“She probably thought it would [calm parents], but it hasn’t. It actually is getting everybody angrier,” said Lisa Rudley, a Westchester County parent who is a founding member of New York State Allies for Public Education, which has demanded Tisch’s resignation. “It’s just a distraction, and it’s not really addressing any of our concerns. Our classrooms will be still be test-driven classrooms.”
“She was somewhat taken aback that the number of people objecting to the testing has grown to a strong six-figure number, and she wants to placate us,” said Mitchell Rubinstein, a Nassau County parent of two.
“She came to parent forums throughout the state and listened to parents and teachers get up and talk about all our problems with the system and basically ignored everything we had to say,” he said, referring to hearings Tisch and former education commissioner John King held in late 2013 on Common Core implementation. “And after [the ‘opt out’ movement] happens, she makes this announcement? That’s awfully coincidental. She wants people to think she’s hearing them or listening to them.”
Michelle Gamache, another Nassau County parent, also doubted that Tisch’s plan was a genuine response to stakeholders’ concerns.
“Why now is she listening?” Gamache said. “What changed that made her listen now? Because tens of thousands of parents for two years now have been trying to discuss the testing policies, and she has completely ignored us. She is completely out of touch with what we’re saying.”
Deb Escobar, a grandmother of two toddlers and a former teacher of 24 years in Guilderland, a suburb of Albany, said Tisch’s plan doesn’t go far enough. But it does demonstrate that activists have gotten education officials’ attention with the “opt out” movement.
“It shows that there is beginning to be a crack in the armor,” she said. “They cannot just disregard us totally, as they have been doing up to this point.”
Many parents not buying the snake oil Tisch is selling.
Let's be frank here.
For years now Tisch, SED, the governor and Albany pols thought they could shove any old policy down the throats of the parents and teachers of this state and there was nothing anybody could do about it.
Tisch and SED paid lip service to listening to parents and teachers over concerns about Common Core, the testing regime, and the evaluation system when Tisch took John King on the Common Core Tour around the state, but the truth is, they did not change anything about the state education reform agenda despite hearing numerous complaints.
Now parents are opting their children out of the Endless Testing regime by the hundreds of thousands and suddenly Tisch wants to make believe like she's listening and responding to concerns from parents and teachers.
She is not.
She's thrown a few misdirections out there - exempting 10% of the state's districts from the evaluation system, delaying the system for a year - but these misdirections do not address the central problem with the state's education reform agenda, which is that the Common Core standards, the Endless Testing regime put in place along with the CCSS and the teacher evaluation system imposed in order to make sure the CCSS is being taught the way they want it taught ensures that every classroom in the state is a "test-driven classroom" where the creativty and joy of learning are sucked out and replaced with "accountability," "assessment" and "rigor".
Tisch must go, the state's education agenda must be shelved and a parent- and teacher-led agenda must replace it.
Enough with the Gates Foundation fellows and interns at the Regents and SED imposing their corporate reform agenda on the state.