FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
MARCH 13, 2015
Contact: Chapin Fay, 212-681-1380
New York Parents Cheer the Court’s Decision on the Motion to Dismiss and Look Forward to Having Their Day in Court
Parents declare, “Our voices deserve to be heard, and now they will be. We have not
NEW YORK – Parents and students who brought suit in New York to challenge teacher tenure and dismissal policies stood together today on the steps of New York City Hall to cheer the court’s decision to allow their lawsuit Wright v. New York to move forward. Last summer, eight families filed a lawsuit to ensure quality education for New York students. They are challenging teacher tenure, teacher dismissal, and layoff policies because they believe these laws violate our children’s constitutional rights. The court’s decision yesterday to deny the motion to dismiss allows these families to have the opportunity to have their case heard in court and gain access to data that exposes achievement gaps and the degree to which quality teaching impacts a student’s ability to succeed.
Keoni Wright, the father of two daughters, Kaylah and Kyler, who are plaintiffs in Wright v. New York, spoke on behalf of his children, saying “Yesterday, in a monumental step forward for New York parents and families, Judge Minardo denied the defendants’ motions to dismiss our case, stating “’his court … will not close the courthouse door to parents and children with viable constitutional rights.’ Teachers matter. That’s why these laws, which protect ineffective teachers and harm our children’s education, need to be changed. Our voices deserve to be heard, and now they will be.”
Nina Doster, a mother from Queens, said “Both my children, Patience and King, have been let down by their teachers. Even though I have always been very accessible as a parent, I learned about their challenges when it was too late. Both my children are now reading below grade level. Laws like the ones we are fighting against allow ineffective teachers to stay in classrooms throughout New York State. I am standing up with my fellow plaintiffs and these families whose children are suffering at the hands of ineffective teachers. Our children’s constitutional rights are being violated when teachers who aren’t doing their job are protected. We have to fix that. We have to fight for educational justice, and now we are getting that chance. Yesterday, Judge Minardo denied the defendants’ motions to dismiss. We will not be kept out of the courts.”
Each parent declared, on behalf of all the plaintiffs, “Our voices deserve to be heard, and now they will be. We have not been dismissed!”
Find the full ruling here.
ABOUT THE PARTNERSHIP FOR EDUCATIONAL JUSTICE
Partnership for Educational Justice helps students, families and communities advocate for the great public schools they deserve through coalition building and legal action. All children, no matter their background or circumstance, deserve access to a sound education. The inequalities that exist in our educational system are the civil rights issue of our time. Motivated by a pervasive lack of meaningful progress in ensuring a supportive learning environment for all students, Partnership for Educational Justice challenges antiquated education laws that prevent public schools from providing all students with an excellent education. Targeted litigation will be supported by an aggressive communications campaign at the local, state and national level. Through its work, Partnership for Educational Justice will mobilize families, community stakeholders and organizations to form effective coalitions that increase pressure on legislators and other decision makers to reform our educational system. Founded by Campbell Brown, an award-winning journalist and writer, Partnership for Educational Justice is a recognized 501(c)(3) organization.