Teaching and Learning in Times of High Stakes Testing

A week from Thursday (6/25), SWR’s own Rob Verbeck will be one of four speakers at the “Teaching and Learning in Times of High Stakes Testing” forum being held at Hofstra from 6 to 8PM.
Yes, the night before the last day of school is kind of inconvenient. But the featured speaker is Jessie Turner, who will be making his second walk from Connecticut to Washington D.C. “to protest the education malpractice that is demoralizing parents and teachers, and turning our children into human capital” and that’s the night he’ll be in this area.
Also on the bill are Debra Goodman, who will be moderating, Hofstra professor and writer Alan Singer, and teacher Elizabeth Lynch, who was one of the speakers at the Patchogue-Medford Forum on March 10th.
The event is free, but tickets are required. You can get more information and get tickets by clicking here

State Budget Update

As noted last week, both the Assembly and the Senate have separated the Governor’s education deform proposals from their budgets. While this is great news, the Senate has introduced a separate resolution which gives Cuomo what he wants. (Click here for a summary comparing the Governor’s proposals with the the Assembly and Senate resolutions)

This is why we cannot let up. As former SWR Superintendent William Cala posted on Facebook, (incorporating a quotation from Malcom X) “ANY compromise with the 50-35-15 APPR system is a complete and total loss for teachers, children and public education . . . A compromise is capitulation to further damage. ‘You stick a knife in 9 inches, then pull it out 6 inches and call it progress.'” 

Union Busting at the Riverhead Charter School

As blogger Jersey Jazzman recently wrote, one of the main goals of the charter school movement is destroying teacher unions. For evidence, we can look right next door to the Riverhead Charter School, where principal Raymond Ankrum Sr. and the administration are accused of “using intimidation, threats and firings to destabilize the relationship between the union and its members, in a systematic effort to get the union at the school decertified by state labor officials.”

THIS CANNOT STAND.

A rally in support of our NYSUT brothers and sisters is scheduled for June 10th from 3:45 to 6:45 p.m. It will take place outside the Riverhead Charter School, which is located at 3685 Middle Country Road, in Calverton.

For more details on this story, see the links below.

Riverhead Charter School Under Fire for Union Busting

‘Union-busting’ at Riverhead Charter School charges expand, as NYSUT files new complaint

All About Andrew

The Governor has made some extra headlines in the past couple of weeks. Here’s a sampling:

It’s well known that conservative governor Scott Walker received campaign contributions from the anti-union, anti-public school, billionaire Koch brothers. But as the Perdido Street School Blog points out, Andrew Cuomo actually received even more.

This editorial in the Glens Falls Post-Star details how Cuomo’s policies are driving rural schools to the brink and how his focus on burnishing his credentials toward a 2016 Presidential run are particularly harmful to states poorest districts.

In what may be just a minor embarrassment or could turn out to be a huge headache for Cuomo, the U.S. Attorney in Manhattan is criticizing the Governor for prematurely shutting down the Moreland Commission, a committee he (Cuomo) empaneled to weed out corruption.

This article in the Atlantic, tells how Democrats are beginning to turn away from Cuomo. Unfortunately, this does not yet apply to Long Island Democrats in the New York State Legislature, who are still cowed by Cuomo’s bullying tactics and support his harmful education agenda.

We must keep up the pressure on these ELECTED officials and remind them that they are responsible to their constituents – not the state Executive Bully Branch.

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

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)