Former chancellor Dennis Walcott responds to the revisionist history de Blasio is spreading
The public school system we inherited in 2002 was broken and dysfunctional — and many schools were defined by violence, disorder and academic failure.
Since then, whether you look at the 43% increase in overall graduation rates, the dropout rate being cut in half, the creation of hundreds of new school choices for our students, the expansion of Advanced Placement classes, or the new health services that we brought to schools, New York City's public school system is now a world away from where it was in 2002, when decisions were made to placate special interests rather than educate children.
We put children first — both in our policy and spending priorities. Even when the Great Recession hit, we continued to increase spending in our schools.
Our strategy of closing schools that weren't serving their students and opening new ones that would is a central part of that legacy. It ought not be misrepresented.