Perdido 03

Perdido 03

Saturday, December 28, 2013

NY State Politicians Are Doing Little To End The Ravages Of CCSS, APPR And InBloom

As the public protests over the Common Core State Standards, the APPR teacher evaluation testing that has added so much extra testing to schools and the inBloom data project that is forcing districts to hand over student information to Bill Gates and Rupert Murdoch gain steam, some politicians in NY State have begun to talk about rolling back some of this education reform agenda being imposed by the NYSED and the Board of Regents.

But when you take a closer look at just what steps these NY State politicians are taking to roll back the reform agenda, you see that they're really not rolling anything back at all:

Lawmakers will introduce a package of bills during the 2014 Legislative Session that aim to address issues concerning the Common Core learning standards.

The four proposals include a piece of legislation being called the “Truth-In-Testing” bill. It would require the State Education Commissioner to report on the effectiveness of Common Core state tests and require an independent audit to review and evaluate the testing program.

The second is a law being called the “P-2” bill. If passed, it would ban standardized testing on students in Pre-K through 2nd grade. State Senator Michael Ranzenhofer is co-sponsoring the bills.
“The purpose was, at least for the younger students, take away some of that pressure that they experience in the very early stages of their learning career. Some will say that we should have gone further, others will say that we went too far, but I personally thought this was a very good start to try to scale back some of the testing that’s being done, that’s being required, by Common Core,” said Ranzenhofer.

Ranzenhofer says another proposal is being called the “Privacy” bill. It establishes civil and criminal penalties for unauthorized disclosure information stored on the statewide database “inBloom,” and creates independent oversight within the New York State Education Department on matters related to privacy.

“This was a universal concern. I think everybody agrees that this type of data really should not be released. This is private information to be used to make the student better, to make the teacher better, and it should be exclusive for that particular purpose,” said Ranzenhofer.

Ranzenhofer says the fourth piece of legislation called the “Unnecessary Testing” bill would require the State Education Commissioner to expedite a review of the Annual Professional Performance Review (APPR) plans to eliminate unnecessary testing on students.

“We didn’t try to solve all of the world’s problems with Common Core with these particular pieces of legislation. These pieces of legislation dealt with a very, very small segment of the education community,” said Ranzenhofer.

Ranzenhofer says he hopes the proposals open the door to other conversations about how to improve the Common Core learning standards.

NYSED and the Regents have already agreed that P-2 testing is not such a good idea and they want to eliminate it, so there's nothing extraordinary about passing a bill to do what SED and the Regents say they already want to do.

The other three bills do little to address concerns over privacy, overtesting and the damages the CCSS curriculum and tests are causing to students, children and schools because they simply put more power into the hands of the already-too powerful SED.

Parents want an opt-out option for inBloom, but the privacy bill simply creates an "independent oversight within the New York State Education Department on matters related to privacy."

Given how little transparency and honesty there is at SED, with the secret Regents Fellows hired by private interests running the department, I don't exactly trust the any "independent oversight" entity that is created "within the New York State Education Department on matters related to privacy."

That sounds simply like some rubber stamp committee that will agree that anything SED Commissioner King and his merry men and women in reform do is swell and parents and teachers can have no complaints about it.

The same can be said for the "Truth-In-Testing" and"Unnecessary Testing" bills, which again give SED the authority to audit their own policies.

Sorry, Albany politicians, but students, parents and teachers are this naive - we know that giving SED the authority to audit itself and make sure its policies aren't leading to overtesting isn't going to change anything about the way children are overtested.

These are small measures being introduced in Albany to make it look the SED/Regents/Cuomo education reform agenda is being modified and changed.

But it isn't.

These small measures do little to nothing to mitigate the ravages and damages of the SED/Regents/Cuomo reform agenda and they will NOT stem the rising protests from students, parents and teachers around the state.

It is imperative that you let these politicians who think they're fooling you with this jive know that you know how little will actually change as a result of these bills if they are passed and signed into law.


  1. Reality- They are following the Bloomberg script. Let the masses scream and yell and then just keep doing what you were doing in the first place. Maybe make a cosmetic change or two. Until the politicians see a real political threat, nothing of any substance will change in my opinion.

    1. Eterno is right. Where are the political candidates being groomed to oppose the "reform" agenda?

    2. Yup - I agree. We have to hit some of these people where it matters. In November when the vote tallies are calculated. You don't always have to knock these guys off in an election though. I do think cutting into Cuomo's 2014 totals will scare him. He wants an easy 2014 to set up 2016 for his WH run.

  2. In Chicago earlier this year Karen Lewis and the CTU announced that they are beginning to groom their own candidates to truly represent teachers and the community's true interests.
    Why can't we do the same in NYC and across the state?

    1. Let's do it in NJ too! Is any teacher willing to run?

    2. It's a great idea. Alas, here in NYC, we have the UFT, NYSUT and AFT. Meet the new bosses, same as the old bosses. Candidates chosen by corrupt union leadership won't be any better than what we already have.

  3. You're right; an independent oversight body within the NY State Ed Dept is an oxymoron.

    1. It's a joke to think SED will police itself. Like saying the NSA can conduct oversight on itself. These bills do nothing other than give some politicians talking points to say they;re doing something - even though they're really not.

  4. Yea--that will fix things in NY. They have been hoping that they would get through the theatrical meetings King held--then everyone would be distracted by the holidays--then we would focus in on the State of The State and Budget...People need to know this is not enough--and parents need to have their kids sit out testing.

    1. Yup - State of the State is where the serious pushback on Sheriff Andy starts. He's spent a considerable part of the past three State of the State speeches talking up reform. We'll see what he does here - I suspect he'll tiptoe through the reform landmines. But we won't let him get away with that.


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