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New York Kids Lose as Cuomo Continues his Donor-Driven Education Agenda

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: September 29, 2015
More information contact:
Lisa Rudley (917) 414-9190; nys.allies@gmail.com
NYS Allies for Public Education www.nysape.org

                                                    New York Kids Lose as Cuomo Continues his Donor-Driven Education Agenda


Cuomo announced yesterday another politically motivated and biased Commission to raise his poll ratings — with no representation from parents who led the Opt Out movement, early education classroom teachers, or Common Core critics of any kind. New Yorkers across the state are outraged, but hardly surprised by Cuomo’s disregard for the people’s voice.  

The Cuomo Commission consists of many members from his first unproductive Commission and will again be led by the same businessman, Richard Parsons, despite the public’s outcry for an educator-led process. Parents know the Common Core standards and the Common Core exams are damaging their children’s education, not because they are “confused”, but because the standards themselves are invalid.

“Governor Cuomo cannot use a political task force to get politics out of education. Until our children’s education is once again under the direction of real education experts and classroom teachers, parents will not comply. Continuation of an unreliable teacher evaluation system tied to test scores, inappropriate and untested Common Core curriculum in our classrooms and inappropriate exams will not be tolerated. A task force devoid of critics is pointless.” –Jeanette Deutermann, Long Island public school parent and founder of Long Island Opt Out. 

“If the governor really wanted to fix this mess, he would have called back the legislature for a special session to undo the laws that got us here in the first place. It is time to get back our real learning in our kids’ classrooms and local control by elected school boards. Without a fundamental improvement to the Common Core standards, the state exams and the way test scores are being unfairly used to stigmatize schools, teachers and students as failures, the number of parents opting out is guaranteed to sharply rise again this year.” –Lisa Rudley, Hudson Valley public school parent and NYSAPE founding member.

“Governor Cuomo is not trying to fix the problems with Common Core and testing.  He is trying to make it salvage his reputation and his poll ratings, to make it ‘look like’ he is fixing these problems.  These problems are not difficult to fix.  Start by disconnecting tests from teacher evaluations to the extent allowable by Federal law, and then totally redo the standards and the exams by allowing New York teachers to rewrite them.  But it appears that the Governor does not really want to do what is best for our children.”–Eric Mihelbergel, Erie County public school parent and NYSAPE founding member.
 
“Cuomo claims Common Core is headed for a total reboot. Oddly enough, he has chosen 15 individuals as members who never had a problem with the standards to begin with. It is not often that you ask a bull to clean up the mess it has created in the china shop.” –Kevin Glynn, Long Island public school parent and educator.
 
“Governor Cuomo claims he is listening to parents, yet he has established another group that contains many of the same members as his previous commissions, which totally failed to provide answers to the education crisis created by the corporate reform movement.  Polls show that the public is opposed to the Common Core, over-testing our children, and tying teacher evaluation to assessment results, yet the vast majority of Cuomo’s latest task force support the very policies rejected by New York families.” – Chris Cerrone, Western NY public school parent, school board member and educator.

​“For too long the majority of NYS Regents led by Chancellor Merryl Tisch have failed to provide the leadership necessary to protect children from harmful reforms. While the tide is changing with six Regents representing kids, the parents of Central NY see that Vice Chancellor Bottar has failed to protect kids and will call for his ouster.” –Jessica McNair, Central New York public school parent and educator.

“To show how off-base Cuomo is, in his speech he bragged about the teacher merit pay system he has imposed on the state.  Teacher merit pay has never been shown to work to help kids learn, and this is one more sign of his willingness to waste millions of dollars of our taxpayer funds on untested or even damaging programs, in place of proven reforms like class size reduction.” –Lori Griffin, Northern New York public school parent and educator.

Parents don’t just want politics out of their kids’ education. They want Andrew Cuomo and his political contributors to stay out of their classrooms. Parents across the state have vowed to continue refusing these harmful tests and practices to protect their children and their schools.

NYSAPE, a grassroots organization with over 50 parent and educator groups across the state are calling on parents to continue to opt out by refusing high-stakes testing starting on the first days of school. Go to www.nysape.org/resources.html for more details on the how to be part of the #GreatOptOutNY. 

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