Within Our Reach

An agenda for ensuring all New York students are prepared for college, careers, and active citizenship

Across New York State today, our education system denies students of color access to rigorous instruction in a range of courses that will prepare them for success in college, careers, and civic life.

But it does not have to be this way.

Better, more equitable outcomes—for our society and our economy—are within our reach, and we call on state leaders to fulfill five vital commitments to our students and our future.

Read Press Coverage:

Advanced courses often elusive for minority students in New York – The Buffalo News

Report: White students have better access to rigorous classes – Rochester Democrat and Chronicle

Study of N.Y. schools finds wide racial, ethnic disparities in advanced high school courses – Albany Times Union

New report focuses on minority enrollment in high-level classes – The Journal News

Bridging the inequality gap in high school – The Long Island Herald

Survey: New York’s high school grads feel unprepared – Albany Times Union

The state of New York rural schools: Left behind – Olean Times Herald


Commentary: New York must take steps to prepare students for future – Albany Times Union

Rochester’s future depends on all students being ready for success – Rochester Democrat and Chronicle

Editorial: Graduating without learning – The Buffalo News

“All students should have equal opportunity for academic rigor that can give them a competitive edge in school and in life. When one group is blocked, everyone loses.” – The Buffalo News Editorial Board

More than 500 parents, educators, and community leaders across New York have called on state education officials to take steps to ensure that all students have access to the critical courses that will prepare them for success in college, careers, and civic life. Join the call to action!

“Ensuring all students have access to the courses that will set them up for success in the future is critical not just from a social justice perspective, but an economic one,” said The Honorable Crystal D. Peoples-Stokes, New York State Assembly, District 141. New York’s long-term success is dependent on all students leaving high school with the skills they need to thrive in college and the workplace. It is imperative that state education leaders act quickly to ensure that these opportunities are available for all students.”

“We believe that all students deserve every opportunity possible to hone the knowledge and skills that will allow them to be successful in college and the workforce,” said Dr. Luvelle Brown, Superintendent of the Ithaca School District and co-chairman of the New York State Council of School Superintendents Commission on Diversity and Inclusivity. “That’s why the Ithaca schools have committed to expanding access to the rigorous courses that will set our students up for future success, and we look forward to working with state leaders to ensure that all students across New York have these opportunities.”

“We all know that one of the most debilitating problems that Rochester faces is poverty, and when you graduate a young student without the skills to participate in the labor market you are condemning them to repeat the cycle they were born into,” said Adrian Hale, Strategic Initiatives Manager for the Greater Rochester Chamber of Commerce. “What this 5×25 agenda does is call on our state leaders and other partners to come together and ensure that we create a system that supports our students and gives them the wherewithal and agency to break that cycle.”

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