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SCHOOLS Chancellor Dennis M. Walcott, administration officials and I visited the 22 New York City Schools now ranked in the top 25 statewide on the new more rigorous common core exams.

In 2001, none of the top 25 schools in the state were New York City public schools, and we visited the 22 New York City schools now ranked in the top 25 in the state to congratulate students and thank teachers, principals, administrators and staff for their dedication to continuing the remarkable improvement of New York City schools.

I visited the Talented and Gifted School for Young Scholars, a kindergarten through Eighth grade school in East Harlem.

These schools’ success outperforming the best schools in the rest of the state represents the incredible transformation that has taken place in our city’s schools over the past 12 years.

There was once a time when even the best New York City schools struggled to compete with other school districts in the state; now, the opposite is true, and the best schools in the rest of the state are trying to keep up with New York City’s best schools.

Our teachers, administrators and students deserve our thanks and praise for their hard work.

“The transition to Common Core learning standards has been years in the making, but as demonstrated by these 22 schools, New York City is adjusting to the higher standards, as well as anyone could have hoped,” said Chancellor Walcott.

“I am extremely proud of the work being done in our schools to better prepare our students for life after graduation.”

Senior administration officials have been visiting all of the 22 top schools throughout the day to thank the teachers, students, administrators for reaching such a major accomplishment.

These 22 schools include traditional public schools, as well as public charter schools, and are in neighborhoods citywide.

Seven of the 22 schools visited were opened under our administration.

Under the new Common Core standards, students are required to think critically, read more difficult passages and books, and spend more time writing.

In English, when students share their opinions, teachers are asking them to use evidence to back up their arguments more often.

In math class, students are developing more real-world applicable skills that they will be able to use in future courses and jobs.

This year, for the first time, the third- to eighth-grade state exams began to assess these abilities.

This year, the Department of Education has invested more than $100 million in teacher development in part to help train teachers on the new Common Core-aligned curriculum.

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