StudentsFirstNY:

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.

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StudentsFirstNY Analysis Finds New York City School Progress Stalls Since Mayor de Blasio Took Control

A new analysis released by leading education reform organization StudentsFirstNY finds that Mayor Bill de Blasio has done little to improve New York City public schools since he took control in January 2014. StudentsFirstNY intends to track and assess the Mayor’s proposals and hold him accountable to the parents and students of New York City.

Last year, the Mayor agreed to a new contract with the United Federation of Teachers — a sweetheart deal for the union that has repeatedly and negatively influenced education policy thereafter. Mayor de Blasio has offered a number of proposals with great fanfare, but so far his policies have failed to deliver real results.

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Mayor de Blasio's Inadequate Education Agenda

A year and a half has passed since the de Blasio administration took over the Department of Education, assuming control of 1,800 schools, 70,000 teachers, and 1.1 million students. Within months of taking office, Mayor de Blasio negotiated a generous new teachers’ contract, laying the groundwork for what has been a cozy alliance with the United Federation of Teachers. Since then, with his schools chancellor, Carmen Fariña, at his side, Mayor de Blasio has turned his attention to school quality. With much media fanfare, a patch-work of ambitious-sounding new programs has been announced. Formerly significant issues like school accountability and teacher evaluations have been watered down or ignored. Throughout, Mayor de Blasio’s disdain for charter schools has been loud and clear.

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Statement: StudentsFirstNY Hails New Education Opportunities Announced By State Leaders

"Today Albany leaders stepped up and delivered for parents and students who demanded more choice. Too many children are stuck in failing schools without options," said StudentsFirstNY Executive Director Jenny Sedlis. "Thanks to the leadership of Governor Cuomo, Senate Majority Leader Flanagan and Assembly Speaker Heastie, families in New York City will have more high quality school choices. Thankfully, Albany leaders understand that charter schools play a critical role in the delivery of free, public education in New York."

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StudentsFirstNY: Mayor de Blasio Fails Boys and Girls High School

"The graduating students of Boys and Girls High Schools should be saluted for their achievement, but Mayor de Blasio and his Department of Education have failed to improve this struggling school," said StudentsFirstNY Executive Director Jenny Sedlis. "Enrollment has plunged from 809 students in October to 487 by the DOE’s most recent reporting. That means roughly 40% of the students have left or have been pushed out in one year. The families in Bedford-Stuyvesant deserve a better school with high standards and quality teachers."
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StudentsFirstNY Statement on End of Legislative Session Agreement

Despite Difficult Session, Significant Progress for Students in 2015

"In a difficult legislative session, education has been a bright spot thanks to Governor Cuomo's leadership," said StudentsFirstNY Executive Director Jenny Sedlis.  "Today's deal allows for 50 new charters for New York City and gives Mayor de Blasio a year to restore parent confidence in his ability to run schools. The education tax credit would have provided parents quality options, and we're disappointed that an agreement couldn't be reached."

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