2011-01-21 / Top Stories

Bloomberg, Chancellor Black, Pledge Help For Failing Readers


Mayor Bloomberg Mayor Bloomberg Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg, City Council Speaker Christine C. Quinn, Schools Chancellor Cathleen P. Black and United Federation of Teachers (UFT) President Michael Mulgrew have announced a program to further help students who did not meet the standards on last year’s English and math exams.

The Department of Education will direct an additional $10 million to 532 schools where more than two-thirds of students performed below grade level on New York State’s proficiency tests. Schools may use their additional funds for a range of services, such as: tutoring during the day; small group lessons after school; weekend instruction; and the purchase of supplemental materials, including web-based programming.

“Last year, New York State did what we had been asking for years and raised the standards on their math and English exams. And now school districts across the state have a greater understanding of how prepared students are for their coursework ahead,” said Bloomberg.

“We’ve know that there are some students in New York City who need additional support and we have developed a program that will give these struggling students the extra help they need. By offering more opportunities for tutoring sessions during the day and on Saturdays, we will help our students stay engaged in learning and better prepare them for the challenges ahead.”

“Today’s announcement of strategic support for students performing below grade level is a smart move,” said Quinn.

“I want to thank Mayor Bloomberg and Schools Chancellor Black as well as former Chancellor Klein, who I met with on this matter, for following up on and delivering a wise investment that will empower students who are most in need.”

“With a tight budget and tough choices ahead, we need to make the best use of our resources – by focusing on the children who need it most,” said Chancellor Black.

“Just as we are committed to setting higher standards, we must be equally committed to helping our kids meet them.”

“As budget cuts have crippled our tutoring and afterschool programs, we need all the resources we have to help struggling students and schools,” Mulgrew said.

“Today, the DOE has shown that it has heard the voices of parents from the NYC Coalition for Educational Justice, and the Save Our Schools campaign,” said Zakiyah Ansari, parent leader, NYC Coalition for Educational Justice (CEJ).

“Now, tens of thousands of students in 532 schools will get additional support to help them get on track for college and career success. “

“We hope this is the beginning of a renewed commitment to our most struggling students by all the stakeholders – the DOE, the unions, the City Council Speaker, and the parents of CEJ.”

After New York State raised the bar for proficiency on the annual tests, rates dropped across the state, and more New York City students scored at levels 1 or 2, rather than at levels 3 and 4. For each of the 532 schools eligible for additional funds, the City will measure how many more students did not pass last spring’s tests compared to the exams during the 2008-09 school year; each allocation will be based on that difference.

The largest amount that any school will receive is $65,000, while the smallest is $6,000.

Each school will be expected to submit a plan to its school support network, and each will receive a sample list of programs from which they may choose.

Schools may use their allocation for:

Push-in/pull-out tutoring during the school day, funded per session;

Small group lessons after school, or Saturday academies; and

Purchase of tutoring or intervention programs, including web-based programs (examples of some programs include Achieve 3000, Reading Reform Foundation of New York, Read 180, Destination Mathematics, etc.).

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