Governor Cuomo, protect our children!

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – December 4, 2013
More information contact:
Eric Mihelbergel (716) 553-1123;
nys.allies@gmail.com
Lisa Rudley (917) 414-9190;
nys.allies@gmail.com
NYS Allies for Public Education –
www.nysape.org

 

New Yorkers Call on Governor Cuomo to Step Up to the Plate and Protect our Children from Further Damage

Parents, educators and community members across the state of New York have voiced deep concerns with the Common Core Learning Standards, excessive high-stakes standardized testing and the sharing of personally identifiable student information without parental consent.  Many forums, meetings and hearings have been held throughout the state over the last two months, at which vehement opposition to the current policies of the State Education Department has been expressed by administrators, teachers and parents alike.  The response from Commissioner John King, Chancellor Merryl Tisch and the Board of Regents is that they are intending to move full speed ahead with these reforms and make only minor adjustments.

Cuomo has claimed to be the “lobbyist for students”, and in his 2012 State of the State Address he stated he would “wage a campaign to put students first”.  Furthermore, he reminded us that “the purpose of public education is to help children grow, not to grow the public education bureaucracy.”  Yet, he has remained mostly silent throughout this firestorm of controversy.

Lori Griffin, Copenhagen public school parent and educator says, “It is time that the Governor showed real leadership, indicate that he is listening to parents and make his views known on the damaging agenda being imposed on our schools by the educrats at the State Education Department.  He cannot remain silent any longer and allow Commissioner King to implement disastrous policies and trample on parent and student data privacy rights.”

“The Governor is turning a blind eye and allowing copyrighted Common Core Learning Standards, otherwise known as a marketing plan, to take over education in New York. New York is the last state in the nation trading away student privacy to a data-mining corporation called inBloom Inc., while eight other states originally involved in the plan have all pulled out.  We need a sharp course correction and an end to faulty tests and flawed curriculum modules. Confidence and trust in the Governor’s leadership is rapidly eroding” said Eric Mihelbergel, a public school parent in Buffalo and a founding member of the NYS Allies for Public Education.

“The Governor has tried to distance himself from the current uproar by claiming that education is not his jurisdiction.  As evidenced in this letter (http://www.governor.ny.gov/press/lettertoBoardofRegents) to Chancellor Merryl Tisch in 2011 regarding performance evaluations for teachers, the Governor has a huge influence over what happens to our schools, and it is his responsibility to protect the children of this state from further damage” says Tim Farley, a parent and a principal of the Ichabod Crane School in Kinderhook, New York.

“While the next election cycle, November 2014 is 11 months away, many New Yorkers have already decided they will not support candidates unless they work for an end to the current education regime that is hurting our children.  Parents and educators will only vote for a Governor or legislators who support a moratorium on high-stakes standardized testing, the protection of student privacy rights and a return to standards that are developmentally appropriate for each grade and implemented in a thoughtful and rational way,” says Jeanette Deutermann, Bellmore public school parent and founder of the Long Island Opt-Out group.

New York State Allies for Public Education calls on all New Yorkers to phone, email and fax Governor Andrew Cuomo and demand he speak up and use his influence to get New York’s education system back on the right course.

New York State Allies for Public Education represents forty-five grassroots parent groups from every corner of the Empire State. The organizations are proud to stand with the parents, community members and fellow educators in NYSAPE to call for a change in direction and policy beginning with new leadership at the New York State Education Department.

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About Betsy Bloom

Betsy is an Associate Professor of Education at Hartwick College in Oneonta NY. She is also a parent of two, a nine year veteran middle school social studies teacher and the current president of the NYS Foundations of Education Association, an organization dedicated to achieving social justice through public education.
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