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Albany Leadership Refused to Fix Ed Laws – What We Want for Our Schools

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:  June 24, 2016
More information contact:
Lisa Rudley (917) 414-9190; nys.allies@gmail.com
Bianca Tanis (845) 389-0722; nysapeframework4ed@gmail.com
NYS Allies for Public Education (NYSAPE) www.nysape.org
 
Albany Leadership Refused to Fix Ed Laws – What We Want for Our Schools
 
When presented with the opportunity to amend and recall bad education laws left on the books from last year, Albany failed to act in the best interest of the children of New York. Only several legislators pushed for a research-based evaluation system and a repeal of an illogical and damaging receivership law.  
 
The Governor and the leadership in the legislature kicked the can down the road by simply delaying the requirement to submit new, harsher plans until December 2016, after the very important November elections. The Board of Regents have made it clear that they cannot mitigate the harmful effects of this law through regulation, yet the legislature has once again failed to act in the best interest of public education.
 
While Governor Cuomo and the legislature refuse to reverse their harmful laws, parents and educators are demanding a new vision for public education.  In conjunction with our allies, NYSAPE has developed a framework for what every public school in NYS must have in order to ensure equity and student success. Until a framework of equity and opportunity drive the State’s accountability and funding system, the opt out movement will continue.
 
Bianca Tanis, Ulster County public school parent and educator said, “Until we ensure that our schools have the resources to meet the needs of all children, test scores are meaningless and only serve to widen the opportunity gap, hurting the most vulnerable students. A test driven accountability system allows those in power to distract the public from their refusal to fully fund our schools and denies all but the wealthiest, a well-rounded and child-centered education.”
 
“Many of our poorest schools have become test prep factories while our wealthiest schools enjoy field trips, reasonable class sizes, and well-rounded curriculum. What the opt out movement hopes to achieve could not be clearer,” said Eileen Graham, Rochester public school parent and founder of Black Student Leadership.
 
Jeanette Deutermann, Nassau County public school parent and founder of Long Island Opt Out said, “Grassroots organizations worked feverishly this spring to push for legislation to correct the mistakes made by our legislators and our Governor last year. Once again, the Albany leadership failed to respond to the growing tide of discontent. Parents will respond in kind this November. While others may celebrate this hollow victory of a fleeting reprieve, parent organizations will continue to fight for what is in the best interest of our children and the health of our public schools.  Our message has been loud, clear, direct, and unwavering. The time for excuses are long gone.”

Jamaal Bowman, Bronx public school educator and parent said, “Parents and educators are coming to the realization that many in Albany do not exemplify the humility and political will to act in the best interest of all children. There is absolutely no research that supports the 3012-d law. However, there is a multitude of research which does support a focus on collaboration, efficacy, and child centered learning for our schools. Test and sanction systems from the heavy hand of state government stagnate our ability to ignite the full potential of all students.  It is exciting to see parents and educators, from all corners of the state working together to fight for what’s right for all children.”  

Lisa Rudley, Westchester County public school parent and founding member of NYSAPE said, “It is profoundly disappointing that those who voted ‘with a heavy heart’ for the draconian education laws included in last year’s budget vote did not fight for our children last week. I do applaud the legislators who passionately fought to pass comprehensive, bi-partisan legislation to fix these education laws which appallingly did not make it to the floor for a vote. Come this November parents and educators will remember who stood up for public education and who did not.”
 
“As a parent and educator in NYS, the fact that the Governor continues to ignore parents and teachers is disgraceful.  With the continued mass of parents who are refusing testing, those test refusals will be heard at the voting booths in November,” said Marla Kilfoyle, Long Island public school parent, educator, and Executive Director, National BATs.  
 
NYSAPE, along with its allies, will continue to advocate at all levels to ensure all children receive a quality education and use this framework as a guiding source.
 
NYSAPE is a grassroots coalition with over 50 parent and educator groups across the state.
 

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