Working to give kids the education they deserve

StudentsFirstNY is New York's leading voice for students who depend on public education for the skills they need to succeed, but who are too often failed by a system that puts special interests, rather than the interests of children, first.

Recent Updates

StudentsFirstNY Statement on Budget Deal that Acknowledges Charter Success


"New York made history by investing in both district and charter schools in a manner that will dramatically assist in educating public school children. Thanks to the leadership of Governor Cuomo, Senate Majority Leader Flanagan, Coalition Leader Klein and Speaker Heastie, New York's children will be one step closer to a brighter future and a stronger education. The increased rental assistance means that charters can invest the resources they were spending on facilities back into classrooms. Charters have been educating kids at 75 cents on the dollar with better outcomes for far too long, and the fact that Albany's leaders are acknowledging that success by working to close the funding gap is greatly appreciated," said StudentsFirstNY Executive Director Jenny Sedlis.

StudentsFirstNY is a grassroots education advocacy organization dedicated to improving public school options throughout New York State.

NYC Parents Launch "Say Yes to the Test" Campaign

Rally at City Hall in Support of Opting In To State Assessments

MARCH 23, 2017
MICHAEL NITZKY, 212 257 4349

(NEW YORK) – More than 100 parents from across New York City came together today to support a city and statewide campaign encouraging parents to have their children take state assessments, which begin next week.

New York City opt-in rates continue to lead the state with over 98 percent participation. At the same time, statewide opt-out rates have flat-lined over the past two years.  This is in part in response to steps the New York State Department of Education and its Board of Regents have taken to improve the quality of the tests themselves as well as quality and timeliness of the information teachers, parents and students receive about student results. Taken together this has helped underscore the value of these critical assessments. 

Today's rally is part of a statewide “Say Yes to the Test” effort that includes similar events in Buffalo, Rochester and Albany, a testimonial campaign from parents and leaders airing on Pandora and social media, and ongoing communication efforts.

Read more

StudentsFirstNY and Assembly Member Marcos Crespo Host Panel: "Creating Great School Choices for All Kids"

Share this video on Facebook and Twitter

(Albany, NY) At the 2017 NY State Association of Black & Puerto Rican Legislators' Annual Conference, StudentsFirstNY teamed up with Assembly Member Marcos Crespo (D-Bronx) to host a panel discussion on how to offer parents great school choices for their children, particularly those living in communities of color. The panel was moderated by NYCAN Executive Director Derrell Bradford and featured elected officials and a diverse panel of education advocates, including:

  • Assembly Member Marcos Crespo, D-Bronx (Co-Sponsor of Panel)

  • Senator Marisol Alcantara, D-Manhattan

  • Senator Kevin Parker, D-Brooklyn

  • Assembly Member Michaelle Solages, D-Long Island

  • Assembly Member Victor Pichardo, D-Bronx

  • Assembly Member Nick Perry, D-Brooklyn

  • Assembly Member Robert Rodriguez, D-East Harlem

  • Dr. Jere Hochman, Deputy Education Secretary to Governor Cuomo

  • Tenicka Boyd, Senior Director of Organizing for StudentsFirstNY

  • Charlie King, NYC Co-Chairman of Mercury Public Affairs

  • Au Hogan, Queens Parent and Grandparent and Associate Director of Life Camp

  • Charlene Corbett, a community resource coordinator for community schools P.S. 335 and M.S. 584 in Brooklyn

To view the full the highlights of this robust discussion, click here.


Read more

StudentsFirstNY Statement on NYC Graduation Rate Release

"While students should be praised for higher graduation rates, today's release still highlights serious problems that cannot be ignored. 

"Rather than boast about an incremental increase, Mayor de Blasio should humbly talk about what additional work is needed to address the achievement gap, dropping ELL achievement, low college readiness and the incredibly uneven quality among high schools. 
"He must also tackle the issue of inflated rates -- at the school where he's making the announcement, the 84% graduation rate masks a 28% college readiness level,"  said StudentsFirstNY Executive Director Jenny Sedlis.

Read more

StudentsFirstNY Statement on UFT's Endorsement of Mayor de Blasio

"It’s no surprise that the teachers union would pay back Mayor de Blasio’s steady stream of sweetheart deals with a political endorsement, but the sad reality is that no one in this equation is looking out for underserved students," said StudentsFirstNY Executive Director Jenny Sedlis.

StudentsFirstNY is a grassroots education advocacy organization dedicated to improving public schools throughout New York State.



View more posts

Join StudentsFirstNY

Connect With Us

New Report