Brooklyn, NY – Parents in Fort Greene, Brooklyn, gathered today to celebrate recent improvements at Walt Whitman Library. The recent improvements capped a months-long grassroots campaign in the neighborhood to push for expanded programming and greater community involvement. Nearly 2,000 Fort Greene parents shared in the effort to improve the library.Read more
This morning, the New York City Independent Budget Office released data showing charter schools housed in private space receive 16% less funding per student than district schools.
"A kid is a kid is a kid. All public school students deserve equal funding, but today's IBO report reveals an inequity that must be addressed. It's time to stop treating charter school students inequitably," said StudentsFirstNY Executive Director Jenny Sedlis.Read more
"Parents living in Bedford-Stuyvesant have known for years about how Boys and Girls High School has failed their children," said StudentsFirstNY's Executive Director Jenny Sedlis. "Parents have worked with StudentsFirstNY to organize, rally and demand real results. In October 2014, parents called on the Department of Education to release turnaround plans. Since then, those parents have seen a steep drop in enrollment, heard rumors of a merger, but have not experienced much concrete change."Read more
StudentsFirstNY Analysis Finds New York City School Progress Stalls Since Mayor de Blasio Took Control
A new analysis released by leading education reform organization StudentsFirstNY finds that Mayor Bill de Blasio has done little to improve New York City public schools since he took control in January 2014. StudentsFirstNY intends to track and assess the Mayor’s proposals and hold him accountable to the parents and students of New York City.
Last year, the Mayor agreed to a new contract with the United Federation of Teachers — a sweetheart deal for the union that has repeatedly and negatively influenced education policy thereafter. Mayor de Blasio has offered a number of proposals with great fanfare, but so far his policies have failed to deliver real results.Read more
A year and a half has passed since the de Blasio administration took over the Department of Education, assuming control of 1,800 schools, 70,000 teachers, and 1.1 million students. Within months of taking office, Mayor de Blasio negotiated a generous new teachers’ contract, laying the groundwork for what has been a cozy alliance with the United Federation of Teachers. Since then, with his schools chancellor, Carmen Fariña, at his side, Mayor de Blasio has turned his attention to school quality. With much media fanfare, a patch-work of ambitious-sounding new programs has been announced. Formerly significant issues like school accountability and teacher evaluations have been watered down or ignored. Throughout, Mayor de Blasio’s disdain for charter schools has been loud and clear.Read more
"Today Albany leaders stepped up and delivered for parents and students who demanded more choice. Too many children are stuck in failing schools without options," said StudentsFirstNY Executive Director Jenny Sedlis. "Thanks to the leadership of Governor Cuomo, Senate Majority Leader Flanagan and Assembly Speaker Heastie, families in New York City will have more high quality school choices. Thankfully, Albany leaders understand that charter schools play a critical role in the delivery of free, public education in New York."
Despite Difficult Session, Significant Progress for Students in 2015
"In a difficult legislative session, education has been a bright spot thanks to Governor Cuomo's leadership," said StudentsFirstNY Executive Director Jenny Sedlis. "Today's deal allows for 50 new charters for New York City and gives Mayor de Blasio a year to restore parent confidence in his ability to run schools. The education tax credit would have provided parents quality options, and we're disappointed that an agreement couldn't be reached."Read more
Open Letter to Chancellor Fariña Details Parents’ Requests
(Crown Heights, Brooklyn) Parents of students from P.S. 289 George V. Brower School teamed with leading education reform organization StudentsFirstNY to release a letter to Schools Chancellor Carmen Fariña calling for the Department of Education to step in and facilitate change at the Crown Heights elementary school.Read more