Monday, February 10, 2014

Parents and Educators Outraged by Regents Unwillingness to Assume Responsibility and Change Course

More information contact:
Eric Mihelbergel (716) 553-1123;
Lisa Rudley (917) 414-9190;
NYS Allies for Public Education

Parents and Educators Outraged by Regents Unwillingness to Assume Responsibility and Change Course

The leaders of the NYS Allies for Public Education (NYSAPE), a coalition of more than 45 parent and educator groups from throughout the state, expressed extreme disappointment that the NYS Regent Common Core Taskforce refused to address the real issues undermining education in this state and made only minor tweaks to current policies.  The report is quite clear that the Regents continue to ignore the deep flaws in the Common Core Learning Standards (CCLS), excessive high stakes state testing and student data sharing.  The recommendations can be viewed here:

Tim Farley, a parent of four public school children and the Principal of Ichabod Crane Elementary/Middle School said, “Today's recommendations from Commissioner King and the Regents task force reveal just how out of touch they are and how obsessive their appetite is for excessive state tests.  The fact that they refuse to subject their own children to these excessive testing and data policies is very telling.  The parents and educators of New York have been paying attention, and they are justifiably outraged."

“The need to replace the four incumbent Regents members is more important than ever,” said Eric Mihelbergel, Ken-Ton public school parent and founding member of NYSAPE.  The Regents Taskforce failed to address the real concerns of parents and again has displayed disconnect from their constituents.  Their recommendations today tell me the State is full steam ahead with this failed reform agenda.”

Carol Burris, South Side High Principal and 2013 Principal of the Year stated, “For a deliberative body that is so insistent that students, schools and educators be held accountable, their unwillingness to assume responsibility for their blunders and respond by correcting course is breathtaking.  For example, they shift the review of the New York State Common Core standards to the National Governors Association, rather than assume that responsibility themselves. At nearly every turn they “advocate”, or “encourage” others to take action, rather than earnestly respond to what they heard.  Developing a “teacher portal” and more low quality materials, is hardly the response our parents expected.  The tinkering with dates and semantics about college ready scores at the high school level provides no relief for our K-8 students from testing or from the implementation of flawed curriculum. ”

“Instead of simply calling for a delay in the uploading of private student data onto an insecure data cloud, and pass the responsibility to deal with this issue to the Legislature, the Regents should have insisted that the inBloom contract be cancelled, as every other state has done.  Why should New York continue to be the worst place in the country when it comes to student privacy?” asked Leonie Haimson, Executive Director of Class Size Matters.

“The notion that more time to phase in standards or train teachers will somehow cure the ills of a deficient curriculum and inappropriate tests is misguided.    Just as troubling is the suggestion that teachers should continue to be evaluated on the basis of a system no one believes in, and that if they are threatened with losing their jobs, they  should “raise an alleged failure” of their districts to properly implement the Common Core – when the fault lies with the state.   There is no need for more money to 'engage' parents with implementation of CCLS. Parents have made their voices perfectly clear in demanding that these destructive policies be brought to an immediate halt,” said Jessica McNair, New Hartford public school parent.

"The Regents appear not  to understand that the actual time spent on testing per day, multiplied out over six days of the state assessments, is inappropriate for all students despite the misleading statistics quoted in recommendations," stated Chris Cerrone, Western New York public school parent of two elementary-aged children.

“Our state education system remains in turmoil, yet the recommendations of this task force do nothing to address the profound problems associated with the standards and excessive high stakes testing.  They simply echo the false sentiments of Chancellor Tisch and Commissioner King, by providing nothing more than superficial suggestions in an attempt to pacify the public. Parents will not be so easily assuaged,” said Jeanette Deutermann, Bellmore public school parent and founder of Long Island Opt-Out.


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