News About The Common Core Forum

How Tuesday night’s forum was reported in the media:

Angry Crowd Confronts Commissioner King (Riverhead Local)

Educators, Parents, Bring Common Core Rage to Manorville Forum (Riverhead News Review

State Ed Officials Taken to Task Over Common Core (with Video) (Riverhead News Review)

Speakers Fume at Local Education Forum With King (Times Beacon Recored)

Suffolk Parents Confront Schools Chancellor on Common Core (Newsday)

State Education Official is Booed Over Common Core (video) (Newsday)

News and Notes: November 3, 2013

  • Not actually “new” news, but you may have missed it: a few weeks ago the SWR Board of Education joined many other NY school districts in passing two resolutions calling for a reduction in the over-reliance on standardized testing and testing mandates. The second calls for a state reevaluation of APPR and a federal overhaul of No Child Left Behind (you can read the full texts of the resolutions in the October 8th board meeting minutes).

  • You may have seen or read about Commissioner King’s letter indicating that SED is scaling back some of the testing.  While the changes he outlines are in fact very positive, they are the functional equivalent of two more lifeboats on the Titanic. Wonderful and necessary for the people affected, but not really addressing the overall problem. NYSUT Vice President Maria Neira had this response.
  • Shortly after it was announced that there will be a public forum with Commissioner King at Riverhead High School the Tuesday before Thanksgiving, State Senator Ken LaValle said that it will not be held there after all due to space concerns.  The date will stay the same and the new location is still to be determined.

Picketing at Senator Flangan’s office

You should have received a postcard from NYSUT asking you to call and/or email State Senator John Flanagan, chair of the NYS Senate Education Committee. If you haven’t done it yet, please do so this week (if you didn’t get the card, see the picture below).
To drive our point home, this Friday, we, along with other NYSUT locals, will picket in front of State Senator John Flanagan’s office. If you are serious about wanting to reverse the horrific things that are happening to public education, you need to join us between 3:30 and 5 PM outside his office at 260 Middle Country Road in Smithtown.
  • As Chairman of the Senate Committee on Education, Flanagan has blocked two pieces of NYSUT supported legislation (stopping testing in K-2 and protecting the privacy of student data collected by the testing companies) which were passed virtually unanimously in the Assembly.
  • He is the only Long Island legislator to accept money (over $10,000) from Michelle Rhee’s pro-testing, anti-union PAC.
  • Senator Flanagan is one of only two State Senators who are taking money from ALEC (The American Legislative Exchange Council, a powerful lobbying group which promotes, among many other things, legislation to undercut public education).
  • Senator Flanagan has been holding invitation only hearings on education reform, but somehow has neglected to invite representatives from the school districts within his legislative area.
As I keep saying, over and over. You can complain all you want to me or your colleagues about the tests, the cuts, APPR, etc, but the only way we’ll actually make things better is through political action.
BE THERE:
Friday, November 1st, 3:30 – 5PM
Senator John Flanagan’s Office
260 Middle Country Road
Smithtown, NY

Meet your new robot replacements

Take a look at Stephen Colbert’s segment on the future of assessment: robo-grading. http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/answer-sheet/wp/2013/10/22/colbert-is-hilarious-on-robo-teachers-and-common-core/ 
True, it’s pretty funny. But it might be easier to laugh it if weren’t real.

Here’s the Salon article referenced in the video: