The Day Isn’t Over Yet

More things you can do for today’s Day of Action (or even afterwards).

Sign the Open Letter to the Board of Regents

Send a note to the Governor, reminding him of his responsibility to the students of New York State (Here’s a sample letter you can use if you like)

Sign Al Graf’s petition to Fix New York Schools

Contact other legislators or the Board of Regents

Email these links to friends and family or re-post them on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, or whatever

Al Graf Calls Out Newsday For Shoddy Coverage Of Common Core Controversy

From Al Graf’s Facebook page:

“Here is a copy of the email that I just sent to Newsday, may I suggest that anyone that is disappointed as I am about their coverage of what has been going on throughout the state also send an email concerning their displeasure as well. Please be respectful and express your feelings about their coverage

The following is my email to Newsday,” 

Hi can you please explain to me why Newsday refuses to acknowledge that there is an assembly bill A7994 in New York that has 30 sponsors to withdraw from common core and race to the top, that people throughout this state have used this bill to rally behind. Could you further explain the fact you refuse to report that there is a website that over 19,500 people have used to send letters to the Governor to fix education in New York and put the breaks on implementation of common core in New York State. Please visit, Or why Newsday refuses to recognize that 10 out of 12 forums have taken place by members of the Assembly Education Committee, and minority members of the Assembly because of the Assembly’s Education Committees Chairwoman’s refusal to respond to calls to hold hearings on common core throughout the state. This is not and should not be a republican or democrat issue. Your coverage of this issue has been a disgrace. You have failed to do any investigative reporting, rather choosing to print sound bites originating from the state education department. You are doing a tremendous disservice to your subscribers. I hope that in light of this letter and other correspondence from others who may choose to write or call you and your paper this oversight will be rectified.

Alfred C. Graf
Assemblyman 5th Assembly District
Member of the New York State Education Committee
Sponsor of A7994

Political Action Works: Common Core implementation being slowed in Indiana

More evidence that political action works (from Newsday 12/7):

“In Indiana, where [Common Core] was adopted in 2010, lawmakers voted to pause it last spring and the future of the curriculum remains uncertain. That delay was considered a victory for Hoosiers Against Common Core, a coalition that mobilized about 50 grassroots groups throughout the state against it, said Heather Crossin, co-founder of the group and a parent from Indianapolis.
“We want it to be out by May first,” Crossin said. The group seeks local control over education and wants to reduce the power of standardized testing.”

Read the full article here.

The War on Public Employees is NOT GOING AWAY

On the same day that Illinois’s governor signed a bill that continues the war on public employees by cutting retirement benefits not only to future retirees but also to those who have already retired, The Guardian reports that “Conservative groups across the US are planning a co-ordinated assault against public sector rights and services in the key areas of education, healthcare, income tax, workers’ compensation and the environment.


Here’s another article about Long Island Parents & Teachers Revolting Against the Common Core (LI Press), which brings to mind a classic movie quote:

In other news…

Dr. Cohen forwarded an article about the latest PISA scores and how they’ll be misleadingly used, once again, to make U.S. public schools look bad. For a more humorous perspective on this, check out Jersey Jazzman’s blog post.

Speaking of Dr. Cohen, his opinion piece about “Educational Apartheid” is quoted in this article about the Massive LI Revolt Against the Common Core (Independent Sentinel)

Burned Bruni

In case you missed it, Frank Bruni, whose experience as a food critic makes him only slightly less qualified to write about education than John King’s three years of charter school experience qualifies him to be Commissioner, penned this absolutely moronic piece about the Common Core.

It probably wouldn’t even be worth mentioning, except that it sets up this beautifully written response from blogger Jersey Jazzman. Besides his excellent takedown of CC architect David Coleman, it’s worth reading just for phrases like “jumps into the pool of education policy unencumbered by the water wings of knowledge.”

More News

Governor Cuomo continues to back away from the common core (Newsday)

New York is now the ONLY state still completely on board with inBloom (Wall Street Journal)

The terms of four of the members of the Board of Regents are expiring early next year, and their fate will be mainly decided by the State Assembly (WBFO)

Reformers are “Full of It” (Salon)

A review of Diane Ravitch’s Reign of Error that also serves as a perfect takedown of the reform movement. (Commonweal)

More states are delaying Common Core testing (Washington Post)

Al Graf on the Common Core Implementation

While some of our elected officials are starting to respond to pressure and are showing just the tiniest hints that they are listening to our concerns, Assemblyman Al Graf deserves special recognition as someone who has understood the issues from the beginning. He recently posted the following on his Facebook page.

Parents, as well as teachers, are stepping up and speaking out. Over the last five months people have been rallying each other, bringing others into the groups, created websites and spending their own money to educate others by holding forums. I have never seen anything like this. The entire state is coming together and demanding that the state stop this abusive program. We have had 18,500 people sign onto a letter to the Governor, however we are a state with millions of people. 

Everyone that has joined this movement understood that it was an uphill battle, and that it was not going to happen overnight, In the beginning the press, the Governor, the Senate and certain members of the Assembly thought if they ignored you, you would go away. How is that working out for them? There are however, people out there that have no idea what we are talking about, there are people that call me to give me the sound bites offered by the supporters of this garbage. I had a retired teacher call me and tell me she was upset with me that I wanted to withdraw from common core and race to the top. She told me our students were falling behind china, that our teachers were complaining because they had to do more work. That our children could not read or do math when they entered college. That we were falling behind other countries. that we would have to pay back the seven hundred million dollars that the federal gave us for this program. That NYSUT negotiated the APPR standards with the state so teachers should stop complaining. Are you getting mad yet?

I asked this retired teacher if she had looked at the ELA’s in engageny? She had not. I asked her if she has had any experience with the material that was rolled out? She had not. I asked her if she knew how and when this program had been rolled out? She said she did not.

She also told me she had written a letter to Newsday supporting common core. I asked her if you have no practical experience with the curriculum as a professional teacher who has sense retired how do you feel you can offer an educated opinion on the topic. She said she knew common core was a good program. I explained to her that we did not get seven hundred million dollars and that we only got five hundred million, and that if we pulled out we would merely forfeit the two hundred million remaining, but it was estimated that this is costing us over a billion dollars to implement. She did not want to hear it. I told her the teachers were excluded from writing the common core standards and curriculum, she disagreed. I explained to her that the curriculum did not take in consideration children with disabilities, ESL students, children from economically distressed families, advanced students, and students that work harder than anyone else to maintain an B or C, she did not believe it. That the material given to teachers were a script and did not allow teachers to practice their craft, she said they can write their own curriculum. What the conversation came down to was in her opinion as a retired teacher, our teachers, and children were lazy and we had to put in common core, and the standards were what was needed so our children could compete in the world and be able to succeed in college. That by me speaking against this program I was harming our children. I told her I was sorry but, I am committed to taking back our schools and we can agree to disagree, that I understand that her mind is made up and she did not want to be confused by the facts.

The reason why I am telling you this is we have a lot of work to do. This is a retired teacher who is spewing this uneducated nonsense and offering an opinion on something she has had no experience with. She has not seen or experienced the program yet she is out in public expressing her uneducated support for the program. Whether you are a parent, a grandparent, a teacher, or an administrator, or a school board member, you are and educator who is charged with going out and bringing people into this struggle to regain our schools and stop the state sponsored child abuse of our students. Get them on the petition, the phone with their representative, get them to email fax, or drop a letter off to their office, form a group and ask for an appointment with your senator or your assembly person if they are not on the bill. tell that representative how this is affecting your child, your home, your school, your classroom, copy the inappropriate handouts the children are given, write the grade your child is in send them to your representative or drop them off in their office, or bring them to your appointment. Show these assignments to other people. Educate, recruit, engage, get others to engage. We are in this for the long run. I need your help. Without your help this abuse will continue and become the new normal leaving many children behind