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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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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"The report released by the IBO implies that students left behind in failing schools as they phase out are harmed, but the findings contradict those of the Research Alliance which released a similar study in November using a more robust sample of schools (the IBO study looked at 6 schools while the Research Alliance analyzed results from 29 schools). Most notably, the IBO only looked at students who remained enrolled in schools while they phased out, not those who benefited from being able to attend new small schools. What's more important to consider is the effect of a closure on future students, which the Research Alliance did," said StudentsFirstNY Executive Director Jenny Sedlis.


Michael Nitzky


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I have the privilege of working with a terrific team at StudentsFirstNY, which includes more than a dozen dedicated organizers who work with thousands of parents across New York City. In advance of Thanksgiving tomorrow, I wanted to take a moment to share a couple of the people who I am #ThankfulFor this year. These folks have inspired me, and they make the work we do to advance a quality education for all students possible.

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