Press Release

New Statewide Education Policy and Advocacy Organization Launches to Advance Solutions to New York’s Equity, Achievement & Opportunity Gaps

Publication date: Aug 1, 2016

The Education Trust–New York Will Serve as a Voice for Low-Income Students and Students of Color, Providing Unrelenting Equity-Focused Advocacy Supported by Unflinching Data Analyses

New York, NY – With support from state and national partners, The Education Trust–New York – a new equity-focused statewide education policy and advocacy organization – is launching to pursue educational justice for all students across New York State, particularly those of color or living in poverty.

Only 38% of ninth grade students in New York State in the 2010 cohort graduated from high school on time and with the skills they need to succeed in college, and wide achievement gaps persist for African American and Latino students and students who are low-income. The Education Trust–New York (EdTrust–NY) will strive to eliminate the barriers that hold back too many of New York’s students from achieving their full potential, from early childhood through college completion.

EdTrust–NY’s top immediate priority will be to take advantage of both the opportunities and levers in the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) – the new federal education law that gives considerable power to states in shaping measures of success and accountability, while demanding a genuine focus on the progress of low-income students, English Learners, students of color and students with disabilities. Working in close collaboration with other New York civil rights, education, parent, business and civic organizations, EdTrust–NY seeks a strong state accountability system that promotes a meaningful definition of college-readiness, prioritizes closing achievement and opportunity gaps, ensures real transparency, and addresses schools that are underperforming either overall or for any group of children with urgency and data-backed solutions.

EdTrust–NY was established by The Education Trust, the national non-profit organization that promotes high academic achievement for all students at all levels.
“Many of the most important decisions driving school improvement are now going to be made at the state level. So now, more than ever, it’s critical that there are strong voices pushing for equity to be part of every major education decision,” said Kati Haycock, CEO of The Education Trust. “Working alongside its partners throughout the state, Ed Trust–NY will provide unrelenting advocacy supported by solid data analysis, equity-focused policy proposals, and proven strategies to improve educational outcomes across New York.”

“New York’s education system is at a pivotal moment. The good news is that we are seeing signs of progress as higher standards take hold. In the 2016 state test results released just last week, the students in third grade who’ve had the benefit of higher standards since they started school had the highest proficiency rates in English language arts. But with persistent massive achievement and opportunity gaps and ongoing attacks on equity, New York faces major challenges. With so much at stake, we’re launching The Education Trust–New York to be an equity-driven, data-centered and student-focused voice for the changes we urgently need across this state,” said Ian Rosenblum, founding executive director of EdTrust–NY.

EdTrust–NY’s Advisory Board incorporates the diverse perspectives of leaders from across the state, including: Constance Evelyn, Superintendent, Valley Stream Union Free School District 13; Danielle Guindo, Chief Program Officer, YWCA Brooklyn; Stan Litow, Vice President, Corporate Citizenship and Corporate Affairs, IBM & President, IBM International Foundation; Dr. Lisette Nieves, Founder, Lingo Ventures; Cesar Perales, Former New York Secretary of State; Samuel L. Radford III, President, Buffalo District-Parent Coordinating Council; Carrie E. Remis, Rochester Advocate; Arva R. Rice, President & CEO, New York Urban League; Evan Stone, Co-Founder and Co-CEO, Educators 4 Excellence; and Rhea Wong, Executive Director, Breakthrough New York.

“The New York Urban League is pleased to partner with The Education Trust–New York to address the persistent education inequity that is depriving our children, especially those of color and from low–income families, of the necessary skills to succeed. EdTrust–NY will advance an equity agenda rooted in data and committed to the achievement of all students,” said Arva Rice, President and CEO of the New York Urban League.
In addition to ESSA, EdTrust–NY will also focus on:

  • Affirming and strengthening New York state’s commitment to rigorous academic standards that prepare every student for college and career;
  • Promoting a success agenda for low-income students and students of color that ensures adequate and equitable funding, quality teaching and support in every classroom, improved access to advanced coursework and experience with high-skill employers, and reforming disciplinary practices to end the school-to-prison pipeline; and
  • Recognizing that closing the opportunity gap requires a coordinated commitment to high levels of achievement for all children extending from early childhood through college completion and participation in the workforce.

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