At the Kingston Board of Education meeting on March 4, 2015, Maria Maritsas asked the board the following:
My name is Maria Maritsas from Kingston Action For Education. I am here tonight to ask the board to support the parents in this district. I am asking you to inform parents of their right to refuse or take the Common Core grades 3-8 assessments. Parents in this district are getting conflicting information as to what their rights are. Today, Assemblyman James Tedesco filed the Common Core Parental Refusal Act legislation in the Assembly. This bill will mandate that schools notify parents of their right to refuse. It has over 30 sponsors to this bill.
There is no doubt that the refusal numbers for testing will increase. Parents are fed up with the Governor’s systematic dismantling of our public schools. He is holding the budget hostage by tying aid to proposed changes, we are losing local control of our schools, he is proposing that 85% of the teacher evaluations be taken out of district hands-50% tied to out comes of testing, 35% by an outside evaluator, and a mere 15% by this district. With such an emphasis on testing it most definitely creates a teaching to the test atmosphere. We will be churning out good test takers that aren’t good at much else. The tests are developmentally inappropriate and abusive for our most needy students and we will be losing some of the best teacher with his proposed evaluations. Governor Cuomo is using our children to vilify their teachers.
Enough is enough. I will be refusing the tests for my daughters. I am tired of hearing about planes being built in the air while it’s flying. Our children’s education is not an experiment. The testing was created not to help my child but to evaluate their teacher. That is wrong. The only rabbit we as parents can pull out of a hat is refusal. We need to send a clear message to Albany that our children are not their guinea pigs to use. The tests do not lead to furthering their instruction that school year. Again I am asking the board to consider informing parents of their rights. Thank you.
The Freeman reported on the above statement in this article:
Members of watchdog group Kingston Action for Education have found an ally in school district Superintendent Paul Padalino regarding a possible loss of local control of teacher evaluations.
Padalino has avidly supported using tests to evaluate programs, but said he agreed with the parents group that the district should retain control over evaluations.
“What he (Cuomo) just did was really reinforced or helped the people who want to opt out gain more momentum,” he said.
“I think the tests have value and using the tests to assess what we do and how we do it and how we can do it better in the future is useful,” Padalino said. “I think assessing our students is something we need to do and 80 percent of that assessment is done here locally. That’s an appropriate proportion, but…having 80 percent controlled by someone else, that’s not.”
Kingston City School District Board of Education elections will be coming up again soon. For those interested in running, please review the requirements you need to meet in order to do so.
Being on the BOE is no easy task. However, with the current state of public education we need strong and brave people to step up and fight for our kids, our teachers and our taxpayers.
Are you that person???
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.
This is why we need attendance at BOE meetings! There is strength in numbers!!!
WALLKILL, NY– Dr. Peg Luksik talks about how school boards can help stop common core and shares a technique that New Yorkers may use at school board meetings.– September 9, 2014
Since many families will be away at different times during August, just wanted to post the August BOE meeting dates before the month begins. They are:
- Wednesday August 6, 2014
- Wednesday August 20, 2014
The full calendar of Board of Education meeting dates for the 2014-2015 school year can be found here on the KCSD website.
We also plan to maintain a listing of key KCSD events, such as Board of Education meetings, on the kingstonactionforeducation.org webpage under the Events tab. Check it out here.
The first Board of Education meeting of the new school year will be tonight Wednesday July 2, 2014 at the Cioni Building.
The Board of Education candidates, including new Board of Ed member Priscilla Lowe will take their oath of office at 6pm and the BOE will elect their President and Vice President for the coming year (before going into executive session). The agenda indicates that public session is expected to resume at 7pm.
More details here