2012-04-27 / School News

NYC Opening 54 New Schools Next Year

Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg and Schools Chancellor Dennis M. Walcott announced that 54 new schools will open in the coming 2012-2013 school year, bringing the number of new schools opened under the Bloomberg Administration to 589.

The new schools will welcome more than 7,000 students next year, and over 21,000 when they grow to full size. Evidence shows that new schools rank higher on parent satisfaction surveys than other schools across the City; perform better than schools they have replaced on the state’s annual math and reading exams; and graduate students at significantly higher rates, on average by 20 points and in some cases more than doubling that of schools they replace.

The Mayor and Chancellor made the announcement at Washington Irving, the future site of the Academy for Software Engineering – a new 9-12 school where students will get deep exposure to a variety of career options in technology and programming and learn what it takes to be innovators in those industries.

The Mayor and Chancellor were joined at the Washington Irving High School campus in Union Square by Deputy Chancellor Marc Sternberg, more than 30 new school principals, Union Square Ventures founder Fred Wilson and Union Square Partnership Executive Director Jennifer Falk.

“Our children deserve great schools, our parents deserve great options, and our Administration is committed to delivering them to families in every neighborhood in the five boroughs,” said Bloomberg. “The 54 new schools that will open next year reflect our commitment to children and parents, and they will build on the successful records established by the hundreds of new small schools we have already created. These new schools, including our new Academy for Software Engineering, which will train students not just in the language of computers, but also in the language of innovation, will help prepare our students to succeed in the new global economy.”

“As we’ve seen over the past decade, new schools have changed thousands of lives in New York City for the better, helping more students graduate and prepare for college and careers,” said Walcott. “I want to thank all 54 new school principals, who have taken the bold step of building a new school community and offering families high quality options. Every child and every neighborhood deserves a great school, and we are proud to continue a strategy that has delivered just that for the past 10 years.”

Of the new schools slated to open this fall, 30 will be run by the district and 24 are charters. They will serve students spanning all grade levels, from kindergarten through high school. These schools will receive strong community support from partners such as the Young Women’s Leadership Foundation, NYC Outward Bound, and Urban Assembly — as well as charter operators like KIPP, Success Charter Network, Beginning with Children, and Expeditionary Learning.

Under Bloomberg the Department of Education has opened 589 new schools since 2002, including those slated to open this fall, bringing the total number of schools citywide to 1,750.

Many of these have followed the model of smaller schools, a strategy that the nonpartisan education and social policy research group, MDRC, found in January “markedly improves graduation rates for a large population of low-income, disadvantaged students of color.” The conclusion supports Department of Education data that shows annual English Language Arts and Math scores are substantially higher at new schools than at those they replaced, and that new high schools are doing a better job graduating students college and career-ready.

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