Home Home Home About Us Home About Us About Us About Us /links/index.html /links/index.html /links/index.html /advertising/index.html /links/index.html /advertising/index.html /advertising/index.html /advertising/index.html About Us About Us /archives/index.html About Us /archives/index.html About Us /archives/index.html /archives/index.html /subscribe/index.html /archives/index.html /subscribe/index.html /archives/index.html /subscribe/index.html /subscribe/index.html /survey/index.html /subscribe/index.html /survey/index.html /subscribe/index.html /survey/index.html /survey/index.html /survey/index.html /links/index.html /survey/index.html /links/index.html /links/index.html /links/index.html
Home About Us About Us /links/index.html /advertising/index.html /advertising/index.html
About Us /archives/index.html /archives/index.html /subscribe/index.html /subscribe/index.html /survey/index.html /survey/index.html /survey/index.html /links/index.html










Camps & Sports


Children’s Corner

Collected Features


Cover Stories

Distance Learning


Famous Interviews


Medical Update

Metro Beat

Movies & Theater


Music, Art & Dance

Special Education

Spotlight On Schools

Teachers of the Month


















New York City

US Secretary of Education, Richard Riley: Challenges Facing NY's Schools
By Richard W. Riley, U. S. Secretary of Education

Anyone who has ever studied the history of New York City knows that public education made the "Big Apple" great. For generations, young people could get the best education in the world in the city's schools, right up through college. Now, schools here face a number of challenges. If New Yorkers can meet them, New York will be one of the greatest cities in the world in the 21st century just as it has been this century.

Two of the biggest challenges that city schools face are reading and overcrowding. Reading scores aren't as good as they could be, but New York City isn't alone on this. Many other communities in America face the same problem. And many schools in the five boroughs are simply bursting at the seams with record-breaking student enrollments. That, too, is a familiar problem in other parts of the nation.

President Clinton has offered two initiatives that can help New York and other cities and towns to meet the need: The "America Reads Challenge" and the "Partnership for Rebuilding America's Schools."

"America Reads" would mobilize a nationwide army of one million volunteer reading tutors to work with children after school and over the weekends and summers. The goal is to make sure that every child is a good, independent reader by the end of third grade. Here in New York, schools Chancellor Rudy Crew is firmly committed to this goal.

Volunteers would receive training from reading specialists before they start to work with students, who would be in kindergarten through fourth grade. Volunteers would also meet with teachers to receive guidance and to make sure their work is coordinated with what's going on in the classroom.

The whole idea is to give extra practice and individualized attention to students who are having trouble with their reading. This is vitally important, because teachers often cannot give each student as much individual attention as they'd like. That's especially true of New York City, where there are over one million students. So I hope that thousands of New Yorkers will come forward to become "America Reads" volunteers.

The "America Reads" initiative would also include funds to support "parents as first teachers" programs. These would encourage parents to help their children with reading at home. Family involvement is crucial because good reading habits really begin in the home. So I encourage all parents to fill their homes with books and other reading materials and to read to their very young children. This is probably the single most important thing a parent can do to ensure their children's success in school.

The "Partnership for Rebuilding America's Schools" also deserves the attention and support of all New Yorkers. It would help the city and other communities to fix crumbling schools or build new ones.

In New York City today, many students are forced to learn in schools that are desperately in need of repair or renovation. Others must learn in make-shift facilities due to overcrowding. The President's initiative would provide the city with over $287 million to alleviate these conditions. Our analysis shows that these federal funds would make it feasible for the city to go ahead with a construction program that could add 65,000 new seats to the city's schools. This would not meet all of the city's needs, but it would be a big step forward.

Both "America Reads" and the "Partnership for Rebuilding America's Schools" require Congressional approval. I hope that the Congress works with the President in a bipartisan way to approve these vital measures quickly. Many New Yorkers and Americans across the country are working hard to strengthen their schools and communities. They deserve the support of their national government.

President Clinton has declared education to be our nation's top priority--our national mission in the Information Age. I invite all New Yorkers from Borough Park to The Bronx, from Sunnyside to Staten Island, and from the East Side to the West Side, to join in this great crusade.


Education Update, Inc., P.O. Box 20005, New York, NY 10001. Tel: (212) 481-5519. Fax: (212) 481-3919. Email: ednews1@aol.com.
All material is copyrighted and may not be printed without express consent of the publisher. © 2002.