Kingston Action For Education presented the following statement/request at the Kingston City School District Board of Education meeting on Wednesday February 4, 2015:
KAFE is very concerned about the education reform proposal presented by Governor Cuomo. His proposal has made it abundantly clear that he supports an increased emphasis on high stakes testing and that he supports a reduction in local control of our schools. He does not support a fair and appropriate education for our students but instead is holding school aid hostage to force the legislature to implement his education proposals.
The impact of the proposed increased emphasis on state testing will undoubtedly intensify the “teaching to the test” atmosphere in the classroom. KAFE opposes standardized high stakes testing that is currently pushed by the federal and state governments because this testing is not being used to further instruction for children, to help children, or to support the educational needs of children. KAFE encourages all parents throughout NYS to refuse grades 3-8 assessments. It is our fundamental right to direct the upbringing and education of our children.
We request that the Kingston school board partner with Kingston parents by proposing ways that we can advocate with Governor Cuomo and the legislature to abandon this set of harmful educational proposals. We are thrilled by the partnership forged with the Fair Funding for our Schools petition on the Kingston City School District website and ask for additional partnering so that we can exchange information and concerns and come together as a district advocating for our children.
The board discussed Governor Cuomo’s withholding of state aid information from the school districts during the meeting. Efforts to eliminate the Gap Elimination Adjustment act were also discussed. Dr. Jacobowitz requested permission to reinstate the board legislative action committee to discuss these issues as they need to be addressed quickly. She volunteered to chair the committee and Mr. Shaughnessey and Ms. Guido volunteered to sit on the committee.
The Daily Freeman reported on Governor Cuomo’s withholding of state aid information and comments from the board of education meeting here.