"Education is the passport to the future, for tomorrow belongs to those who prepare for it today." -Malcolm X
We use data and proven strategies to push toward a more equitable future
What We Want
— Equitable Access
We demand systems put in place to ensure that every child has equal access and opportunity to a high-quality, non-discriminatory education, regardless of their social class, gender, ethnicity background or physical and mental disabilities. We ask that our educational system ensure every student has the support they need to be successful. The quality of NYC students should not be determined by their zip codes. Children from impoverished communities should have the same quality of teachers, resources, and even environmental support (eg, buildings with enough space for all children, good ventilation systems) as their counterparts in more affluent neighborhoods. We feel strongly that children across NYC should have equal access to accelerated learning opportunities, not only those students in Gifted and Talented programs. Every New York City student also deserves access to rigorous and challenging secondary education opportunities, not only those students admitted to selective high schools.
We ask that NYC implements a city-wide inclusive education. A successful inclusive educational system happens primarily through accepting, understanding, and attending to student differences and diversity, which can include varying physical, cognitive, academic, social, and emotional needs. Once implemented, an inclusive education is able to address learning and background differences in all of its students. Every NYC public school student deserves an education experience that celebrates, respects and enriches their individuality, culture, health, well being, and academic potential. We know from research that all students, when learning side by side, learn more when they can participate fully in their education. Inclusive classrooms provide greater access to the general education curriculum that benefits all students. We advocate for a rethinking of NYC’s educational system to be able to accommodate all learners.
— Cultural Awareness
Every NYC student deserves to feel comfortable in their classroom, regardless of their background, gender identity, ethnicity, religious beliefs, or race. Our educational system should have access to the cultural capital that draws on and celebrates the racial, ethnic, linguistic, gender, sexual orientation and ability differences as assets for culturally aware teaching. We call for NYC public schools to offer a variety of classes, rigorous curricula, projects, books and resources that are grounded in rich diversity. Every child should have access to anti-racism and anti-bias education. Every classroom should include allowances for cultural necessities in classroom rules, choose texts that are relevant to and explore cultural differences, and foster a safe, non-hostile environment for children and help develop students’ abilities to connect across lines of difference. All teachers and NYC schools should have access to culturally responsive sustaining education training.
We demand the end of public school racial segregation in New York City. It is shameful that 65 years after the Supreme Court’s Brown v. Board of Education decision, NYC still has the most segregated public school system in the United States. Integration has a positive effect on almost every aspect of schooling that matters, and segregation the inverse. Both BIPOC and white students are disadvantaged by attending racially isolated schools – white (and often Asian American) students are not exposed to the comfort of being around diversity that is a pertinent part of American life today, and BIPOC students tend to suffer academically.
— Fulfill Students' Potential
School funding should be equitable and allow for access to resources that are necessary to effectively serve all students. All students should have access to high quality content that fits their educational needs, highly qualified teachers who are well prepared to be culturally aware and relatable to students as per their backgrounds in order to help students achieve their highest potential.
— Empathy in Education
We call for a school system that values empathy in its teachers who can model the most important socioemotional skill to their students. Students with high levels of empathy display more classroom engagement, higher academic achievement, and better communication skills. Many of today’s problems stem from the inability of people to empathize with others, and the tendency to view others as less than. We demand that NYC public schools begin teaching via the lens of empathy, whether in its history lessons, or the way schools deal with bullying and school yard issues.