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Campaign for Fiscal Equity

Wed, Aug 18, 2010

New York State and City Fail to Graduate 75% of Black Male Students with Regents Diplomas

CFE calls for Recommitment to the Constitutional Right to a Meaningful High School Education and Targeted Investments in Strategies Proven to Achieve Academic Excellence
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Statement by Geri Palast, CFE Executive Director

The continuing failure of our nation’s educational systems to focus the proper attention on the black male student population, particularly in New York State and City, underscores the need to provide adequate funding for targeted investments in the core, research-proven resources and practices. The Schott Foundation’s “Yes We Can” Report sounds the alarm and reinforces the solutions that the Campaign for Fiscal Equity litigation and subsequent legislation was designed to advance the constitutional right to a sound basic education. After a 13 year court battle, the State agreed to increase funding by $7 billion over four years. These precious dollars were to be distributed on the basis of need and targeted to strategies proven to advance student achievement. Unfortunately, our progress has been halted by deep budget cuts. Targeted investments and the constitutional guarantee of a meaningful high school education have been laid aside. This tragedy is underscored by the success of New Jersey’s Abbott plan won through similar litigation demonstrates that when equitable resources are available to all students, systemic change can result. New Jersey is the only state with a significant Black population with a greater than 65% high school graduation rate from Black male students.
For New York City, this bad news comes on the heels of another similar report by New York State report on the 2010 test scores. State officials reported what they considered a more accurate reading of students’ proficiencies. As a result, not only did passing rates drop for New York City but the previously hailed closing of the racial achievement gap largely disappeared.

Currently the New York State Regents are phasing out the use of local diplomas and requiring that every student must graduate with the college ready Regents diplomas reported on here. CFE is finalizing a report and recommendations addressing Regents diploma rates among disadvantaged students in New York City.

CFE urges New York State and City policymakers to renew their commitment to CFE principles and investments and to adopt the conditions for success that provide a proven opportunity to learn laid out in this report.

Parents from across the state march on the Capitol in Albany to show support for CFE.
CFE Litigation CFE v. State of New York
In 2006, after 13 years in the Courts, the New York State Court of Appeals affirmed the right of every public school student in New York to the opportunity for a sound basic education and the state’s responsibility to adequately fund this right, but deferred to the Governor and the Legislature to determine the appropriate amount. more >