Grammy Award winner Ashanti, WNBA Star/Olympic Gold Medalist Lisa Leslie, and media personality Fonzworth Bentley joined 13,000 parents, students, and teachers at the Don't Steal Possible rally in Albany, New York.
"I was proud to stand with thousands of New Yorkers," stated WNBA Star and Parent Choice Advocate Lisa Leslie. "This is a crisis that plays out in cities across the country every day, and it has to end now."
The crowd assembled at the New York State Capitol on Wednesday to bring awareness to the state's education crisis. Lt. Governor Kathy Hochul, Senate Conference Leaders Dean Skelos and Jeff Klein, and other elected officials called for urgent change to ensure no child in New York is forced to attend a failing school.
More than 800,000 statewide children in grades 3-8 failed proficiency exams last year. Six out of ten schools in Buffalo, Rochester, Syracuse and Yonkers are failing nearly all of their students. 90% or more of students cannot read or do math at grade level.
"New Yorkers deserve to have the option of sending their child to a high-quality school. It doesn't matter if they're district or charter. All excellent schools should be treated equally," adds Assemblyman Marcos Crespo.
The Don't Steal Possible campaign launched last October with The Roots drummer Questlove and 21,000 parents in New York City's Foley Square. By early January the campaign collected more than 85,000 signatures for an online petition to end the crisis.
Check out pictures and video from the Don't Steal Possible Albany Rally below.