Tag Archives: Common Core

Dissatisfaction with Cuomo common bond among local educators

Article from Kingston Times about the Ulster County Defends Public Education forum on February 23, 2015

With the refusal to supply school districts with aid runs, Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s position on educational funding this year is unpopular with many people involved in public education. Cuomo has tied this year’s state funding for public schools to adoption of his “reform” package. Feb. 23’s education forum at the M. Clifford Miller Middle School in Kingston brought together often-disparate groups who seemed to realize that they’re in this together more than they might have previously thought. They all have in common the thought that the governor is trying to coerce them to get what he wants.

Bianca Tanis spoke at the forum.  She is a founding member of NYSAPE, NYS Allies for Public Education, who is co-hosting a forum with KAFE on March 16, 2015.

According to Tanis, the grassroots approach is what that may have the greatest chance of success. Herself a New Paltz parent of an elementary-school student with a learning disability, Tanis said she and her husband brought concerns about how standardized testing might emotionally impact their son to school officials. When that proved unsuccessful, she said, they attempted to move higher and higher up the hierarchy.

“I went down every avenue to every person in power I could for help, and I was told, We recognize it will probably be very traumatic for him, but it’s the law and there’s nothing we can do about it,” Tanis said. “What changed that was the mobilization of parents. It wasn’t lawyers, it wasn’t people in power. It was parents and grassroots activism that changed this. New York State still does not have a legal refusal provision, but it’s my right.”

Locally, groups like Kingston Action for Education (KAFE) are helping push back. Last November, the Ulster County Legislature voted 23-0 for a resolution supporting the discontinuation of common-core implementation until the standards can be evaluated and improved at the state level.

KAFE was very proud to work with Ulster County legislators to help pass this resolution and we are continuing to work to bring about changes in education needed for our children.

Padalino said the district will continue focusing its efforts internally on the academic success of its students, even as its administrators, teachers and parents continue their efforts to have their voices heard by the Cuomo administration. “This might not be a popular thing to say, but if we’re not doing our job we need to be held accountable for that,” Padalino said. “If there’s someone who can do it better, they should do it better. But if we’re doing our job and 100 percent of our kids are walking across that stage and graduating from high school, we’re not going to have those problems.”

Tanis said that her group will continue its push to have parents opt out of standardized tests on behalf of their children. “Focusing on high-stakes testing is hurting public education,” she said. “It narrows the curriculum and students are less engaged in their education. There’s absolutely no evidence or research that correlates increased academic achievement to standardized testing. Most of these reforms, they’re not really based on evidence. There’s nothing that proves that these reforms that governor Cuomo is putting out there will be in any way effective.”

NYSAPE and KAFE are co-hosting a forum about high-stakes testing and public education at 6:30 p.m. on Monday, March 16 at the Kingston Alliance Church at 90 Millers Lane in Kingston.

KAFE Demystifying Testing flyer

Dr. Joseph Rella exposes the Common Core Reform Agenda

This is a superintendent from Long Island, Dr. Joseph Rella. He exposes the education reform and what it is really about, the dismantling of our public schools. He discusses many issues in our districts. I hope all BOE members, parents, concerned citizens take the time to listen to this presentation. He presents an entire picture of the problems currently at hand with this education reform. Parents are the key to help solve this problem. Refuse the tests!  – Maria

Common Core Parental Refusal Act

This is a bill being presented that makes it a LEGAL REQUIREMENT for school districts to notify parents/guardians that they have the LEGAL RIGHT TO REFUSE THE TEST!!!

Right to Refuse law
Contact your rep’s and ask them to sign on and support!!!

March 4, 2015

Jim Tedisco

Today, I filed the Common Core Parental Refusal Act legislation in the Assembly. I should have a bill number in a few days which I will share with you. Thanks to all your continued advocacy, calls, letters, emails, tweets and posts about this legislation to ensure all parents are informed of their rights to have their children refuse to take the Common Core standardized tests in grades 3-8. The bill provides a notification for schools to send to parents informing them of their right to refuse to have their children take the Common Core tests along with a response form that parents can complete and return to the schools. These notices can be sent via email, letter or home with children in their school bags.
The legislation protects school districts and individual schools from having state aid withheld or any other punitive measures by the state. The bill protects teachers from being penalized due to a lack of student participation or performance on the exams. It also ensures that students are not punished or rewarded for their participation or lack thereof in the exams and would set-aside alternate study activities for those who refuse the tests so they are not forced to “sit and stare” in the same room as their peers who are taking the tests.
Thanks to your efforts we have over 30 sponsors in the Assembly. Senator Terrence Murphy and Senator Rich Funke are carrying the bill in the state Senate. Here are a list of Assembly members who are co-sponsoring the Common Core Parental Refusal Act:Will Barclay, Charles Barron, Joe Borrelli, Karl Brabenec, Marc Butler, John D. Ceretto,Cliff Crouch, Assemblyman David DiPietro, Janet Duprey, Christopher Friend, Andrew Garbarino, Andy Goodell, Al Graf, Steve Hawley, Mark Johns, Stephen Katz, Michael Kearns, Kieran Michael Lalor, Peter Lawrence, Pete Lopez, Chad Lupinacci, Nicole Malliotakis, Dave McDonough, Assemblyman Steve McLaughlin, Dean Murray, Bill Nojay, Assemblyman Phil Palmesano, Edward Ra, Andrew Raia, Claudia Tenney, andRay Walter. If you don’t see your legislator on this list, please contact them and ask them to sign on and I will gladly sign them up. Thanks!

Ulster County Defends Public Education Forum Recap

KAFE attended the Ulster County Defends Public Education Forum held at Miller Middle School on February 23, 2015.

Ulster County Defends Public Education Tory

Video coverage by our friend Mert Melfa.  Please take the time to watch and listen. This is the first time you are going to be able to hear PUBLICALLY from our teachers. You will also hear straight from Dr. Padalino himself (from KCSD) his thoughts on Test Refusals and that he DOES NOT support informing parents of their legals rights and will NOT allow our teachers to have open dialogue with parents/guardians about such.

(Oh, and you’ll hear me, Tory, during the Q and A as well!)

Full video of the forum:

 

Video clips:

Kristina Flick, veteran teacher.   Broke my heart listening to her because this hit very close to home…especially when she talks about young children getting so upset and frustrated and depressed about their school work that they start talking about suicide!!! – Tory

Tory Lowe during Q&A.  Hear it for yourself. KCSD Dr. Paul Padalino refusing and denying parents information that they have a legal right to…  Tory

Kingston Times article about the forum – Dissatisfaction with Cuomo common bond among local educators – March 6, 2015

Test Refusal Resources

NYSAPE Refusal Letter 2015 English

NYSAPE Refusal Letter 2015 Spanish

NYSAPE BW Quick Fact Sheet

Ulster County votes in support of repealing Common Core

The Ulster County Legislature voted 23-0 on Tuesday November 18, 2014 to pass Resolution No. 350 in support of repealing common core and race to the top!

Resolution No. 350 – Supporting The Reintroduction and Passage Of New York State Assembly Bill 07994 and Senate Bill 06267, An Act To Amend The Education Law, In Relation To The Common Core State Standards Initiative And The Race To The Top Program

Please thank your county legislator for standing in support of our children.  Here is a list of the Ulster County legislators with their contact information to assist you in contacting your county legislator.

No Common Core words

Press release – Ulster County Legislators Voice Opposition to Federal Common Core Initiative

Video from the legislative session on November 18, 2014

 

Act now! Help support Ulster County Resolution 350 to repeal Common Core

Kingston Action For Education (KAFE) needs your help.  Ulster County Resolution 350 will be going to the full Ulster County Legislature next Tuesday November 18, 2014 – just a few days from now.  We need people to contact their county legislators and let them know that we want to repeal Common Core in our area!!

Let us know that you and FOUR (4) of your friends have written to your county legislators regarding Resolution 350 and you will get a ticket into a raffle for this Holiday Hostess Basket.
Resolution 350 Gift Basket  Resolution 350 Gift Basket contents

If chosen:  You win the basket, your friends each get a cute holiday snowman pot holder!

Sample letters are attached to make this process easy or tell your legislator your own story about how Common Core has affected your child/family (the most effective option).

Resolution 350 letter a    Resolution 350 letter b

Submit your name/e-mail and the name/e-mail of your four friends in the comment box below after everyone has contacted your county legislators.

For more information on Ulster County Resolution No. 350, click here.

 

Common Core Fact Forum with Dr. Peg Luksik in Kingston, New York – video and pictures – Sunday September 7, 2014

The Common Core Fact Forum with Dr. Peg Luksik hosted by Kingston Action For Education on September 7, 2014 was a successful night.  We are very grateful to Dr. Luksik for her time.  What an education and awareness!

Quote of the night “In a war of intellgence, stupid people lose – so get informed!” – Dr. Peg Luksik

We had a great turnout with people from multiple school districts, both local and across the state, in attendance.  We were also pleased to have three members of the Kingston City School District board of education in attendance.  As attendees left many commented about the depth and quantity of information that they had received from Dr. Luksik.

Dr Luksik Kingston Forum2 Dr Luksik Kingston Forum

Many Kingston residents expressed a desire to attend but were unable to do so for a variety of reasons.  Video for the full Common Core Fact Forum is available thanks to the work of Mr. Mert Melfa.  There are also short videos of the opening comments of KAFEco-founders Tory Lowe, Maria Maritsas and Jolyn Safron.

Dr. Luksik suggested a number of things that can be done by those concerned about Common Core:

  • get informed – watch the video of the forum.  Be sure you know the facts.  For even more detailed information, visit foundedontruth.com
  • get involved politically – VOTE!  “When you walk into the ballot box, you are making a political speech.  it is the only one they MUST listen to.”
  • “The worst thing you can do is nothing.  the best thing you can do is something!”
  • Stay involved with other parents – Kingston Action For Education (KAFE) is a group of parents who are advocating for their children and all the children of this school district.  Their goal is to unify and educate parents and caregivers presenting factual information about the state of their community’s educational system.  When the need arises, KAFE is willing to take the action necessary to reclaim their voice in education.  Find Kingston Action For Education on facebook or at kingstonactionforeducation.org
  • Q&A – When writing a letter to the editor, pick ‘the one thing that floats your boat’, a personal story or something you feel strongly about.  Pick one issue.  Quote real information/facts.  Keep the letter under 300 words; one issue and hit it three times in the same letter.