ALBANY — A duo infamous among educators mingled with the thousands at the One Voice United rally for education reform at the Empire State Plaza Saturday.
No, it wasn't State Education Commissioner John King and Gov. Andrew Cuomo, who some speakers lambasted and who were targeted by signs in the crowd calling for their ouster.
It was the hare and the pineapple.
The characters are from the nonsense story "The Hare and the Pineapple" by Daniel Pinkwater, which appeared on the state's 2012 Eighth Grade English Language Arts test. The questions about it were thrown out because they caused such confusion among students who took the test, leading the State Education Department to determine they were ambiguous.
On Saturday, Kevin Glynn and Anthony Griffin dressed as the duo to underscore the rally's main message: standardized testing must go.
"Our goal was to make sure that (the awareness the story created) isn't forgotten," said Glynn, who teaches third grade in the South Country School District in Brookhaven (Suffolk County) and dressed in a pineapple costume.
Some of the kids forced to take that test showed up to protest too:
It wasn't just adults standing up to speak out against the state's education system. Kate Salkowitz and Temma Pelletier came with the Lakeland Federation of Teachers from Westchester County. Now freshmen at Walter Panas High School, the pair had to answer "The Hare and the Pineapple" questions in April 2012.
When they found out about the rally, they decided it was important to come.
"We're kind of fed up," Pelletier said. "We found out about it and wanted to come take a stand.