State Budget is a Major Step Forward for Education

Jenny Sedlis // March 31, 2014

Thanks to Governor Cuomo's leadership, this year's budget is a major step forward in improving education in New York State.

Parent Choice

The Governor and Senate leadership responded to the voices of parents and have made sure that charter schools will continue to grow and thrive. With a groundbreaking new law protecting co-location, New York City is now the national model for how to maximize public resources for the benefit of all students. While Mayor de Blasio threatened to prevent new charter schools from opening, thanks to the Governor and Senate leadership, the 50,000 children on charter school waiting lists now have a better chance of getting into the schools of their choice.

Common Core

The debate over whether to align to the Common Core has been settled, and now we can move on to implementing the higher standards that students deserve along with a strong teacher evaluation system that will enhance classroom instruction. The politically easy thing would have been to press the pause button on the higher standards, but Governor Cuomo stayed true to his word and acted as the lobbyist for students.

StudentsFirstNY strongly supports the Common Core because it:

1. Demands that we confront the status quo that keeps too many children in poverty by holding schools serving low-income students to the same standard as our highest-achieving schools.

2. Can end our college dropout crisis, in which only a fourth of students graduate high school prepared for college-level work and are subsequently more likely not to finish.

3. Keeps families out of bankruptcy, lessening the debt burden that they take on to pay for high school level courses in college, when their kids need remediation.

4. Makes school more fun and challenging for kids, replacing "teaching to the test" and rote memorization with assessments aligned to critical thinking skills.

5. Helps to reverse the United States’ decline in student achievement and equips every American with a top-notch math and science education.

6. Prepares our students for the new SAT and ACT, which will soon be aligned to the higher standards.

7. Makes every classroom look like the best classrooms, by fostering creativity and independent thinking around fewer topics in greater depth.

8. Sets a clear, consistent standard to which all districts, schools, and teachers can be held accountable.

9. Demonstrates policy-making at its best, taking the best practices from 45 participating states, while letting each local district adapt the standards to the needs of its students.

10. Enjoys widespread support from the business community, because it reflects the range of skills necessary to compete in a 21st century global economy.