FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: March 13, 2015
More information contact:
Eric Mihelbergel (716) 553-1123; firstname.lastname@example.org
Lisa Rudley (917) 414-9190; email@example.com
NYS Allies for Public Education (NYSAPE) – www.nysape.org
Thousands of Parents Stand Together to Reject Governor Cuomo’s Education Reform Debacle
"If we are silent when we ought to speak, and are able to speak, we appear to give consent...we do not consent" -Joseph Rella
New Yorkers from all across the state are rising up and striking back against the Cuomo/Tisch/King Education Reforms.
The past few weeks thousands of New Yorkers rallied for public education, attending forums stretching from Plattsburgh to Brooklyn, West Seneca to Brookville. ‘Refuse the Common Core Tests & Reclaim Public Education’ messages are going up on billboards and in all media outlets across the state. And the powerful voice of the people is taking on new life in the Legislature, with the unprecedented removal of a former Chancellor from the Board of Regents.
In January, on the morning of Andrew Cuomo's State of the State Address, New York State Allies for Public Education (NYSAPE) cited Governor Cuomo for violating state ethics laws and his oath of office through his cozy relationships with donors and an unconstitutional attempt to declare himself King of education policy in our state.
Now, with many questions surrounding lobbying and a shady, but lucrative book deal as well budget bill from the Assembly ignoring all components of Cuomo's education reform debacle, all indications are that the Allies' assertions were unfortunately on target.
On top of New Yorkers being outraged about any proposed increase to charter schools and threats of receivership takeovers, perhaps the most egregious proposal that has support in the Senate is the education tax credit. As proposed, the education tax credit would give a dollar for dollar tax credit for private and religious school spending, among others.
“While NYSAPE supports a parent's choice of private education, one of the core values of our nation is separation of church and state. Enabling public dollars to pay for private and religious education is an affront to New Yorkers and Americans. The education tax credit creates a back door for Cuomo's wealthy backers to drive their privatization agenda, attempting to sneak a voucher system past a public that rejects their attempts to destabilize our public schools. This scheme is an outrage and simply unacceptable,” said Lisa Rudley, Westchester County public school parent and founding member of NYSAPE.
“Governor Cuomo and his controversial education agenda vows to bust public education. However, we remain in control because Cuomo and his agenda place extreme weight on Common Core tests. Seven of the eleven flawed education points in Cuomo’s State of the State address rely almost entirely on Common Core tests. When parents refuse the tests in large numbers, we will stop Cuomo,” said Eric Mihelbergel, Erie County public school parent, founding member of NYSAPE.
"There is a new surge in advocacy here on Long Island. Parent led forums, which began last month, are seeing crowds like never before. Community members, parents, and educators are packing into community centers, local churches, school auditoriums, PTA meetings, and local libraries. Attendees are being educated on the damage that high-stakes testing is doing to our education system, the harm Governor Cuomo's agenda will have on our public school children, and what they can do about it. Parents leave feeling angry, yet empowered that through the act of refusing the NYS 3-8 grade Common Core state tests, they can help put an end to the dismantling of our public schools," said Jeanette Deutermann, Nassau County public school parent and Long Island Opt Out founder.
Now, as the next round of excessive state testing approaches, it is time to stand together. NYSAPE has several events and resources for parents to learn more about the flaws in Governor Cuomo's Agenda and how they can fight back and reclaim classrooms of learning and inquiry for their children. Now is the time to stand as one and reject, once and for all, classrooms that have become Governor Cuomo's politically motivated compliance factories for testing. Parents and educators are coming out in droves to make their voices heard against reforms that harm children and denigrate our public schools. The refusal movement is on fire and has been set ablaze throughout the state. Here is how you can do your part.
Attend a Forum: Learn More and Take Action!
Port Jefferson Village March 7 Long Island
Levittown March 16 Long Island
Brookville March 9 Long Island
Bohemia March 18 Long Island
East Quogue March 23 Long Island
Port Washington March 24 Long Island
Floral Park March 25 Long Island
West Islip March 30 Long Island
Garden City March 22 Long Island
Merrick March 31 Long Island
Depauville March 19 Thousand Islands
Amherst March 21 Western New York
Fonda March 11 Albany Region
Delmar March 12 Albany Region
Clifton Park March 16 Albany Region
Ravena March 25 Albany Region
Plattsburgh March 24 North Country
Kirkland March 16 Central New York
Dolgeville March 19 Central New York
New Hartford March 11 Central New York
Verona March 11 Central New York
Binghamton March 12 Southern Tier
Whitesboro March 19 Central New York
Syracuse March 19 Central New York
Oneonta March 21 Central New York
Utica March 21 Central New York
Fairport March 5 Rochester Area
Brighton March 7 Rochester Area
Dansville March 12 Finger Lakes
Honeoye March 13 Finger Lakes
Geneva March 19 Finger Lakes
Spencerport March 19 Finger Lakes
Purchase March 12 Hudson Valley
Kingston March 16 Hudson Valley
Katonah March 24 Hudson Valley
Saugerties March 25 Hudson Valley
Central Valley March 26 Hudson Valley
New City March 18 Rockland
Protect Our Schools - NYC March 12 New York City
Protect Our Schools – Statewide March 26 Statewide
Get more details here: http://www.nysape.org/eventspressletters.html
NYSAPE Testing and Test Refusal Information: www.NYSAPE.org
NYSAPE is a statewide sponsor and organizer of many of these events along with advocacy organizations statewide. NYSAPE is comprised of over 50 grassroots parent and educator groups from around the state bring awareness of the excess use of high-stakes testing and protection student data.