Mayor de Blasio and Chancellor Fariña Announce 115 More High Schools to Offer New Advanced Placement Courses Through Equity and Excellence For All

June 8, 2017

Over 100 New York City business leaders urge Albany to pass long-term mayoral control extension

NEW YORK––Mayor Bill de Blasio and Chancellor Carmen Fariña today announced that 115 high schools have committed to offer new Advanced Placement courses this fall, including 38 offering the AP Computer Science Principles course. Of these 115 high schools, 32 offered no AP courses during the 2016-17 school year.

Earlier today, over 100 New York City business leaders sent a letter to Governor Cuomo, Majority Leader Flanagan, Assembly Speaker Heastie and Leader Klein voicing their support for mayoral control and urging the legislature to grant a long-term extension. New York City business and community leaders, including Blackstone CEO and Co-Founder Steve Schwarzman and Chairman and CEO of Infor Charles Phillips, flanked the Mayor at today’s announcement to reiterate their support and again call on the legislature to pass a multi-year extension.

The new AP courses are part of AP for All and Computer Science for All, two key initiatives in Mayor de Blasio and Chancellor Fariña’s Equity and Excellence for All agenda, which is only possible because of mayoral control of New York City public schools. The new AP courses build on record numbers of New York City students taking and passing Advanced Placement exams. By fall 2018, 75 percent of high school students will have access to at least five AP classes and all high school students will have access to at least five AP classes by fall 2021. By 2025, the City will provide computer science education in every elementary, middle, and high school.

“Under mayoral control, we are transforming New York City’s schools to ensure equity and excellence for every student,” said Mayor Bill de Blasio. “We are changing the game, and giving every student the courses they need – including Computer Science and Advanced Placement – to succeed in college and prepare for 21st century careers.”

“As a New York City educator for over 50 years, I know mayoral control is the only system that works,” said Schools Chancellor Carmen Fariña. “We’re sending a message to our high school students that we believe in them, and to business leaders that we are preparing the next generation of students to thrive in the local and global economy.”

“Mayoral control is working, as demonstrated by the consistent improvement in graduation rates and student performance since its enactment. However, we still have more work to do to strengthen our public schools, and support our city’s students and teachers. We urge Albany to extend mayoral control permanently so we can continue building on that progress,” said Steve Schwarzman, Co-Chair of the Partnership for New York City and Chairman, CEO, and Co-Founder of Blackstone.

“Technology is the city’s fastest growing industry, but its continued success depends on our schools producing talent we need to fill the jobs of the future. Mayoral control has enabled the school system to respond quickly and effectively to rapidly changing workplace demands and must be continued,” stated Charles Phillips, Chairman & CEO of Infor and a member of the Executive Committee of the Partnership for New York City.

“Public-private partnerships like Computer Science for All are helping to level the playing field for every student in every borough,” said Gabrielle Fialkoff, Senior Advisor to the Mayor and Director of the Office of Strategic Partnerships. “The expansion of AP Computer Science courses citywide is an important step towards equity and excellence and would not be possible without mayoral control.”

The Equity and Excellence for All agenda aims to ensure that by 2026, 80 percent of students graduate high school on time and two-thirds of graduates are college ready. Building on record-high graduation rates, record-low dropout rates, and a high-quality pre-K seat for every New York City 4-year-old – all achievements under mayoral control – Equity and Excellence for All is creating a path from pre-K to college and careers for every child in every neighborhood in New York City.

Earlier this year, Mayor de Blasio announced record numbers of New York City students taking and passing Advanced Placement exams. The number of students taking at least one Advanced Placement exam in 2016 rose 8.4 percent, from 41,419 students to a record 44,906 students compared to the year prior. The number of students passing at least one Advanced Placement exam rose 8.2 percent, keeping pace with the increase in participation.

In its first year, AP for All has built on this work, and in the 2016-17 school year, 63 high schools are offering new Advanced Placement courses through the initiative, including 31 that offered no AP courses during the 2015-16 school year.

Many of the high schools selected for the expansion currently offer few or no AP courses, and they have demonstrated readiness to begin offering additional AP coursework. They include 39 high schools in the Bronx, 32 in Brooklyn, 21 in Manhattan, 20 in Queens, and three on Staten Island.

88 of these schools have committed to offer new AP courses as part of AP for All. 38 of these schools have committed to offer the AP Computer Science Principles course and exam through Computer Science for All, which is bringing Computer Science to every elementary, middle, and high school by 2025 through public-private partnerships facilitated by the Fund for Public Schools. The expansion of the new AP Computer Science Principles course includes a National Science Foundation funded partnership between New York City, the Education Development Center (EDC), and the University of California, Berkeley; as well as a program partnership with Code.org and Code/Interactive. Additional elementary, middle, and high schools will also offer a variety of new computer science coursework this fall.

Among the 115 high schools, 22 schools across 8 high school campuses will utilize a “campus model,” sharing courses with co-located schools to provide increased opportunity across the school building. In 2017-18, the 115 high schools have committed to offer over 200 new AP courses, including approximately 100 in STEM subjects.

From Pre-K for All to College Access for All, the Equity and Excellence for All initiatives are building a pathway to success in college and careers for all students. Our schools are starting earlier – free, full-day, high-quality education for three-year-olds and four-year-olds through 3-K for All and Pre-K for All. They are strengthening foundational skills and instruction earlier – Universal Literacy so that every student is reading on grade level by the end of 2nd grade; and Algebra for All to improve elementary- and middle-school math instruction and ensure that all 8th graders have access to algebra. They are offering students more challenging, hands-on, college and career-aligned coursework – Computer Science for All brings 21st-century computer science instruction to every school, and AP for All will give all high school students access to at least five Advanced Placement courses. Along the way, they are giving students and families additional support through College Access for All, Single Shepherd, and investment in Community Schools. Efforts to create more diverse and inclusive classrooms through Diversity in New York City Public Schools, the City’s school diversity plan, are central to this pathway.

“New York City has achieved major advances for students under mayoral control over the past 15 years. Every major trend in the data points in the right direction and shows that students are taking advantage of new opportunities to excel,” said College Board President David Coleman. “New York City initiatives such AP For All and Computer Science For All have enabled historic numbers of city students from all backgrounds to take and succeed in Advanced Placement exams, demonstrating to the country how equity and excellence can go hand in hand.”

“For the past fifteen years, we’ve seen steady progress as a result of giving the mayor greater authority over decisions directly affecting the city school system.  Let’s not mess with success. The Real Estate Board of New York supports mayoral control of our schools and the improvements we’ve seen at America’s largest school system,” said John Banks, President of The Real Estate Board of New York.

“Mayor de Blasio’s Equity and Excellence agenda is achieving higher outcomes for more students, and deserves the stability and support that permanent mayoral control can provide,” said Bill Rudin, Chairman of the Association for a Better New York.  “Over the past 15 years, mayoral control has led to undeniable improvements in New York City’s schools, and the quality of our schools is critical in preparing our children for tomorrow’s economy and giving them opportunities for a better future.”

“If the legislature fails to extend mayoral control before the close of session, the resulting disruption of the school system would be a terrible setback for education in New York City. Albany will, hopefully, not be that irresponsible,” stated Kathryn Wylde, President and CEO, Partnership for New York City.

"For many years most schools in my district did not offer much, if any advanced placement classes.  A singular achievement of Mayor de Blasio and Chancellor Fariña will be their legacy of funding and expanding AP for many more students, equity and excellence indeed,” said Assembly Member Catherine Nolan, Chair of the Assembly Committee on Education.

"These additional AP courses will do great things for NYC public schools," said NYC Council Education Committee Chairperson Daniel Dromm. "Now thousands more public school students will graduate college ready. These courses demonstrate our city's commitment to providing all children with a quality public education. I will continue to worth alongside Mayor de Blasio and Chancellor Fariña to bring equity and excellence to all of our schools."

“As a former educator, I believe increasing access to AP classes and emphasizing computer science education sends a powerful message to New Yorkers: our young people all deserve the opportunity to pursue the highest level of education and follow their dreams to the careers and fields that will define the 21st century. I commend Mayor de Blasio, Chancellor Fariña, and all of the educators and school support staff that are working diligently to help prepare our young people to be our future leaders,” said Council Member Mark Treyger.

“We at EDC believe strongly in the value of learning computer science in today’s competitive world,” said June Mark, Managing Project Director, Education Development Center. “That’s why we are thrilled to see so many NYC schools teaching the Beauty and Joy of Computing curriculum in the first year of Advanced Placement Computer Science Principles, and for more schools to take on this work next year as part of the Computer Science for All initiative.”

“At a time of rapid technological change, it’s critical for every student to have a chance to learn computer science, whether she wants to become a lawyer, a nurse, a farmer, or a coder,” said Hadi Partovi, CEO of Code.org. “Code.org is delighted to work with NYC schools to expand access to Computer Science Principles as part of Computer Science for All.”
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