Tuesday, May 5, 2020

Letter to Gov. Cuomo: do not allow the Gates Foundation to influence education policy in our state

Our letter sent to Gov. Cuomo, warning him against allowing the Gates Foundation to outsource education to the ed tech industry, was quoted by the AP​​, in US News and World Report​, NY Post , Gothamist​ and Syracuse News.  Also my critical tweet directed at Cuomo after his announcement that he intended to "partner" with the Gates Foundation on "reimagining" our schools was quoted in Ed Week.  

You can send your own letter to Cuomo here.
May 5, 2020
To Governor Cuomo: 
As educators, parents and school board members, we were appalled to hear that you will be working with the Gates Foundation on “reimagining” our schools following the Covid crisis.  Bill Gates and the Gates Foundation have promoted one failed educational initiative after another, causing huge disaffection in districts throughout the state. 
Whether that be the high-handed push by the Gates Foundation for the invalid Common Core standards, unreliable teacher evaluation linked to test scores, or privacy-violating data-collection via the corporation known as inBloom Inc., the education of our children has been repeatedly put at risk by their non-evidence based “solutions”, which were implemented without parent input and despite significant public opposition.  As you recall, these policies also sparked a huge opt-out movement across the state, with more than twenty percent of eligible students refusing to take the state exams. 
We urge you instead to listen to parents and teachers rather than allow the Gates Foundation to implement their damaging education agenda once again.  Since the schools were shut down in mid-March, our understanding of the profound deficiencies of screen-based instruction has only grown. The use of education tech may have its place, but only as an ancillary to in-person learning, not as its replacement.  
Along with many other parents and educators, we strongly oppose enabling the Gates Foundation to influence the direction of education in the state by expanding the use of ed tech.  
Instead, we ask that you fund our schools sufficiently and equitably, to allow for the smaller classes, school counselors, and other critical services that our children will need more than ever before, given the myriad losses they have experienced this year. 

Yours sincerely,

New York State Allies for Public Education
Class Size Matters
Parent Coalition for Student Privacy
Cc: Board of Regents and Acting NYSED Commissioner Shannon Tahoe

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