On June 19th, 2014, Spencerport teachers threw their hat into the education advocacy ring by holding a public forum on NYS Testing, Grades 3-8 while addressing concerns about the appropriateness, relevance and transparency of the 2014 State exams.
Additionally, teachers wrote and sent a letter to the New York State Department of Education speaking out against and standing up to the role of testing in the educational lives of our children.
To date, this letter has 5,500 signatures. It is well written, sticks to the facts, and concentrates on the irrelevance of the test to student achievement.
Concerned stakeholders in education should read and consider signing this document in support of their efforts to change the focus of education onto our children.
Below is a YouTube video of American Federation of Teachers (AFT) President, Randi Weingarten speaking at the same forum held by Spencerport teachers.
It is important to listen to the entire 7 minutes, 47 seconds however, some key moments occur at:
1:52 – “We had a very different culture . . . before Pearson.”
2:21 – “I happen to think that the Common Core has potential.”
3:36 – “We have an obligation to our kids and to our parents to see those tests and use them to have the data to help kids in real time . . .” and the State of New York, “should have negotiated a contract with Pearson to enable that to happen . . .”
At 4:20 Ms. Weingarten explains she sent a union representative to, “read a letter to the Pearson Board of Directors” to say, “stop these gag orders.” with a petition signed by 70,000 people that was ignored.
At 7:20 Ms. Weingarten states, “If you want to make money off of kids, you actually have to solve the problems that we raise.” which is all education reform tends to do, solve the problems that are raised while continuing to fail our children.
When we know and understand the facts, our emotions are not so easily led.
Kudos to Rob Allen and Emmy Thevanesan, Spencerport teachers, community members and all community activists working diligently to change the focus of education so that it concentrates on our children.
Join the Movement to Save Our Children!