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Bloomberg Touts School Salad Bars, Rising Graduation Rate

By Zachary Stieber
Epoch Times Staff
Created: September 2, 2012 Last Updated: September 3, 2012
Related articles: United States » New York City
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Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg, with other elected officials, at a recent announcement at Columbia University. (Benjamin Chasteen/The Epoch Times)

Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg, with other elected officials, at a recent announcement at Columbia University. (Benjamin Chasteen/The Epoch Times)

NEW YORK—In his weekly radio address, Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg discussed the upcoming first day of school and related topics, including the city’s fight against obesity.

The recent announcement of Whole Foods donating around $300,000 for the installation of 57 salad bars in New York City schools was hailed by Bloomberg as “providing a foundation for good health.”

Currently, there are more than 1,000 salad bars in schools; by 2015, Bloomberg’s administration wants a salad bar in every school.

Graduation rates are another positive, having risen nearly 41 percent since 2005, according to Bloomberg. In 2010 the graduation rate was 65.1 percent, up from 59 percent in 2005, according to records from the city’s Department of Education.

Students graduating college ready—or not needing remedial classes when they enter college—have lagged, according to testimony given by City University of New York (CUNY) officials in front of City Council’s Committee on Education in April.

Signs designed by New Jersey based Veggiecation which will be displayed at the 57 new salad bars in New York City public schools, which were donated recently by Whole Foods Market. (Images courtesy of Veggiecation)

Signs designed by New Jersey based Veggiecation which will be displayed at the 57 new salad bars in New York City public schools, which were donated recently by Whole Foods Market. (Images courtesy of Veggiecation)

Eight out of 10 students from city public high schools accepted at one of CUNY’s six community colleges need remediation, according to CUNY officials. However, Department of Education officials, in a presentation to the same committee two months earlier, said the number of students requiring remediation at CUNY schools is closer to 50 percent.

Other examples were used as proof of improving education before college, such as a steady increase in the number of students taking and passing Advanced Placement exams.

“More kids are graduating ready for success in college and the working world,” Bloomberg said Sunday. “We still have a lot of work to do in our schools, but there’s no doubt they’re heading in the right direction.”

Other efforts for improving education include automated phone calls students can receive, which feature celebrities talking about the importance of attending school every day, and a multiagency Truancy Task Force, Bloomberg said, which was launched in 2010 to help students miss fewer days of school through initiatives such as providing mentors. The task force will expand from 50 schools to 100 schools this year.

“We’re also expanding the popular wake-up call service to include familiar voices like John Legend, Yankees greats, and even yours truly,” Bloomberg said.

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