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
Press Release: Brookings Institute says New York's new teacher evaluation system should be "a blueprint" for other states
New York's controversial teacher evaluation system should be "a blueprint" for other states, according to a report by the Brookings Institute, the Washington, D.C.-based think tank. The report's author, Brookings senior fellow Thomas J. Kane, praises the New York evaluation system's "higher standard for tenure" and "use [of] technology to reinvent classroom observation."... “Let’s hope that Andrew Cuomo is not the only governor with the courage to revisit the issue," Kane wrote. Read the full report here: http://brook.gs/1DUAY95
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.