"Today's report by the U.S. Census Bureau that New York spends more than any other state per student should serve as a wake up call. Money alone cannot solve the education crisis in New York State. We need fundamental reform. All options need to be on the table to improve schools so every child has access to the best teachers and every family has access to great school choices," said Executive Director Jenny Sedlis.Read more
"The Board of Regents made a strong choice in selecting MaryEllen Elia as New York State's next Education Commissioner. She is a nationally recognized leader in education, who has a record of accomplishment in helping boost the achievement for low-income children. As a former educator herself, she knows firsthand what it takes for schools to succeed. We believe MaryEllen Elia will lead the way to give all of New York's students the schools they deserve," said Executive Director Jenny Sedlis.Read more
Joint Statement: Promotion of PROSE Schools Exposes Hypocrisy Behind Mayor de Blasio's Opposition to Cap Lift
New York, NY – StudentsFirstNY and Families for Excellent Schools released this statement in response to Mayor de Blasio's comments opposing the lifting of charter cap:
StudentsFirstNY's Jenny Sedlis and Families for Excellent Schools' Jeremiah Kittredge:
"It's no surprise that hundreds of struggling schools are seeking the freedom of charter schools, only to have union regulations tie their hands. The small scale of Mayor de Blasio's PROSE program does nothing for the 50,000 on charter school waiting lists, ensuring that PROSE will ring hollow as long as the Mayor stands with his union allies in opposing a cap lift and depriving families of school choice."
Press Release: StudentsFirstNY Responds to State Assembly Legislation Delaying New Teacher Evaluations
"It's disheartening to learn that certain lawmakers who approved teacher assessment reforms during the budget process have flip-flopped after a special interest group complained about the agreement. If New York State is serious about improving education, it must move forward with a better teacher evaluation system," said Executive Director Jenny Sedlis.
Press Release: StudentsFirstNY's Response to New York State Education Department's Recommendations for Reforming Teacher Evaluations
"The State Education Department has offered a comprehensive and balanced proposal for a new teacher evaluation system. Instead of rhetoric and hyperbole this is an honest and thoughtful system that treats teachers as the professionals they are and gives students the world-class public education they deserve," said Executive Director Jenny Sedlis.Read more
Borough with Worst Ratio of Charter Schools Per Child Demands Greater School Choice
(Queens, New York) – Queens public school parents are joining together to call on the New York State Legislature to lift the cap on charter schools. The parents, volunteer members of StudentsFirstNY’s grassroots organizing effort, demanded greater school choice for Queens, the borough with the fewest charter schools per student.
"StudentsFirstNY congratulates new Senate Majority Leader John Flanagan. Senator Flanagan is a committed champion for expanding school choice and access to great teachers, and we look forward to working with him on behalf of students and parents across the state," said Executive Director Jenny Sedlis.Read more
"It's pretty shocking that the Mayor did not include a single real solution to New York City's failing schools crisis in his budget presentation. Mayor de Blasio seems more concerned with raising his national profile than improving the education of New York City public school children," said StudentsFirstNY Executive Director Jenny Sedlis.
State Education Department Should Act with Urgency
On Thursday, with the New York State Board of Regents hearing testimony regarding the newly approved teacher evaluation system, leading education reform organization StudentsFirstNY and public school parents offered recommendations and sent letters calling for a system that ensures all public school students have access to high-quality teachers.
“The State Education Department should act with urgency and within the timeline prescribed by the legislature to create a fair and rigorous teacher evaluation system,” said StudentsFirstNY Executive Director Jenny Sedlis. “Parents have a right to know whether their children have equitable access to quality teachers, which is only possible with an evaluation system that properly incorporates student test results.”
New York, NY — Leading education reform organization StudentsFirstNY today announced the hiring of Michael Nitzky as Communications Director, effective May 1. The hiring of the seasoned political and media operative builds on the momentum generated by the group's successful push for landmark reforms at the state level.Read more