"It is mind-boggling that people who claim to be on the side of students can defend the status quo while 250,000 of them have been condemned to failing schools in the last 10 years. The louder special interests scream, the more we know we're right." -- Cuomo spokeswoman Dani Lever
Hard to tell if that's a Cuomo administration official statement or a StudentsFirstNY statement:
There are 250,000 students in New York who have attended failing schools. Only one in three can read and do math on grade level. StudentsFirstNY is a grassroots member organization made up of parent activists who believe we need fundamental reform of our public schools — a position that is supported by an overwhelming majority of New Yorkers.
We advocate for improving public schools and believe charter schools provide additional and much-needed choice for parents of children in communities that have been underserved by district schools. These schools do not generate profits, but operate independent of the bureaucracy and protections of ineffective teachers who have prevented real reforms from taking place in traditional public schools.
Unlike the state teachers' unions, which have spent close to $60 million on political ads and lobbying over the past four years trying to protect their public education monopoly, our supporters have no personal financial stake in the education reform debate.
The broken status quo that has been created by NYSUT and their political allies has led to New York spending more on education than any other state, while getting only mediocre results.
We believe that our children deserve better than that, and we are proud to stand with Gov. Andrew Cuomo as he works to improve public schools across the state.
New York City
The writer is executive director of StudentsFirstNY.