Schools chancellor welcomes BK students back to class

BROOKLYN - Schools Chancellor Joel Klein visited a Brooklyn high school Tuesday to welcome students back to a revamped school system.

Klein stopped by the West Brooklyn Community High School, which opened in 2006, as part of a five-borough tour. He gave students and educators a pep talk and praised the "transfer school," which serves dropouts or chronically truant students.

The Department of Education hopes to see more success stories this year since it reformed the system with a budget in the billions of dollars.

Since last school year, the city has opened 40 new schools, creating 3,700 classroom seats. A new science curriculum is in effect for students in third through sixth grade. Some students can also look forward to payouts for passing exams.

Principals are enjoying widespread control with more accountability. Schools will receive performance grades starting in October.

Parents also have a special advocate to address concerns for each of the city's school districts.

New York City has an estimated 1.1 million schoolchildren.

Mayor Michael Bloomberg and Gov. Eliot Spitzer also toured facilities Tuesday.

AP wire reports contributed to this story.

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