NYC Charter Schools Continue to Soar on State Assessments


"New York City charter public schools are continuing to show us poverty is not destiny in the greatest city in the world. Charter public schools offer the promise of closing the achievement gap and today's results show they are delivering on that promise. It's been almost 20 years since New York passed it's charter law and these public schools are now out of the experimentation phase: not only should their lessons have more reach, but so should they," said StudentsFirstNY Executive Director Jenny Sedlis



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


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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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."



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

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(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.


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The 8 Worst Districts for Middle School in NYC: Mayor de Blasio's Middle School Failure

New analysis by StudentsFirstNY has revealed eight community school districts where zero traditional middle schools meet basic standards. In all eight of these districts across NYC, not a single traditional middle school achieved the citywide middle school average proficiency in reading (37%) or math (32%) on the state tests. This means that nearly 73,000 NYC students living in these districts don’t have a quality middle school option.

Read the full report.

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What works for NYC students

When schools in New York City consistently failed generations of students, the Bloomberg Administration and Chancellor Joel Klein phased them out and replaced them with smaller schools. 

Critics questioned whether the school closures benefited students. The evidence is now clearly in. 

A new report from The Research Alliance for NYC Schools shows the policy had significant benefit for students. The report analyzed academic outcomes of 20,600 students who attended one of 29 high schools closed between 2003 and 2009. 

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The Graduation Facade: How New York City’s Diploma Mills Mask College Readiness Crisis

At the start of 2016, Mayor Bill de Blasio hailed a two-point increase in New York City’s high school graduation rate to approximately 70 percent. The Mayor said the City was on its way to achieving his goal of 80 percent graduation in the next ten years. The goal would be admirable if it weren’t being used as a façade to cover up a larger issue – the fact that college readiness in NYC high schools lags far behind graduation rates.

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Parents Demand Details from Mayor de Blasio

On June 14th, more than 500 parents and students gathered on the steps of City Hall to call on Mayor de Blasio to deliver details on how his administration is addressing teacher quality and the Absent Teacher Reserve pool. They also delivered the signatures of more than 7,500 New Yorkers who joined the campaign.

Watch the video to learn more, and then share it on Twitter and Facebook.


Parents Demand Accountability from Mayor de Blasio Outside Mayoral Control Hearing

Public school parents from across New York City gathered outside the New York Senate's second mayoral control hearing to send a clear message: Parents are dissatisfied with the quality of NYC public schools and they expect Mayor de Blasio to be held accountable.

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Budget Committee Testimony by Parent and StudentsFirstNY Organizer Asia Thomas

The following is testimony submitted by StudentsFirstNY Organizer Asia Thomas to the Joint Budget Hearing on Elementary & Secondary Education: 

Good afternoon, Chairwoman Young, Chairman Farrell, Education Committee Chairs Marcellino and Nolan. Thank you for the opportunity to comment on the Executive Budget proposal for state fiscal year (SFY) 2016-2017. I appreciate all the work that you and your colleagues do on behalf of New Yorkers.

I am submitting my testimony today because I want you to understand how the decisions you make in Albany impact real people in their everyday lives. The Governor has advanced sensible proposals in his Executive budget that would expand school choice for parents and students by guaranteeing that public charter schools in New York City have access to space and increased financial support. Some have come out to oppose the Governor’s proposals, but I will tell you that it is wrong to cheat public charter school kids out of the resources given to district school kids. All public schools deserve adequate space and equal funding. It’s time to stop treating charter schools inequitably.

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