Posted In: Educator Voices, New York, Rallies and Events, Uncategorized
By Amanda Litvinov
New Yorkers do not have a reputation for staying silent when they see something they don’t like—and that’s a good thing for the state’s public school students.
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Thousands of New York educators, parents and other concerned advocates will come together to speak up for those students at the “One Voice United” rally on June 8. A key concern is the state’s over-emphasis on standardized tests and the misuse of those tests to determine the futures of students and educators alike.
New York State United Teachers (NYSUT) will be joined by more than a dozen other education, labor, community, business and faith-based organizations to decry what they see as the growing legislative influence of companies that create and sell standardized tests.
NYSUT members tell why they’ll rally in Albany on June 8.
“When the average person hears about a third-grade kid sitting through nine hours of testing, they’ll say this is crazy,” said AuSable Valley High School teacher Rod Driscoll during the Lake Placid stop of NYSUT’s “Tell It Like It Is” tour, a series of regional forums on testing and other education issues.
“They’ll agree putting testing in the hands of private companies does not make sense for our kids. Their motivation is not kids, it’s profit.”
Driscoll, who is also president of the AuSable Valley Teachers Association, is one of the many educators who believe that building community support through public events such as next week’s rally is key to curbing New York’s testing mania.
Empire State educators were incensed when the state moved forward with new Common Core-based standardized tests this spring, despite the fact that teachers do not yet have the curriculum and therefore have not been able to include it in their instruction.
Rally-goers will call for a moratorium on the use of standardized tests in high-stakes decisions for students and teachers until the State Education Department and Regents properly implement the new Common Core learning standards.
NYSUT President Dick Iannuzzi has said that the state’s obsession with standardized testing has brought together teachers and parents like never before.
“Parents and teachers must be the voice that defines public education,” Iannuzzi said. “We must be the voice that says ‘enough is enough.’ The future of public education is too important to hand over to corporations and billionaires.”