Perdido 03

Perdido 03

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Albany Pol: Opt-Out Numbers Are "Shocking"

From State of Politics:

State lawmakers this week said the effort to alter and trim some of the education policy measures approved in the 2015-16 budget plan are being spurred in large part by the large number of students opting out of the current round of standardized tests.  
“It’s not my colleagues, it’s being generated by the people of the state of New York,” said Buffalo Assemblyman Sean Ryan. “Last week’s opt out numbers are really shocking.”

Cathy Nolan pays some lip service to democratic values:

 “We’re only here through the consent of the governed,” said Assembly Education Committee Chairwoman Cathy Nolan, a Queens Democrat. “If people are unhappy, then we have to respond. And the Assembly is responding.”

Put me down as skeptical that the "Assembly is responding" to the "consent of the governed."

So long as Merryl Tisch remains in power, so long as NYSED continues to impose its ed deform agenda on students, teachers, schools and school districts, so long as Cuomo can shove through an education reform agenda as easily as a Sandra Lee meal goes into the garbage, I'm not ready to believe the "Assembly is responding" to the "consent of the governed."


  1. I hope that President Obama, Secretary Duncan, Hillary Clinton, Governor Cuomo and Chancellor Tisch are taking note. The old statement “Don’t Mess With Texas!” pales in comparison to “DON’T MESS WITH PARENTS!” This was NEVER about teacher unionism as it is being falsely sold in the press, media and by all those ed reform folk who think that their talking points are deflecting the REAL truth here. What we are witnessing here in NYS is the pushback that Governor Cuomo, Chancellor Tisch and former Commissioner King deserve thanks to their long record of arrogance and refusal to “listen” and to “share” thoughts with parents and public school educators at EVERY STEP of the process. Whatever happened to “shared decision making” and allowing the experts (namely professional educators) to participate in designing the best means of delivering effective instruction in the classroom? Phooey on the politicos who use the smokescreen of blaming all the ills of our nation on its schools. These folks are delusional and dangerous. While we worry and fiddle about nuclear problems on the other side of the world, “Rome is Burning” right here in America. When will Washington D.C. and the governors of our nation FINALLY come to their senses and stop this madness?

    In New York what we have is a corrupt state government where each new day brings further allegations of the corporate and hedge fund investor $$$$$$ behind decisions that impact EVERY taxpayer, parent and most importantly, public school educated child in our state. It is past time that our “elected” officials needed to start listening. The Opt-Out movement is a black eye to our state BUT even more, it is an accurate knee-jerk reaction to the dictatorial and repressive agendas of a few individuals with HUGE dollars behind them and a plan that they must implement, or else. Talk about selling one’s soul …

    Thank you Prof. Ravitch for bravely taking a stand against the political machine at the federal and state levels of government in this country. I am a lifelong public school educator and like many others, I know that your voice of reason and commitment to supporting our public schools has helped millions of taxpayers, parents, teachers, administrators and students to coalesce to fight those who seek to destroy the very foundation of what makes our country great!

    This is a revolt to take back our schools from the oligarchs and 1%’s who have manipulated the press, media and in doing so have lied to the American public over and over again. We will keep the pressure on our politicians and will not forget those who have turned against our children and their education!

  2. It is time to start a MASSIVE telephone campaign. Parents and teachers need to flood BOTH the NYS Assembly and Senate with calls calling for an immediate call for the removal of Chancellor Tisch and Senator Flanagan (as Chair of the Senate Education Committee). NYS has NEVER, EVER seen the likes of this pushback from parents. Cuomo, Tisch, all those dem/repub members of the NYS legislature who voted YES, NY-SED koolaid drinkers, and all who believe in NYS's plan for ed reform including "heavy heart democrat assembly members) take note!

    The gloves are off ...

  3. John Flanagan likes to blame the federal government for the testing mandates, but in five years as the Senate Education Committee chair, has he ever written to any federal official, met with any member of the US House or Senate or asked to testify at any committee hearing about scaling back or even eliminating the annual testing requirements? Has Flanagan ever said that New York doesn't need three days worth of testing for ELA and math? Has Flanagan ever said that a single 40 minute test administration is adequate and that teachers, students and parents should promptly be given results in a format that can used to help children? Has Flanagan ever said that test results should be not factored into a teacher's evaluation? No. Why? Because Flanagan wants public schools to appear as if they are failing so that the state can bring in charter schools to get fat off taxpayer dollars.

  4. What happens when NYSED/Regents/Cuomo figure out a way to quiet and pacify parents over-testing/meaningless testing concerns, but still somehow (I have no idea how) implement a teacher-destroying evaluation scheme??
    Already Tisch is pushing for a September 2016 deadline pushback.....just enough time for them for figure this out.

    It's not the tests that are the prize here for the Cuomo/Tisch/reform's the devastating evals. The test data was a huge part of doing that in a "scientific" way...but I don't trust that they are not willing to go unscientific.

    Parents concerns and teacher concerns certainly overlap on testing. But are parents willing to go the distance on teacher evals and school privatization in general??

    Is my skepticism and worry here fully unfounded??

  5. In NY, at least, we are reaching the point where everyone recognizes that we have a fiasco on our hands. The goal was to declare public education and utter failure and hand it over to the privatizers. Because we hung on longer than anyone anticipated we now have a strange situation--the deformers are correctly being held accountable for education's current issues (that is why they are desperately trying to shift the blame onto teachers). People like Cuomo and Tisch now own the outcomes and the public is upset at them for the fiasco that they have created. We are almost to the point of open insurrection--and both houses of the legislature are tuned into that fact. I agree with the other commenter--call, write, picket your legislators office and demand real solutions--not the Cuomo/Tisch/King nonsense!

  6. “The responsibility for this rests firmly with the governor. The lesson [from New York] is don’t be a jerk to your teachers.”

    Michael Petrilli, president of the Thomas B. Fordham Institute

  7. I routinely send emails. My Assemblyman, James Skoufis voted no to the Ed bill and has responds to my emails a few times. My state senator, William Larkin has never responded except for an autoreply. Larkin has yet to earn my vote. Roseanne McCosh- Chester, NY

  8. I see many politicians, who voted in favor of the budget bill, running scared, hiding in these closed-door meetings, not answering calls, using autoplay messages especially since they angered many, many parents. You don't mess with parents and their children. I say to the parents and public school advocates make them shake in their political boots. Catherine Nolan is on the education committee and she voted with a "heavy heart" in favor of Cuomo horrible budget bill. A democrat like her who needs another back-stabbing, pro-Cuomo politician. She should be held responsible for allowing this budget bill to pass. How dare Ms. Nolan insult the public by saying that the public is unhappy and that's why they're responding. What a bunch of crock! The public has been unhappy for several years and have been more vocal since last year when the OPT OUT movement was picking up speed. It is time for parents and public school advocates to tell these "heavy hearts" that voting them out of office will be done without a second thought. You don't mess with the hornets' nest. Zzzzing!