FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
September 20, 2011N-09, 2011-12
IN MAJOR POLICY ADDRESS, CHANCELLOR DENNIS M. WALCOTTCALLS MIDDLE SCHOOLS “RIPE FOR OPPORTUNITY,” LAYS OUT ABOLD STRATEGY FOR SUCCESS
The following is the text of Chancellor Walcott’s address as prepared for delivery at New York University Steinhart School of Culture, Education, and Human Development on Tuesday, September 20, 2011.
Good morning.I am delighted to be here today at the NYU Steinhardt School of Culture, Education, and HumanDevelopment. It feels like I’ve been Chancellor for quite some time. With all that’s been going on,and all the time I’ve spent visiting schools, it’s hard to believe that it’s only been a few months.The start of the school year is always a good time to reflect on the work that lies ahead to ensure thatour 1.1 million students are receiving a high quality education.So, Dean Brabeck, I want to thank you for hosting us here today, and providing me with a forumwhere I can really lay out my vision for the future of our public schools in New York City.Opportunities like this are truly important, because when you are working in a school system of thissize and scale, it can be hard to share your vision with the public on a regular basis.So I want to thank all of the educators and community leaders and parents and advocates who have joined us here today and for your ongoing commitment to working on behalf of our students.As you know, I am a graduate of New York City’s public school system. My children attended NewYork City public schools, and today my grandson attends a New York City public school. So thesuccess of our schools system is very close to my heart.Back in April, when I was first tapped to be Chancellor, I gave a speech at Columbia University’sTeachers College in which I said that one of my first priorities was turn down the volume, to moveus away from the heated rhetoric, and shift the tone and subject of the debate to the one thing thatmatters most: our students.I also made clear that we were not going to take our foot off the gas with regard to reform.We have come a long way under Mayor Bloomberg—something that was abundantly clear as Imoved from graduation to graduation this past June, and listened to our students talk about their