Parents Urge Governor and State Legislature to Place All Priority Schools Under Receivership this Fall, Providing Bold, Structural Change for Chronically Failing Schools

Includes 91 Priority Schools in New York City

New York, NY – On Wednesday, Families for Excellent Schools (FES) announced that it would call on state leaders to place all 178 state-designated “Priority” schools in New York State under receivership this fall. The call for state takeover of the state’s worst schools presents a bold step forward in addressing the statewide failing schools crisis.

With hundreds of failing schools statewide, and cities like New York City simply unwilling to take action, parents are calling on state leaders to put these schools into receivership immediately.  A receivership model would free chronically failing schools from bureaucratic obstacles and place them under the stewardship of proven operators. If the schools are unable to improve, they will close.

“When cities like New York City refuse to take bold action to fix the city’s failing schools, we need the state to act urgently,” said Jeremiah Kittredge, CEO of Families for Excellent Schools“Statewide, 800,000 children fail every year—we cannot accept that any longer.

In recent remarks, Governor Andrew Cuomo has proposed his plan to takeover failing schools in New York State. Cuomo has asked state education officials to do a detailed analysis of the Massachusetts law that allows the takeover of chronically failing public schools. Cuomo has described such an approach as “transformative.”

“It is time for the state to takeover all failing “Priority” schools in New York City and give parents at other failing schools the opportunity to take action and “turnaround” their schools by petitioning for state takeover of their individual schools, said Mona Davids, a PS106x Parent and chairperson, Title I Parent Advisory Council.

Governor Cuomo’s proposal comes at the same time that mayoral control of city schools is up for renewal. At a joint Legislative budget hearing this morning, Mayor Bill de Blasio called for making mayoral control permanent. Cynical Albany watchers see Cuomo’s takeover proposal as a way to undermine mayoral control. The

Michael Mulgrew, president of the UFT, has called Cuomo’s plan a step backward and one that punishes the neediest children and the educators who serve them.

Ms. Davids, president of the New York City Parents Union and a frequent critic of the teachers union added, “We must put the education of our children before the interests of teachers union.”

What are the 178 Priority Schools?

  • Title I (high-poverty) schools that are persistently low-achieving and among the bottom 5% of lowest-performing schools in the state
  • Title I or Title I-eligible secondary schools with graduation rate less than 60% for a number of years
  • Title I or Title I-eligible schools implementing school intervention models using School Improvement Grants fund (SIG)

Families for Excellent Schools  is a parent-based pro-charter schools organization that touts itself as harnessing “the power of families to advance policy and political changes that create and sustain excellent schools.” According to news reports, FES spent over $9.7 million on lobbying and other activities last year.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email