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StudentsFirstNY Calls for Mayor de Blasio to Issue a Correction About School Closures in New York.

On NY1's Inside City Hall, Mayor Bill de Blasio misstated the results of the previous administration's school closures. StudentsFirstNY Executive Director Jenny Sedlis is calling on the Mayor to issue an immediate retraction of those comments saying quote: 

"Last night Mayor de Blasio claimed that closing failing schools doesn't work because it 'left kids in the lurch in all those transition years and a lot of those schools were not necessarily better.' Either Mayor de Blasio is lying to defend his own failed policies or he hasn't done his homework." 

"In November, the nonpartisan Research Alliance for New York City Schools presented findings from a rigorous analysis of school closures under Mayor Bloomberg, showing that graduation rates improved by 15-points for students who left and attendance and graduation rates improved for those who remained during the transition. Mayor de Blasio has no evidence to support his failed policies and so he's attempting to tear down the proven successes of his predecessor." 

"One such school that Mayor de Blasio highlighted as an example of the success of his renewal plan is Boys and Girls High School, but a close look reveals no such success. According the Department of Education's own website, 385 students are currently enrolled at the school, down from 648 in the 2014-15 school year and 940 in the year before that. Counseling out 60% of the students to cook the books does not make for a success, it should lead to an investigation." 

"Mayor de Blasio could stand to learn from the effectiveness of Mayor Bloomberg's policies, rather than lying to make his own look successful. Now that he's been presented with the facts, Mayor de Blasio must correct his statements on the results of school closures under the prior administration."

 

CONTACT:

Michael Nitzky

646-565-8184

 

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Press Release: The Hidden Truth: StudentsFirstNY Report Finds Massive Citywide Grade Inflation

SFNY Calls for an Independent Audit of NYC Public School Coursework

NEW YORK, NY -- A new report released by StudentsFirstNY reveals rampant grade inflation within New York City public schools. While the majority of students are failing state tests, they are passing their schools’ coursework. At schools where fewer than 10% of students pass state tests, 85% of students are passing school coursework. Put another way, at struggling schools where 9 out of 10 students are below grade level, their school coursework makes it look like 9 out of 10 students are meeting grade standards. This is a phenomenon that extends far beyond failing schools – there is grade inflation going on across the board in the NYC public school system.

StudentsFirstNY is releasing the report The Hidden Truth: Massive Grade Inflation Conceals Underperformance in NYC Schools as part of its testimony today for the City Council’s hearing on struggling schools and is calling on the City to bring in an independent auditor to assess whether school coursework is meeting grade-level standards.

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StudentsFirstNY Response to Mayor's Disappointing Comments on Absent Teacher Reserve

"Mayor de Blasio admitted last night that the City is force-placing excessed teachers. We know that teaching vacancies are predominantly in low income communities of color. It is a failed policy to put the unwanted teachers in the highest need classrooms. Mayor de Blasio is sorely mistaken about the goal -- it's not to reduce the size of the Absent Teacher Reserve (ATR) pool, it's to ensure quality teachers for all students, something his policies are constantly failing to do. Students in these communities deserve quality teachers who have been placed because of their talent, not simply because they're available," said StudentsFirstNY Executive Director Jenny Sedlis.

 

CONTACT:

Michael Nitzky

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StudentsFirstNY Statement on NYC School Quality Reports

"The de Blasio administration is making a mockery out of what used to be a useful accountability measure. The redesigned School Quality Reports give high marks to schools with pass rates in the single digits because the administration would rather give parents a falsely rosy picture than admit schools are not performing. Parents in the lowest performing schools deserve to know the truth rather than be put through the de Blasio spin machine," said StudentsFirstNY Executive Director Jenny Sedlis.

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StudentsFirstNY Statement on NAEP Test Scores in New York

"Today's NAEP results show that public schools in New York and New York City continue to do an okay job preparing about a third of the kids. We can either choose to assail the standards and tests that give us this information or we can focus on what's actually going to improve school offerings and the quality of teaching and learning. The achievement gap remains stubbornly large showing our system is not doing right by its neediest kids and the answer must be to speed up the pace of reform and not to slow it down," said StudentsFirstNY Executive Director Jenny Sedlis. 
 
 
   StudentsFirstNY Analysis of NAEP Proficiency Rates

 

New York City

New York

National

Year

2011

2013

2015

2011

2013

2015

2011

2013

2015

4thGrade Math

33%

34%

26%

35%

40%

35%

39%

42%

40%

8thGrade Math

24%

25%

27%

30%

33%

31%

34%

34%

33%

4thGrade Reading

29%

28%

26%

35%

37%

36%

32%

34%

36%

8thGrade Reading

24%

25%

27%

35%

35%

33%

32%

35%

34%

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

SOURCE: U.S. Department of Education, Institute of Education Sciences, National Center for Education Statistics, National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP), 2011, 2013 & 2015 Reading and Math Assessments.

 

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

 

CONTACT:

Michael Nitzky

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StudentsFirstNY Thanks Chancellor Tisch for Her Distinguished Public Service

"We are deeply disappointed by Merryl Tisch's decision not to seek re-election as Chancellor. Tisch has served the students of New York State with integrity and independence, managing to always remain above and separate from the special interest-dominated politics of education. Tisch's commitment to higher standards and to raising the quality of teaching and learning will leave a lasting legacy in New York State. StudentsFirstNY thanks Chancellor Tisch for her distinguished public service."
Said StudentsFirstNY Executive Director - Jenny Sedlis.

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

CONTACT:

Michael Nitzky

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StudentsFirstNY Statement on Appointment of John King as Acting U.S. Secretary of Education

"We're incredibly proud that our hometown hero and friend John King has been tapped for Acting U.S. Secretary of Education. John King will bring an intellectual rigor, exceedingly high standards, and a clear vision for improving schools for all children. John King is driven by a deep conviction that children from any background can succeed and we're confident he will fight for all students across this nation," said StudentsFirstNY's Executive Director Jenny Sedlis.

 

CONTACT:

Michael Nitzky

656-565-8184

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StudentsFirstNY Statement on Governor Cuomo's Common Core Task Force

"Everyone can agree that New York needs clear benchmarks for what students are expected to learn each year. The Common Core learning standards were carefully constructed by educators to tell parents whether their children are on track for college and the workforce. While most of New York's parents and educators embraced these new benchmarks, some had real concerns and others' were fueled by a cynical misinformation campaign. We welcome Governor Cuomo's Task Force so we can get to the heart of those concerns, finding solutions for the legitimate ones and dispelling the myths behind the others. It is time for the education discussion in New York to be driven by fact and not fiction. We're confident that the Governor's Task Force will resolve key issues and keep New York on a path of high standards," said StudentsFirstNY's Executive Director Jenny Sedlis.

 

CONTACT:

Michael Nitzky

656-565-8184

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StudentsFirstNY Sounds the Alarm for Students Stuck in NYC’s Worst Schools

Parent Empowerment: StudentsFirstNY Alerts Parents at 100 Poorest Performing Schools

New York, NY –StudentsFirstNY announced today the completion of a massive citywide grassroots effort across New York City’s 100 lowest performing schools. The goal: alert parents in each of the 100 poorest performing schools in New York City as measured by proficiency on the New York state math and ELA tests. All of these schools had proficiency rates below 10%, meaning that at least nine out of ten students failed to pass the tests.

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StudentsFirstNY Statement on Teacher Evaluation Adjustments

"Everyone wants to get to a place where teacher evaluations are fair and credible. Today's actions will hopefully restore confidence in the process. This new evaluation system will help ensure parents and educators have accurate information on teacher effectiveness," said StudentsFirstNY Executive Director Jenny Sedlis. 

 

CONTACT:

Michael Nitzky

656-565-8184

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