Partnerships Pay Off

Lucy FriedmanOne of the best ways to help more kids in New York State learn and succeed is to help more public schools partner with strong youth-serving community organizations, such as settlement houses. I was honored to make that case yesterday to members of Gov. Cuomo’s New York State Education Reform Commission at a public hearing. (We’ve posted my full testimony in our Reports library.)

I found commission members eager to explore how community organizations can align their work with schools and provide wrap-around services to ensure kids don’t fail due to chronic absenteeism. A great example is University Settlement’s work to connect families in their partner schools with mental health services.

The commission has been challenged to simultaneously raise student achievement and contain costs. As Shael Polakow-Suransky, New York City’s Chief Academic Officer, made clear in his testimony, schools need new investments to meet Common Core standards. We should stretch every dollar by blending and re-purposing existing education and youth development funds to accelerate student success.