PRESS RELEASE: AQE Takes Aim at Senators’ $25 Million Charter School Slush Fund

PRESS RELEASE: AQE Takes Aim at Senators’ $25 Million Charter School Slush Fund

April 27, 2015 Legislative & Political Updates

skelocrop

For Immediate Release:

Contact:
Wendy Liberatore, Statewide Communication Coordinator
Alliance for Quality Education
518-432-5315 or 518-491-0454
wendy@aqeny.org

ALBANY (April 27, 2015) – The Alliance for Quality Education (AQE) launched a campaign today targeting upstate and suburban Senators to halt a plan to send $25 million in “bullet aid” to charter schools, mostly located in New York City, and instead vote to invest this money in their local schools.

Bullet aid for “school districts, public libraries, and not-for-profit institutions” is included in the budget every year and is normally distributed to public school districts around the state based upon needs identified by the legislators. The Senate and the Assembly each control their own pot of bullet aid and will be voting by resolution in the coming weeks on exactly how to distribute these funds. However, Majority Leader Dean Skelos told the New York Times that this year that the Senate will be voting to send a $25 million pot of bullet aid to charter schools—80% of which are in New York City and not represented by the Senators whose votes Skelos is counting on.

Over the coming days, the campaign will include phone banks, leafletting, social media and the release of nine videos targeting 17 Senators. The videos focus on Senators George Amedore, John Bonacic, Rich Funke, Joseph Griffo, Kathleen Marchione, Patricia Ritchie, Susan Serino and James Seward. AQE also created a video aimed at the nine Long Island Senators: Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos, and Philip Boyle, Thomas Croci, John Flanagan, Kemp Hannon, Kenneth LaValle, Carl Marcellino, Jack Martins and Michael Venditto.

The videos, which highlight individual senators, explain that hedge fund billionaires who backed Senate Republican’s campaign ads forcefully lobby for the opening of more charter schools, mainly in New York City. The short clips point out, too, that schools in these Senators’ districts need the bullet aid to do things such as restore full-day Kindergarten in Poughkeepsie, revive the lost business program in Herkimer or rehire some of the 300 teachers laid off in Utica. The videos call on voters to call their Senator and feature the Senator’s phone number. More videos will be released in coming days.

Of the 233 charter schools in the state, these Senators represent only 15.

“Why would these Senators vote to send $25 million to charters schools mostly in New York City instead of using it for their own local schools,” said Billy Easton, Executive Director of AQE. “They work for their voters, not for Dean Skelos or his hedge fund campaign donors. The final vote on this has yet to happen and upstate and suburban Senators need to stand up for their local schools and say no to Senator Skelos and the New York City charter school lobbyists.”

The videos are part of a larger campaign that includes social media and letters and phone calls to local Senators, with hopes of persuading Senators to put their local schools first.

“I’d like to see this money go to public schools,” said Nick Stallman, freshman at Herkimer High School. “Our school has many needs, like a business program at the high school that could be met with the $25 million. With so many public schools still struggling, it’s not right to send this money to charter school.”

Long Island video
John Bonacic video
Susan Serino video
Kathy Marchione video
George Amedore video
Joseph Griffo video
James Seward video
Patricia Ritchie video
Rich Funke video

PRESS RELEASE: Bipartisan Assembly Members Demand More Money, Less Testing for Schools

PRESS RELEASE: Bipartisan Assembly Members Demand More Money, Less Testing for Schools

March 26, 2015 Legislative & Political Updates

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

 

Contact
Lisa Tyson
Director of the Long Island Progressive Coalition
516.749.5074
ltyson@lipc.org

MINEOLA (March 22, 2015) – New York State Assembly Members Steven Englebright, Al Graf, Kimberly Jean-Pierre, Todd Kaminsky, Charles Lavine, David McDonough, Tom McKevitt, Ed Ra, Joseph Saladino, Michelle Schimel and Michaelle Solages joined with the parents, community members, teachers and organizations at a rally at the Nassau County Legislative Office Building in Mineola to call for a state budget that adds additional funding beyond what is currently proposed and rejects Governor Cuomo’s proposals for more emphasis on high stakes testing and state takeover of struggling local schools.

“Our Assembly budget proposed a $1.8 billion school aid increase and we are still fighting for that. We need to prioritize high need schools while making sure we are taking care of all schools which the Assembly proposal does,” said Assembly Member Steven Englebright (D-East Setauket) ”In our budget bill we said ‘no’ to increasing the role of standardized tests in teacher evaluations and we said ‘no’ to state takeover of struggling schools. We are here today to make sure the Governor understand where we stand.”

“It is essential that this budget put our children first by providing proper education funding and we further reject the Governor’s proposals that will increase our reliance on standardized testing and further reduce local control of our schools,” said Assembly Member Ed Ra (R-Garden City). “When it comes to funding we are looking for at least at $1.8 billion school aid increase.”

This past Thursday the Governor and the Legislative leaders announced an agreement that school aid will increase by at least $1.4 billion in this year’s budget. This is substantially less than the $1.8 billion proposed in the Assembly’s budget bill or the $2 billion recommended by the New York State Board of Regents. At the event the legislators called for the $1.4 billion to be treated as a floor because it is not enough to sufficiently restore the many years of lost funding. Fair distribution of funds in ways that prioritize high need schools while helping all schools is also important in order to comply with the constitutional obligation to provide every student with a “sound, basic education.”

The Assembly members at the event also rejected the Governor’s proposals to increase the role of standardized in teacher evaluations which will mean more teaching to the test. They also opposed his plan for a state takeover of struggling local schools. On Long Island the state controlled Roosevelt schools for eleven years, overriding local decision making, and only left in 2013.

“We will all be better off when the day comes that those of us who have benefitted from public education fight for and support public education in the same way as those who have benefitted from private education,” said Assembly Member Charles Lavine (D-Glen Cove). “Today is that day and in the Assembly we are fighting for a $1.8 billion school aid increase and against the overuse and misuse of testing as well as against the Governor’s proposal to replace local school boards with a state receiver in underperforming local schools.”

“The Assembly’s budget is the only budget on the table that gives students and teachers the support they need for truly great schools,” said Assembly Member Todd Kaminsky (D-Long Beach). “The Senate must step up to the plate and match the Assembly’s commitment to high-quality public education. Students and teachers need support for truly great schools, and New York State has let them down for far too long.”

The lawmakers were joined by the Alliance for Quality Education, the Working Families Party, Long Island Progressive Coalition, Make the Road New York, New York Communities for Change and New York State United Teachers at the rally at the Nassau County Legislative Building in Mineola.

 

“The Governor talks about bipartisanship.  Well we have finally accomplished that on Long Island.  Sadly it’s come about in opposition to Cuomo’s wrongheaded education policies. The $1.4 billion school aid increase that is on the table now is not enough, the Assembly proposed $1.8 billion and that should be the minimum,” said Billy Easton, Executive Director Alliance for Quality Education.  “His idea for a state takeover of underfunded, underperforming schools full of high need students is poorly conceived and he is proposing to put standardized testing on steroids by making 50 percent of teacher evaluations based on these tests.”

 

“Long Islanders are proud of their public schools, which stack up against any public school system, anywhere. Our schools are renowned for their quality because we focus on teaching – not testing – and because we battle for the programs and resources our students need to succeed,” said Barbara Hafner, a sixth grade math and social studies teacher in West Hempstead. “I am proud to stand with Long Island’s Assembly delegation in support of a sound education budget that rejects the Governor’s ‘test and punish’ agenda, and other so-called ‘reforms’ that would harm Long Island’s schools, its teachers and, most importantly, students.”

“Working families all across the state are concerned about the direction Gov. Cuomo’s taking our schools. We know what our kids need to thrive: universal pre-K. smaller classes, art and music, career and technical education, and college prep courses,” Michael Gendron, Executive Vice President of CWA Local 1108 and representative of the Working Families Party. “We urge the Assembly to stick to the positions cited in their one house budget, which called for $1.8 billion funding and rejected the Governor’s agenda of high-stakes testing and privatization. Working families from every corner of New York demand a fully funded high quality public education. Our students deserve it.”

“Over the past few years, I’ve seen more and more good programs, like music, get cut from our schools,” said Tembi Jenkins, a Brentwood education leader with LIPC and AQE. “This is directly due to the state’s unwillingness to provide our schools with fair and equitable funding. The Governor needs to stop playing politics with children’s education and restore funding so programs can be added, not eliminated.”

“I came to Long Island 25 years ago from El Salvador because I wanted a better environment and a better education for my children,” said Dionisia Canales, a member of Make the Road New York and Westbury parent. “Education for my kids is my most important priority. I live in Westbury, one of the worst school districts in the state and demand that something is done to improve this situation. Our schools need to be given the necessary resources so our children can have the same opportunities as all others in the state. I am an immigrant and I have worked hard so my children will have a better chance of succeeding in life than I had where I grew up. I have dreams for them, and won’t allow for their future to be trapped in the middle of a political game. Their future should be a priority of all in Albany! Schools need more resources and local control to do what makes sense for their communities.”

RELEASE: Report Details Gov. Cuomo’s Failure to Fund NYC Schools

RELEASE: Report Details Gov. Cuomo’s Failure to Fund NYC Schools

February 19, 2015 Legislative & Political Updates

For Immediate Release:

Contact:
Wendy Liberatore, Communications Coordinator, Alliance for Quality Education
518.491.0454
wendy@aqeny.org

Dan Morris, Progressive Cities
917.952.8920

NEW YORK (Feb. 19, 2015) – The Alliance for Quality Education (AQE) released a report today that reveals Gov. Cuomo’s chronic cuts to education and his noncompliance with the Campaign for Fiscal Equity (CFE) ruling has deprived New York City public schools with adequate funding to provide its students with their constitutional right of a “sound and basic education.”

New York State Senators and Assembly Members, including the Chair of the Assembly Education Committee Catherine Nolan and Black and Puerto Rican Caucus Chair Jeff Aubry, joined AQE along with the United Federation of Teachers (UFT), New York Communities for Change, Make the Road New York, Citizen Action, parents, students and teachers for the release of the report, Gubernatorial Delinquency: Cuomo’s Failure to Fund New York City Public Schools, on the steps of City Hall. The report finds that Gov. Cuomo’s owe every New York City school child an average of $2,667 toward their education and that he owes $2.5 billion to New York City public schools. The report was accompanied with the release of a smart phone ap that parents can use to find out exactly how much their child’s school is owed.

The report is and a link to the app can be found here.

The report breaks down each Senate and Assembly district, giving an accounting of how much the state actually owes each legislative district. All of the New York City legislative districts are owed tens of millions of dollars apiece. Topping the list in the Senate is Senator Joe Addabbo of Queens whose district schools are owed $136 million, tops in the Assembly is Assembly Member Michael Blake whose schools are owed $76 million.

The state lawmakers came out to support AQE call for Gov. Cuomo to restore billion to city schools.

“I congratulate the Alliance for Quality Education on the great research they have done on how not keeping current with our legally mandated funding obligation is hurting our local districts and our children’s chances of receiving a terrific, sound, basic education,” said Assembly Member and Chair of the Assembly Education Committee Catherine Nolan.  “It is important, I believe, in this budget year for both houses of the Legislature and the Executive to recommit themselves to restoring the promise of Campaign for Fiscal Equity (CFE).  Since the final CFE court decision in 2006, followed closely by the economic downturn in 2008, our state has not been able to put the funding in place that would solve the equity gap; indeed there have been cuts to schools all over our state.  It is my hope that this new research will enable us to push forward on adequate funding for education.”

“Gov. Cuomo is delinquent in fulfilling his constitutional obligation to New York City’s school children,” saidBilly Easton, Executive Director of the Alliance for Quality Education. “His current budget threatens no funding at all and wrongly ties school funding to an all-out attack on public education. The legislature needs to stand up for our school kids and stand up to the Governor.”

“Our community’s investment in that inspirational language arts teacher goes towards educating the next poet laureate,” said Senator Jesse Hamilton. “Our tax dollars invested in that engaging science teacher creates the next generation of biotech researchers and nanotech engineers. Underinvesting in education in our communities deprives New York of the dynamic workforce necessary to compete in the 21st century. What’s more, underinvestment in education deprives young people of the opportunity to develop their God-given talents  We insist on sustained, equitable investment in education because when we invest in education, we invest in every New Yorker’s future.”

“The Alliance for Quality Education has done an excellent job analyzing how much Campaign for Fiscal Equity funding goes to each legislative district,” said Assistant Assembly Speaker Felix W. Ortiz. “School aid must never be held hostage to an agenda focused on testing. The education budget should fully funded to adequately meet student needs. A quality education is not a privilege but a right.”

“We are inviting Gov. Cuomo to drop the rhetoric and to provide the schools what they really need. A court found New York State was not adequately funding struggling schools, and the Legislature promised to fix it – but it wasn’t done,” said Michael Mulgrew, President of the United Federation of Teachers. “Our students have suffered long enough. New York State is running a surplus. Now is the time for Gov. Cuomo to make a down payment on the money owed to our schools and our children, and stop offering up a list of education proposals that have failed everywhere they have been tried.”

“Gov. Cuomo has disregarded the needs of New York City school children for too long now,” said Zakiyah Ansari, Advocacy Director for the Alliance for Quality Education. “The courts have ordered New York State to provide adequate funding, but Governor Cuomo hasn’t done so. Not only is Gov. Cuomo defying the New York State Constitution, which requires the state to provide a sound and basic education for every child, he is also jeopardizing our children’s future. The legislature must deliver where the Governor has failed.”

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RELEASE: Gov. Cuomo Slams the Door on Opportunity

RELEASE: Gov. Cuomo Slams the Door on Opportunity

January 22, 2015 Legislative & Political Updates

For Immediate Release

Contact:
Wendy Liberatore, Statewide Communications Coordinator, AQE
wendy@aqeny.org / (518) 432-5315 ext. 102; cell-(518) 491-0454

ALBANY (Jan. 21, 2015) – Governor Cuomo says he has an Opportunity Agenda, but his education agenda is slamming the door shut on opportunity for hundreds of thousands of students in every corner of the state.

Governor Cuomo has failed to address the educational crisis of our day which is the dramatic inequality for students based on the wealth or poverty of their zip code. There is no denying the numbers–the Cuomo policies have increased educational inequality to record setting levels and this budget fails to address inequality. The $1.1 billion proposed increase is half of what the Board of Regents and 83 state legislators have identified as what is needed. That is why on this very day students and parents from eight small cities are suing New York State for the Governor’s failure to fund our schools. No wonder he wants to distract voters by talking about high stakes testing, his flawed teacher evaluation system and privately run charter schools.

Governor Cuomo is pushing an agenda of good sound bites and bad education policy. Takeover of public schools by the state and by private entities has no track record of success. Community schools are a great idea, but to work they must have local community control not be imposed on parents, students and teachers by the state or a private contractor. Rather than fully supporting our public schools and their students his plan is to send taxpayer dollars to private schools and privately run charter schools. His agenda on testing and teachers will continue the bleak march towards turning our schools into standardized testing mills where art, music, sports and childhood creativity are casualties.

In what has become all too typical for Andrew Cuomo, his actions are motivated by personal politics, not public education policy. He has adopted the sound bites of his Wall Street billionaire campaign donors who are leading a nationwide attack on our public schools. The Governor is right, we do have a real problem in education, but increasingly Governor Cuomo is in fact the problem.
On pre-K we heard some good rhetoric, but $340 million or more of the so-called “new money” in pre-K is not new at all, it is the renewal of funding that was committed last year.

The Governor’s pre-K budget falls far, far short of his promise to phase in universal full-day pre-K. We need real investment, not symbolic action.

We know how to fix our schools. It requires adequate funding and investment in specific programs like pre-k, high quality curriculum, career and technical education, community schools and smaller class sizes.

We are going to fight Governor Cuomo on behalf of the 2.7 million students who deserve so much better from their Governor.

We are going to fight him on behalf of struggling schools he has left with inadequate resources throughout the state. And we are going to win.

We are going to win because the facts on our side, the parents and students are on our side and the future of New York State depends on it.

RELEASE: Elected Officials Respond to Gov. Cuomo’s Attack on Public Schools

RELEASE: Elected Officials Respond to Gov. Cuomo’s Attack on Public Schools

October 29, 2014 Legislative & Political Updates

For Immediate Release: 

Contact: 
Wendy Liberatore, Communications Coordinator, AQE
wendy@aqeny.org / (518) 432-5315 ext. 102; cell-(518) 491-0454

Julian Vinocur, NYC Communications Director, AQE
julian@aqeny.org / (203) 313-2479

ALBANY (October 29, 2014) – The Alliance for Quality Education’s designated Champions of Education in the New York State Senate, Assembly and New York City Council joined in the chorus of community and school superintendent responses to Gov. Cuomo’s vow on Tuesday to break the public schools “monopolies” and replace them with more privately-run charter schools.

“I find it unacceptable that Governor Cuomo would further disempower and denigrate our public schools,” said State Senator Bill Perkins.  “Saying that there should be more competition among schools—to break a so-called public monopoly—is his way of imposing heedless private business practices on these august institutions that have served our citizens well for more than a century.  Furthermore, charter schools perpetuate a system of educational inequality and have ushered in a new generation of separate but unequal outcomes in education.  Governor Cuomo’s own words—sadly, lead us to believe that profit and privatization is more important to him than serving every child in the state with excellence.”

“It is troubling to read that the Governor, just days before the election, is blaming teachers again, and is now slamming the ‘public’ in public education in favor of increased privatization via charter schools,” Assembly member Patricia Fahy said. “By definition, public schools serve all children, including all those who cycle in and out of charter and other private schools.  While accountability is essential among all teachers and in all schools, slamming a bedrock institution of our state and country – public education – while ignoring so many root causes of school failure – is simplistic at best and not constructive to moving the needle on improving education opportunities for all.”

“The Governor’s recent comments about the state of education and calling it a ‘public Monopoly’ has me gravely concern,” said Assembly member Walter Mosley. “Education is a public good, not a public monopoly. It must be treated as such, regardless of one’s family income or status, public education must be treated with a proper level of respect and regard to the general welfare of our society.”

“As a father and grandfather whose children have attended our public schools, investment in public education and support for public schools is critical. This is not the time to attack public schools but to strengthen them,” said Assembly member Felix W. Ortiz. “I pledge to fight for more state aid to public schools next year. Our future is at stake.”

“I am not surprised that Governor Cuomo supports attempts to privatize schools to benefit hedge fund billionaires,” said NYC Council Education Committee Chairperson Daniel Dromm. “These Wall Street fat cats may raise him the most money but public education isn’t a business. If Governor Cuomo actually spent time in the NYC public schools, he would learn that there is no independent assessment that says that charter schools perform better than public schools. He should do something constructive for public education for a change. He should demand that charter schools are held accountable. He should stop charter schools from evading public oversight despite receiving millions in taxpayer money. He should stop charter schools from failing to properly educate English language learners and special education students. And he should seek to end problematic conflicts of interest between charter school board members and business interests.”

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Release: Buffalo Community Demands the End to Racial Disparity in Discipline

Release: Buffalo Community Demands the End to Racial Disparity in Discipline

October 9, 2014 Legislative & Political Updates

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact:
 Brian Trzeciak, Lead Organizer
C: 646-584-9767
btrzeciak@citizenactionny.org

BUFFALO (October 8, 2014) – A coalition of parents, students, and community members led by Citizen Action of New York and the Alliance for Quality Education demanded that the Board of Education address the racial disparities in suspensions in the Buffalo Public Schools and follow through on its commitment to fully implement the Code of Conduct. This action, taken today at the Buffalo Academy for Visual and Performing Arts, is a part of the National Week Against School Pushout.

Participants at the Board of Education meeting demanded that the district:
•    Continues to lower suspensions and increase attendance, especially of students of color and special education
•    Continues full implementation of the Code of Conduct
•    Increases transparency and release all information about unspent reserves to the public
•    Expands the number of schools receiving Restorative Practices training throughout the District
•    Works more with organizations and community partners who can help to keep kids safe and in school
•    Does more to advocate for increases of state funding

“As a parent in this district, I have a vested interest in making sure that my boys get the quality education that they deserve. Unfortunately, students of color are still being suspended and pushed out of school, and that needs to change,” said Angelica Rivera, Chair of Education Committee of Citizen Action of New York and the Alliance for Quality Education. “The Board of Education needs to support and make restorative practices a priority so that all students get the opportunity that they deserve.”

According to the Advancement Project, with the new Code of Conduct adopted in 2013, there have been some improvements in the District. Short-term suspensions are down 22% just this year. This is an overall decrease of 36% over the last four years. The majority of schools (60%) saw a decrease in short- term suspension use compared to last year. Some schools experienced a decrease in short-term suspensions by as much as 78% compared to last year. This year, students gained at least 7,433 more instruction days compared to last year.

Still, racial disparities continue to be a problem, especially for black and Latino students.  Black and Latino students represent about 70% of the total student population, but make up almost 80% of all suspensions. Although suspensions are down, the vast majority of them continue to be given out for vague, non-violent behaviors such as defiance of authority, disrespectful behavior, disruptions, and minor physical altercations. These behaviors should be handled in school. With more support and training for the staff, administrators, students, and parents, these disparities can be addressed.

“We have great students and teachers, but the gaps need to be filled and that requires support for everyone. When you cut staff and programs, the children suffer and so do teachers,” said Gayla Thompson, Board Member of Citizen Action of New York and the Alliance for Quality Education. “We need to replace suspension with supports like more school counselors, conflict resolution and after school activities.”

“When you suspend a student without addressing the root cause of the behavior, you perpetuate the problem. I can speak from experience about how sitting down, listening, and talking is essential to helping a student to get back on the right track,” said Peter Merrick, Counselor at the International Preparatory School. “We need more people in positions where they can offer support so that students succeed, not less.”

“Restorative practices get to the root of students behavior and addresses the issue so that the behavior is not repeated, thereby reducing the risk of repeat offenders,” said Dina Thompson of the Erie County Restorative Justice Coalition. “We are asking for support and collaboration to move forward on this initiative. This is a city wide effort and we are here to help.”

“I support AQE’s advocacy for increased student support to continue our reduction in suspensions.  Our progress is not sustainable without renewed investment in school counselors and social workers,” said Dr. Will Keresztes, Chief of Student Support in the Buffalo Public Schools. “Social needs impact learning needs.  Until we have adequately addressed the social needs of our students we will not dramatically impact academic outcomes in our district.”

RELEASE: Rochester Parents and Teachers Protest Campbell Brown’s Right-Wing Lawsuit

RELEASE: Rochester Parents and Teachers Protest Campbell Brown’s Right-Wing Lawsuit

July 31, 2014 Legislative & Political Updates

Press Release

for

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Contact: Rosemary Rivera, rrivera@citizenactionny.org, 585.520.6542

Rochester Parents and Teachers  Protest Campbell Brown’s Right-Wing Lawsuit

 

Demand “Out-of-Touch Tribeca Campbell Get Out-of-Rochester,” as Bogus Lawsuit by Brown’s Wall St. Front Group is Filed

 

The Alliance for Quality Education, Metro Justice, the Coalition for Justice in Education and Citizen Action of New York joined with parents and teachers from the Rochester City School District on Wednesday to protest a bogus lawsuit that aims to strip due process rights from teachers by allowing for the unwarranted punishing or firing of teachers.

The lawsuit, filed by former TV personality Campbell Brown and her Wall Street-backed group, wants to profit from the privatization of public schools, and aims to distract from the root causes of underperforming schools: inequitable funding and resources, the impact of concentrated poverty and high-stakes, standardized testing and imposed curriculum that takes the joy out of classrooms.

“If Campbell Brown and her proxies really cared about providing all children with their constitutional right to a sound education, they would be fighting to uphold existing legal rulings on providing equitable funding for all students in New York State, not attacking teachers working on the front lines,” said Sue DeFabia a Rochester City School District teacher.

The groups say they support fair, viable, research-based improvements to the teacher evaluation system, as well as effective, research-based, professional development practices; but not at the expense of a teacher’s right to due process.

“If Campbell Brown knew anything about education, she would know that eliminating protections that allow teachers to be innovative and take some risks with instruction fails to improve our schools. Punishing or firing teachers for baseless motives won’t help school systems recruit and retain the quality teachers we need to teach our children,” said Candace Rubin, a Rochester City School District teacher.

“The major problem is not teacher quality, although it is important. It’s the impact of concentrated poverty on student behavior and academic engagement,” said Dan Drmacich, retired principal in the Rochester City School District.

“New York is a hire and fire at will state, and that is a very scary thing. For years, I have taught students to fight for social justice, and against institutional racism and structural inequalities. Empowering students in this way seems disruptive to some school leaders. The guarantee of due process provides allows teachers to stand strong so that they can protect our children,” said Diane Watkins a parent and Rochester City School District teacher.

“This lawsuit is a red herring. According to the international PISA test rankings, U.S. schools with poverty rates of 25 percent or less are outperforming every other country in the world. Clearly the real problem is poverty and inequitable funding of our poorer public schools. If we are serious about real school reform, we must look at the real issue at the heart of school failure – poverty and inequitable funding,” said Carla Carey, a Rochester City School District teacher.

“Many teachers are struggling because they are overworked, forced to “teach to the test,” confronted with too many students to give the individual care that many students need. Removing due process would only make teachers more vulnerable to the so-called data driven testing ideology. Let teachers be professionals, give them the support and training they need, and reduce the class size, especially for teachers in schools with many children in poverty. Make the schools more democratic and responsive to communities and parents,” said James Bearden, Professor of Sociology at SUNY Geneseo and co-chair of Metro Justice Education Committee.

RELEASE: New Education Report by Bloomberg Cronies Reveals Appalling Hypocrisy

RELEASE: New Education Report by Bloomberg Cronies Reveals Appalling Hypocrisy

July 31, 2014 Legislative & Political Updates

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: July 31st, 2014 

Media Contact:

 

New Education Report by Bloomberg Cronies Reveals Appalling Hypocrisy

Ex-Bloomberg Flack & Wall Street Ed Reform Group Are Biggest Proponents of the “Chronic Failure” Agenda They Now Condemn

*PUBLIC SCHOOL PARENTS REACT*

(New York, NY)- Following the release of a new report titled, the “Forgotten Fourth” peddled by a front-group funded by Wall Street and aided by Stu Loeser, who served as Bloomberg’s press secretary, public school parents react:

“Our schools were forgotten by Michael Bloomberg, this report is hypocrisy at its worst by a front group funded by his cronies. Their ‘so-called solutions’ were closing resource-starved schools, increasing testing and pushing more separate and unequal practices– this failed thousands of students under the last administration. After 12 years of dismantling our communities through closures and creating a divisive atmosphere among parents, New Yorkers are ready to move on. Our schools need real investment to provide the quality curriculum and student supports that lead to success, ” said Zakiyah Ansari, public school parent and Advocacy Director of the Alliance for Quality Education.

“This report is offensive hypocrisy—more propaganda from the folks who refused to help our schools improve during the past decade, and are now using that failure to promote their privatization agenda. While many of us have organized, rallied, and called for solutions to this failure for years, we were ignored by the same organizations and financial interests that created this report. What we need are concrete, research-based solutions that work hand-in-hand with us in turning around those schools,” said Natasha Capers, public school parent and Coordinator of the NYC Coalition for Educational Justice.

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