Behind every strong school is strong leadership. I know Boston Public Schools are strong. We are a community, and together we are working hard to continue guiding our schools and our children toward academic success. With the help and coordination of administrators, teachers, students, and the greater community, we’ve reached historic milestones and strengthened our education system.
Last year, the graduation rate of Boston Public Schools hit a historic all-time high while the dropout rate fell to an all-time low. In addition, our budget expanded by $3.1 million for public pre-schools for the 2016-2017 year; this is funding that has the potential to help close the achievement gap by significant margins.
I am incredibly proud of these achievements. But this progress would not have been possible without our school’s strongest advocates and leaders: our principals. They are dedicated to their students and fiercely passionate about providing the highest quality of education possible. There is no question that our principals work hard for their schools and students, and like our teachers, principals work with our students every day. They also walk a fine line: on the one hand, they are committed to the interests of their individual school boards, on the other, they must constantly be tuned into the needs of the broader community.
I want to personally thank Boston principals for walking that line, and for making enormous strides towards a more equitable, coherent and innovative school system. I’ve worked closely with many of you, and I have seen the hard work you’ve put into growing your schools and caring for the needs of your students and teachers, while always being cooperative and transparent with the greater school system and community.
I also want to thank you for recognizing the challenges our city schools face in poverty, inequality, and injustice. More than ever, we need to share best practices and build coalitions to make our communities and schools healthy, supportive learning environments for our children across all ages, and all abilities.
Our principals have met these challenges head on, and I applaud them for working closely with me to help Boston Public Schools grow equitably, and smarter and bigger than ever before. And as mayor, I thank them for helping to make Boston a city where all of our children can learn and grow inside the classroom, and out in their communities.
I encourage parents, students, and teachers both here in Boston and around the country to join me in honoring and applauding the hard work and dedication of our school principals. Again, thank you for all you do for our schools, students, teachers and communities –-and for the city as a whole.