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

Statement on New Data Showing Mayor de Blasio's Absent Teacher Reserve Plan Will Harm Students

"Today's data show unequivocally that Mayor de Blasio will harm children if he follows through with his plan to force place unwanted teachers into classrooms. The data confirms parent concerns: a third of the ATRs have disciplinary issues, many are ineffective, and a jaw-dropping 25 percent haven't been able to get a job for at least six years. There is not one parent in New York City who would willingly accept one of these ATRs into their child's classroom. It is unconscionable to put the worst teachers into the classrooms of the neediest students," said StudentsFirstNY Executive Director Jenny Sedlis. 

His administration's claim that this is not forced placement is dishonest -- just because these aren't seniority bumps, doesn't mean that it's not forced placement. 
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Mayor de Blasio Turns His Back on Low-Income Parents Protesting His Forced Placement of 400 Teachers

(Park Slope, NY) Public school parents from low-income communities across Brooklyn joined with StudentsFirstNY to rally outside the Prospect Park YMCA, Mayor Bill de Blasio’s favorite weekday hangout spot. The reason? They want Mayor de Blasio to reconsider his new plan to force place teachers from the Absent Teacher Reserve back into the classroom. But instead of engaging with these concerned parents (and voters), Mayor de Blasio turned his back on them and drove away.

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StudentsFirstNY Executive Director Jenny Sedlis Statement on Charter Deal Announcement


"Charters have been battling with the de Blasio administration for the last four years but thanks to Albany leaders, productive conversations led to an agreement that's good for all public school kids. Parents will have access to more school options and charter operators will get significant relief. Governor Cuomo, Senate Majority Leader Flanagan, Leader Klein and Speaker Heastie deserve credit for their work on behalf of all students."



Public School Parents Give Mayor de Blasio an “F” on School Transparency

New York, NY – More than 200 parents and students gathered on the steps of City Hall today to demand that Mayor Bill de Blasio respond to the Freedom of Information requests that StudentsFirstNY has filed on their behalf. The average FOIL request from these parents has been kicked back 16 times. Parents feel their requests for information have been deflected, dodged and denied and they are giving the Mayor a grade of “F” on transparency.

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SFNY Report Finds Mayor de Blasio's PROSE Program Lacks Results and Promised Innovations

New York, NY – Leading education reform organization StudentsFirstNY released a report today analyzing Mayor de Blasio’s Progressive Redesign Opportunity for Excellence (PROSE) program which he promised would be the union-backed answer to charter schools. In 2015, Mayor de Blasio boasted, "This is going to be a national model for reform, and one that I think is going to bear fruit very quickly."

Unfortunately for New York City students, a close examination of the program shows that PROSE is neither a national model for reform, nor one that has borne fruit. 

“Despite the rhetoric from Mayor de Blasio, it’s clear that PROSE schools are not as effective as the charters they seek to emulate,” said Jenny Sedlis, Executive Director of StudentsFirstNY. “PROSE was billed as the union’s answer to charter schools, but by definition, real innovation means challenging the status quo – something this Mayor is incapable of doing.”

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