Press Releases

Press Release: New Analysis Reveals Black NYC Students are Three Times More Likely Than White Peers to be Assigned to an Ineffective Teacher

Data released by the New York State Education Department on the distribution of teacher quality reveals inequitable access to highly effective teachers in New York City. Black students are three times more likely and Hispanic students are more than twice as likely to be taught by an ineffective teacher than their white peers.

These findings are troubling given the new statewide analysis demonstrating the great benefit highly effective teachers bring to struggling students. According to data also released today, students who scored a Level 1 in 2011-12 and were subsequently assigned to highly effective teachers for two years were about 5 times more likely to score a Level 3 or above in 2013-14 than their peers not assigned to highly effective teachers. 

Teachers rated highly effective using only the State-provided growth measure 
faired even better. Level 1 students taught by these teachers two years in a row were almost 7 times more likely to score a Level 3 or above in 2013-14 than their peers not assigned to highly effective teachers.

"Today’s findings that ineffective teachers are predominantly placed in communities of color is a wake up call. While families in affluent parts of the state rail against assessing student learning, children in high need communities suffer. This new evidence proves definitively that the teachers’ union's cynical ploy to undermine teacher evaluations is directly harmful to children who need help the most," said StudentsFirstNY executive director Jenny Sedlis.


Press Release: StudentsFirstNY Releases Television Ad Praising Governor Cuomo and the Legislature for Passing Important Education Reforms in Budget

New York, NY — Statewide education advocacy organization StudentsFirstNY today released an ad praising Governor Cuomo and the legislature for enacting important education reforms as a part of this year’s budget agreement and encouraging them to keep going. The ad will run statewide beginning today.

Read more

Press Release: Governor Cuomo, Senate and Assembly Deliver Landmark Teacher Tenure Reform and Other Major School Improvements in State Budget

"No one disputes that New York’s schools need help, but few are willing to take on the entrenched special interests to transform the system. Governor Cuomo laid out an incredibly ambitious statewide education reform agenda, and with the support of the Senate and Assembly, delivered key and major reforms.

Read more

Press Release: StudentsFirstNY Parent Activists Rally In Support of Governor’s Education Reform Agenda

Parents Call on Legislature to Stand up for Students

New York, NY – As final negotiations wrap up on the state budget, public school parent activists and students today rallied outside Tweed Courthouse to urge legislators to pass the meaningful education reforms outlined in Governor Cuomo’s education Opportunity Agenda. Parents and students across New York, including grassroots activists organized by education reform advocacy organization StudentsFirstNY and Derrell Bradford, executive director of NYCAN, view Governor Cuomo’s reforms as critical to improving public school options.

Read more

Press Release: Teachers' Union Generating Parent Confusion to Protect Own Interests

"Parents deserve unbiased, unfiltered information about policies affecting their children, so it's unfortunate that the teachers' union controls the messages that are sent through schools. Governor Cuomo's Opportunity Agenda will benefit children tremendously, but the union would rather generate confusion as a shield to protect its own interests. The Governor's policies would ensure we recruit and retain high performing teachers, that we don't give lifetime jobs to teachers who are not effective, that we can remove low performers from classrooms, and that the interests of students are put first."

-- Tenicka Boyd, StudentsFirstNY Director of Organizing


Press Release: Misleading Statements from de Blasio Administration Make Case for Cuomo Failing Schools Fixes

"We remain incredibly concerned about the children trapped in failing schools like Boys and Girls High School.  The de Blasio administration failed to mention the fact that enrollment has fallen radically from 809 in October to 557 in February - a precipitous 31% drop. The administration must answer where have those students gone, especially considering reports of counseling out last November. 

"The de Blasio administration is touting a longer day, despite the fact that their teachers union contract cut instructional time at all city schools. The administration is also highlighting that teachers must reapply for their jobs, without including the details of the secret MOA with the union that ensured decisions would be made by a UFT-selected panel.

"Parents deserve to see real progress, not disingenuous pronouncements.  That's why parents from communities like Bed-Stuy are supporting the education reforms in Governor Cuomo's Opportunity Agenda."

-- Jenny Sedlis, Executive Director, StudentsFirstNY

Press Release: StudentsFirstNY Analysis on Ineffective Teachers in High v. Low Poverty School Districts

Students In High Poverty Districts More Than Twice as Likely to be Taught by Non-Effective Teachers

New York, NY – StudentsFirstNY today issued a brief analysis comparing the difference in teacher effectiveness between New York City’s high poverty and low poverty districts following the State Education Department’s recent release of teacher
evaluation data.

Read more

New Data Show Teacher Evaluations Need Cuomo Fixes

Current Evals Bear Zero Resemblance to Student Learning    

"It's clear that special interests are hell bent on making sure parents and teachers don't have accurate information on teacher effectiveness. When teacher evaluations bear zero resemblance to student learning, which is the case in 4 out of the 5 big school districts, it makes a strong case for Governor Cuomo's improvements to the system. It is shocking that you can have a district like Syracuse with 97% of teachers rated effective or above when student proficiency is in the single digits. It's also shocking to see districts like Beacon, that gamed the evaluations so there's a swing from 24% of teachers effective to 100%. Governor Cuomo is right to design a statewide system that parents and educators can count on as fair and reliable."

-- Jenny Sedlis, Executive Director, StudentsFirstNY


Read more

Press Release: StudentsFirstNY Launches Digital Campaign in Support of Governor Cuomo's Education Reform Agenda

New York, NY – StudentsFirstNY today released a web video in support of Governor Cuomo’s education Opportunity Agenda. The video is a part of the group’s grassroots and digital #ForOpportunity campaign to bring together parents advocating for fundamental reform to fix New York’s broken education system. 

The video features State Assemblyman Karim Camara, New York City Councilman Robert Cornegy, StudentsFirstNY parent advocates, and NYCAN Executive Director Derrell Bradford who spoke at a rally of 400 district public school parents in support of the Governor last week.

The video can viewed here:

StudentsFirstNY parent advocate Au Hogan said: “I support the Governor’s plan because he understands the same old status quo is failing too may kids. Our kids deserve a better chance.”

StudentsFirstNY parent advocate Anyta Brown said: “We must let Albany know that we are to be heard and we are a force to be reckoned with. So therefore, I say, what do we want? We want opportunity, and we want it now!”

Read more

Statement: The State of our City Depends on a Public Education System in Crisis

"While clearly not Mayor de Blasio's priority, the state of our city in 2015 and every year depends on a public education system that's currently in crisis. Rather than address the fundamental problems damaging our schools, the Mayor has lowered expectations, weakened accountability, and unsuccessfully attempted to restrict parent choice. We can only hope that this year the Mayor spends more time listening to the families he promised to serve than he does currying favor with his political allies."

-- Jenny Sedlis, StudentsFirstNY Executive Director


Join StudentsFirstNY

Connect With Us

New Report

Recent Updates

SFNY Statement on Passing of Former Mayor Dinkins

Statement on the Passing of Rep. John Lewis

Resources for Families During COVID-19