"Most public schools in New York are very successful," says NYSUT President Dick Iannuzzi in today's Buffalo News.
"In fact, there is plenty of data to show that New York is home to some of the highest-achieving students and best performing public school districts in the nation.
"Yet, in too many places in Western New York, many children are not thriving. These students start out behind academically and never catch up. This wide gap in academic achievement most often impacts children living in poverty, and disproportionately affects children of color. It is undoubtedly the most pressing issue facing public education today.
"The root causes of the achievement gap - poverty, inadequate health care, poor nutrition and a lack of access to educational advantages, such as quality early-childhood education - cannot be overstated. It is more pronounced in New York than almost anywhere else."
You can read President Iannuzzi's complete commentary online at buffalonews.com.
NYSUT's "Every Child Counts: Ending the Gap" symposium takes place in Albany October 25-27. Reports from the conference will be online at endingthegap.com beginning Thursday evening.