Tuesday, March 9, 2021

Letter from members of Congress to Sec. Cardona asking him to waive the tests; and how to have your voice heard

Rep. Jamaal Bowman & Ian Rosenblum

See the letter sent today by members of Congress to our newly-confirmed Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona, asking him to grant waivers so that states do not have to give students the federally-mandated exams this year, in the midst of the pandemic.  This letter was spearheaded by newly-elected Representative Jamaal Bowman from the Bronx and Westchester, and a former Bronx middle school principal.  More on this here.

On Feb. 22, the  letter from the US Department of Education, rejecting state waivers before Sec. Cardona even took office was signed by Ian Rosenblum, an acting assistant secretary for elementary and secondary education and the former executive director of the pro-testing organization, Education Trust-New York.

As Rep. Bowman points out, “Mr. Rosenblum, with all due respect, has never been a teacher or school administrator in his life, and it’s important that our parents and educators know that these decisions are being made by people who do not have the experience to make those decisions. That’s unacceptable in and of itself.”

A few days ago, Diane Ravitch posted on her page a list of the organizations that signed a previous letter on Feb. 3, urging the US Education Dept. not to grant waivers for testing.  This letter was led by Rosenblum's previous employer Ed Trust.  Diane also including information we had gathered on the many millions of dollars these organizations had received by the pro-testing, billionaire-led Gates and Walton Foundation.  She also posted the list of organizations and the millions of Walton and Gates funds given the organizations that signed onto a press release on Feb. 23, also led by Ed Trust, posted the day after Rosenblum rejected the waivers, urging the Department not to grant states any flexibility in this regard:

"The Department must not, as part of its promised state-by-state “flexibility,” grant waivers to states that would allow them to substitute local assessments in place of statewide assessments or to only assess a subset of students. 

If you want to have your voice heard over the insistent shouts of the billionaires and the groups that they fund, you should call the US Dept. of Education at 800-872-5327 from 9 AM-5 PM; press #3, and tell them to cancel the tests.

No comments: