FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: January 6, 2016
More information contact:
Lisa Rudley (917) 414-9190; email@example.com
Jessica McNair (315)-368-7550; firstname.lastname@example.org
NYS Allies for Public Education (NYSAPE) www.nysape.org
Two Vacant Seats on the NYS Board of Regents – Candidates Needed
Chancellor Tisch & Vice Chancellor Bottar are both stepping down from the Board of Regents, after serving on the Board for twenty years. It was during Tisch’s term as Chancellor and Bottar’s term as Vice Chancellor that the students of New York State suffered the damaging effects of the failed Regents’ Reform Agenda, which included the implementation of the flawed Common Core standards and modules, and an increased focus on high-stakes testing, including a disastrous new teacher evaluation system based on student test scores.
Both also supported the dangerous NY Education Department plan to share a wealth of personal student data with inBloom Inc. without parent notification or consent, which was eventually blocked by an act of the Legislature.
Now, the statewide coalition New York State Allies for Public Education and Opt Out Central NY are calling on candidates to apply for these seats, including one at large candidate to replace Tisch and one from Judicial District V, Bottar’s current seat, which covers Herkimer, Jefferson, Lewis, Oneida, Onondaga & Oswego Counties. Applications are due by mid-January; click here for more information.
“Under the leadership of Chancellor Tisch and Vice Chancellor Bottar, we have seen a myopic focus on high stakes tests, massive collection of personal and sensitive information about children and families, and the theft of local control from elected school boards,” said Lisa Rudley, NYSAPE founding member and Westchester County public school parent.
In response to the Regents’ failed test-centric agenda, Central New York school districts within Judicial District V had some of the highest opt out rates from the state exams, signaling the public’s discontent with the Regents’ test and punish agenda. For example, the 2015 state math tests were refused by 77% of students in New York Mills, 73% in Sauquoit, and 70% in Whitesboro.
“Parents are rightfully concerned with the negative effects of the test and punish agenda ushered in under the watch of Chancellor Merryl Tisch and Vice Chancellor Bottar and they are refusing to participate in a system that they feel is unfit for their children,” said Jessica McNair, Opt Out CNY co-founder, Oneida County public school parent and educator. “Until and unless we obtain a Board of Regents representative who is responsive to the experience and input of parents and other stakeholders, and the Board as a whole changes course, parents will continue to opt out of high stakes assessments at both the state and local levels to protect their children and their public schools.”
“Parents want state leaders to support their children’s schools, not set them up for failure and threaten them with a state takeover. Both Regents Tisch and Bottar failed to act in the best interest of students, and ignored the concerns repeatedly brought forth to them by the constituents they are supposed to serve,” said Tonya Wilson, Onondaga County public school parent.
There are no specific qualifications to serve as Regent, but New Yorkers should be represented by Regents who understand that the path the majority on the Board is currently pursuing is punitive. New Regent board members should offer positive, research-based child-centric solutions instead. Click here to apply to become a Regent and/or be endorsed by NYSAPE and Opt Out CNY.
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 http://www.nysape.org/resources.html for more details on how to be part of #OptOutNY2016.
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