BROOKLYN - On the last day of the school year Thursday, New York City Schools Chancellor Joel Klein looked back on the academic year.

Klein said that putting children first remains the goal of the Department of Education, and it is the way to build better and stronger schools.

Speaking about the changes that were made in the department, Klein mentioned the improved accountability system, the massive student-teacher-parent survey that was conducted in the city this year, and the deal that was reached with the United Federation of Teachers.

Klein, however, also addressed some negative issues, like the budget cuts in the Department of Education, saying that the decision is up to the mayor, especially in weak economy. But he believes the schools will adjust to the situation with little impact on the quality of teaching.

Klein said there is a need to improve the admissions process. To do that, he said, the process must begin earlier in the school year, and educators have to provide more information about it to people in the community.