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New Broad-Based Campaign to Declare Education Emergency and Demand Immediate Action from DOE

September 16, 2010

More than two-dozen New York City elected officials, New York’s leading education advocacy organizations, and hundreds of parents will gather on the steps of the Department of Education today at 11 AM to declare an education emergency in City schools, and to launch “Save our Schools”—an effort to secure immediate intervention services for more than 200,000 students who are unprepared for college.

 Elected officials, parents, and education advocates will demand that the Department of Education (DOE) take the immediate action necessary to get these children back on track.  Demands will include academic intervention services for individual students, comprehensive supports for struggling schools, and suspension of DOE policies and decisions based on the clearly flawed current system of testing and monitoring.

 This summer, parents were shocked to learn that a more accurate recalibration of state test scores revealed that reading scores for City students had dropped by 27 points since last year, while math scores dropped 28 points.  The achievement gap between Black and Latino and white students – and between students from poor families and those from more affluent families – also widened significantly.

 This year, 109,427 more students do not meet English  Language Arts (ELA) standards—meaning they are not on track for college.  There are also now 369 schools where at least two out of every three students do not meet ELA standards.  Last year there were five such schools.  Yet the DOE eliminated its office and staff for Academic Intervention Services last year.  If the DOE followed current policy, more than 50,000 additional students would likely be held back a grade based on test scores.

 Where:       Steps of NYC Department of Education

52 Chambers Street, Manhattan

 When:        11 AM – Thursday, September 16th

Who:          Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer; Council Members Jumaane Williams, Daniel Dromm, Mathieu Eugene, Leticia James, Al Vann, Charles Barron, Brad Lander, Stephen Levin, Robert Jackson, Gale Brewer, Margaret Chin, Leroy Comrie, Inez Dickens, Melissa Mark-Viverito, Dominic Recchia, Ydanis Rodriguez, Mark Weprin, James Sanders Jr., Darlene Mealy, and Lew Fidler; Assembly Members William Boyland Jr., Karim Camara, Jeff Aubry, Inez Barron, James Brennan, Hakeem Jeffries, Grace Meng, Annette Robinson, and Darryl Towns; State Senators John Sampson, Bill Perkins, and Shirley Huntley;  State Senator-elect Gustavo Rivera.

Representatives from New York’s leading education advocacy groups, including Advocates for Children, Alliance for Quality Education, Brooklyn Young Mothers Collective, Campaign for Fiscal Equity, Center for Arts Education, Center for Immigrant Families, Class Size Matters, NYC Coalition for Educational Justice, Coalition for Asian American Children and Families (CACF), Concerned Advocates for Public Education (CAPE), Council of School Supervisors and Administrators, Education Voters of NY, Grassroots Education Movement (GEM), Northwest Bronx Community and Clergy Coalition, NY Charter Parents Association, NY Coalition of Radical Educators (NYCORE), New York Communities for Change, Staten Island Federation of PTAs, Time Out from Testing, United Federation of Teachers, and Urban Youth Collaborative.

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