all of the city’s students and their teachers and administrators for this achievement. In addition the mayor announced that the city’s school dropout rate has hit an all-time low with more students than ever registering for college.

Mayor de Blasio pointed to the increase in graduation rates as evidence that his Equity and Excellence plan for New York City, which focuses on raising graduation rates at all schools is working.

“Our schools are moving in the right direction. More kids are graduating on time, more of them are college ready, and fewer are dropping out,” said de Blasio.

The mayor singled out High School for Arts and Business Principal Ana Zambrano Burako for her leadership that has guided the school to lead the city’s high schools in graduation rates. Her nine years at the school have been very productive according to the mayor. He thanked the staff for their hard work and dedication to the students in their care. He celebrated the extra time put in by the staff on weekends to make the school a model for the rest of the city.

“These gains are a testament to the hard work by New York City students, teachers and administrators. It is particularly notable to see a decrease in the dropout rate across all ethnicities; this represents critical progress, however there is much to do to ensure equity and excellence in classrooms across all five boroughs,” said Fariña.

The Mayor and Chancellor have pledged to meet rigorous benchmarks: 80 percent on time graduation rate; two-thirds of graduates college-ready, based on very rigorous new standards, including all students reading in second grade.

In order to meet these targets the mayor has committed to providing every student in the New York City public schools with critical tools to prepare them for success in college and in careers by expanding advanced placement (AP) classes to every school, by providing every student with computer science classes beginning in elementary school and ensuring that every student is on track to take algebra by the ninth grade.

New York City high school graduation rates improved with Latino, Asian and black students posting higher gains.

The mayor and chancellor were also very pleased that the dropout rates decreased for students in all ethnic groups.

In addition, as part of the Department of Education’s (DOE) commitment to equity and excellence in college access and planning for all students, the city will implement the SAT School Day. Beginning in the 2016-2017 school year all student will take the SAT exam during the school day in the spring of their junior year in high school.

UFT President Michael Mulgrew recognized the efforts of students and staff at the school where the mayor made his announcement.

“I want to congratulate the students, parents and teachers at the High School for Arts and Business for all of the hard work they have done, by offering an array of AP courses, arts and business programs, this school captures students’ imaginations. Students not only graduate, but leave college-ready. It is this kind of progress that we are working to bring to all our high schools,” said Mulgrew.

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