Mike Bloomberg made education reform the focal point of his agenda, especially in taking control of New York City's schools. Anyone who has seen Waiting for Superman or witnessed the legislative battles in state capitols across the nation on education reform understands just how difficult it can be to overcome the special interests that often put politics ahead of the interests of children.
In September 2010, Mike laid out his vision for continuing his progress in the City's schools and his agenda to put children first. Specifically, he outlined four key goals:
- Creating new public and private partnerships with businesses, non-profits and universities to link students to careers and college. For example the partnership between IBM and the City University of New York that is creating a school that runs from grades 9-14 where students will learn traditional core subjects, but also receive an education in computer science and complete two years of college courses.
- Properly rewarding and paying great teachers while reevaluating the tenure process for principals and teachers.
- Redesigning classroom learning so that students and teachers have more access to cutting edge technology and individualized learning.
- Continuing the push to provide more high quality options, college and career prep schools by creating more and smaller schools.
In 2002, Mike fought for and won the right to dismantle the failed Board of Education and institute a system directly accountable to the Mayor. He implemented transformative changes, brought accountability to the system, improved teacher quality, and as a result, graduation rates have risen significantly, the achievement gap has shrunk, and violence in the classroom is at an all-time low.
As Mayor, Mike's goal was to ensure that every child who graduates high school in New York is ready to start a career or start college, and to dramatically increase the number of students who graduate from college. By taking on special interests, reexamining the outdated laws and replacing them with innovative policies, Mike Bloomberg helped prepare New York City students to be the next ambitious and competitive workforce of the 21st century.
Mike Bloomberg's Annual Letter on Philanthropy
Apr. 6, 2015 Bloomberg Philanthropies
We are committed to working with partners inside and outside government who are positioned to help us fulfill our mission: ensuring better, longer lives for the greatest number of people. In 2014, we found new opportunities to advance this mission in all five of our major areas of focus, and it was exciting to see some of that work firsthand.