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  • Policy Report
  • Report of the New York Hearing on the Crisis in Public Education

    This report examines the May 1984 public hearing on Our Children at Risk: The Crisis in Public Education that was organized by Advocates for Children of New York and co-sponsored by Statewide Youth Advocacy. The hearing focused on three areas that are key to inequity: the denial of equal access to school resources, the denial of equal quality in the learning process, and the denial of open futures in the link between school and work.

    Jan 29, 1985

    The testimony offered at the hearings by students, parents, community and civic activists, teachers, and administrators is organized into five sections:

    1. The economic and social conditions of the school crisis;
    2. The underfunding of school services;
    3. The problems and dilemmas of an unequal system;
    4. New approaches to and recommendations for school improvement; and
    5. Conclusions for the advocacy movement.

    Equity is not just an matter of access, the right to attend school, although even this historic battle is far from universally won. Equity is not just a matter of being given the opportunity to achieve, if such "opportunities" are delivered by second-class schools which cannot serve students according to their needs. Equity means a commitment to two fundamental values in public education: that all children have the right to learn—and that the quality of our schools and our society depends on making that right a reality.”

    Introduction to the report

    The conclusions of the report are:

    1. School failure is not inevitable;
    2. School failure is an issue of public choices and commitments, not of rejected opportunities;
    3. The results of resource denial and inequity are manifest everyday in the classroom;
    4. The ingredients of school improvement and effectiveness are known; and
    5. Raising standards and requirements for student performance without raising the level of fiscal, administrative, and instructional support for school improvement will exacerbate school failure.