"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
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.
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
"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
Parents, Advocates Join StudentsFirstNY to Support Governor Cuomo’s Fundamental Reforms to New York's Education System
Albany, New York – StudentsFirstNY, a statewide education reform advocacy organization, today was joined by public school parents and advocates in testifying before a New York State Joint Committee on Education in support of Governor Andrew Cuomo’s Opportunity Agenda.Read more
"There's a reason why the teachers' union has spent $60 million in Albany over the past five years: to get politicians like Andrea Stewart-Cousins to put their interests over the hundreds of thousands of kids victimized by a failing system. In Yonkers, 4 out of 5 students cannot read or do math on grade level -- they need a Senator, too. Governor Cuomo's plan will give our best teachers $20,000 bonuses, will cover tuition to get the best and brightest into our classrooms, and will increase funding for all children. Governor Cuomo is fighting for kids; Senator Stewart-Cousins should too."
-- Tenicka Boyd, public school parent and StudentsFirstNY Director of Organizing
TO: All Interested Parties
FROM: Jenny Sedlis, Executive Director, StudentsFirstNY
DATE: January 21st, 2015
RE: Governor Cuomo’s Promise to Put New York Students First in 2015
Governor Cuomo’s Opportunity Agenda outlines proposals that would dramatically improve student achievement across the state. Below we highlight some of the key levers put forward by the Governor in his State of the State Address.
"The Governor's State of the State Address is a blueprint for turning around New York's broken education system. It takes an enormous amount of courage to stand up to entrenched special interests, but if we're going to improve schools we have to be willing to challenge the status quo with bold reform. Governor Cuomo clearly understands what's at stake and has been undaunted in advocating on behalf of New York students."
-- Jenny Sedlis, StudentsFirstNY Executive Director
Press Release: Leading Statewide Education Reform Group Releases Ad Touting the Need for Fundamental Reform of Education System
New York, NY — StudentsFirstNY today released an ad addressing the dire need for fundamental reform of the education system. The ad will air on broadcast and cable in Albany and New York City in the lead up to and following the Governor's State of the State address.Read more
SED Letter Provides Useful Ideas for Improving SchoolsRead more
"New York City's results prove that Governor Cuomo's evaluation system measures teacher effectiveness when implemented in good faith — making it a critical tool to improve schools for kids. Unfortunately, most districts and unions across the state set the bar so low that nearly 60% of teachers got the highest rating when only a third of students read and do math at grade level. Albany must act to strengthen the system to live up to its promise, and Mayor de Blasio must develop a plan to reward our best teachers and improve the worst immediately."
-- Jenny Sedlis, StudentsFirstNY Executive DirectorRead more