Tag Archives: School Budget

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

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

Challenging the Attack on Public Education – postponed to March 4, 2015 7pm

**  Postponed to snow date – March 4, 2015  **

Announcement from Rethinking Testing (March 3, 2015):

Due to inclement weather, Challenging the Attack on Public Education has been rescheduled for tomorrow, March 4th at 7pm. Please spread the word! Looking forward to a great panel tomorrow.

https://www.facebook.com/events/838808399527132

***  Original posting below ***

Don’t miss the opportunity to attend this presentation!

Challenging the Attack on Public Education
Tuesday March 3, 2015 7pm
SUNY New Paltz, Coykendall Science Building Auditorium

While corporate education policy makers claim to be advocates of civil rights, their policies have instead undermined the civil and human rights of students, parents, educators and local communities.

The legacy of the civil rights movement to challenge injustice calls on people today to oppose high stakes testing, inequitable school funding, and the privatization of public education. Speakers will discuss this legacy and today’s movement to reclaim public education.

Speakers will include Dr.Yohuru Williams, Beth Dimino and Dr.Nicholas Tampio.

Challenging the Attack on Public Education flyer

KAFE concerned by education reform proposal presented by Governor Cuomo

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.