FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: November 23, 2015
More information contact:
Lisa Rudley (917) 414-9190; firstname.lastname@example.org
NYS Allies for Public Education (NYSAPE) www.nysape.org
NYS Ed Commissioner Elia is Misleading Public with Deceptive Common Core Survey
Immediately following the release of NY Education Commissioner’s Maryellen Elia’s Common Core ‘AimHighNY’ survey a few weeks ago, critics sounded the alarm that the State Education Department was preventing the public from offering any comment on the standards that did not adhere to the survey’s arcane format –a complex maze of ‘click here’ boxes for each specific standard.
During this month’s Board of Regents meeting, Commissioner Elia claimed that the survey DID provide the opportunity for general public comment and that she never expected people to respond to each specific standard.
Calls to the NYS Education Department following that meeting revealed there was no opportunity for general public comment in the survey, and feedback NOT aligned with the lengthy and complex standard-by-standard format would NOT be included in the public record.
From the NYSED website, “This [survey] is not a referendum on the standards. Only comments tied to a specific standard will be considered.”
Experts, parents, and educators alike are outraged. Not only is the survey fundamentally flawed, it is designed to silence legitimate criticism and exclude the views of most members of the public, who according to the polls, overwhelming oppose the Common Core standards.
Sandra Stotsky, a leading expert who designed the esteemed Massachusetts education standards, said, “A review of a set of standards, standard by standard, is a dishonest and deliberately unproductive method for the state to ask for because the organization of the standards is the key to their quality and effectiveness, whether in mathematics or English language arts.”
“Members of the public are not fooled. When you ask for ‘Public Comment’ but prevent most parents and teachers who do not have the time to follow your complicated rules, we know that you are really not interested in what they have to say. The survey is designed to block out dissenting voices,” said Jessica McNair, Central NY public school parent, educator, and Opt Out CNY founder.
“Elia has declared war on parents who are trying to protect their children from these harmful reforms. This disingenuous survey along with Elia’s ‘fear mongering’ School Administrator Toolkit demonstrates a complete disregard for parents who are choosing not to participate in this failed system,” said Jeanette Deutermann, Long Island public school parent and Long Island Opt Out founder.
Alan Singer, Hofstra University professor and Huffington Post blogger, wrote in his recent post [link] “… the problem with this bogus survey is not each individual standard. No one is going to vote that we should not teach children to read, write, and think. However, nowhere can you vote that Common Core Standards aligned with high-stakes testing have undermined education in New York State, stressed out students and teachers, turned curriculum development over to test design companies, and transformed schools into test prep academies. These are the real reasons parents and teachers oppose the Common Core.”
Parents know the poorly designed survey is the reason why only 5500 people across the entire state have responded. Elia also reported at the Board of Regents meeting that while most speakers at public hearings have been opposed to the Common Core, this controversial survey shows a different result that so far, 70% of teachers [less than 1% of NY Teachers responded] support the Common Core.
“The Albany Fix is already in. Parents predict Commissioner Elia’s survey press release will likely declare that despite overwhelming opposition in statewide polls and at public hearings, a majority of respondents support the Common Core,” said Lisa Rudley, Hudson Valley public school parent and NYSAPE founding member.
Instead, NYSAPE just released a user-friendly survey to maximize public participation and input, and offer the results to the Board of Regents, Commissioner Elia and the Governor’s Common Core Task Force for their consideration.
NYS Allies for Public Education (NYSAPE) is a coalition of more than 50 parent and educator grassroots organizations throughout the state.