Patriots. During the American Revolution we had Washington, Adams, and
like these are screaming on deaf ears in Albany. They have voiced the people’s
discontent when we needed them most. This dissatisfaction is being expressed
not only by these outspoken politicians, but also from life-long educators like
in this battle by fighters from NYSAPE like Rudley and Mihelbergel and
hundreds of thousands of parents and teachers. All of these citizens are
speaking out against injustice on a daily basis, undeterred; not
willing to be silenced by the onslaught of offensive threats coming from
of life, with one common goal, are fighting for our children’s future.
The people in charge are starting to get worried. The aristocracy gets
very nervous when peasants revolt. Suddenly the conversation is changing.
After maliciously ramming legislation through the New York legislature in the
middle of the night, a shift in the political winds is stirring. Parents and
teachers have joined together to send a powerful message to Albany. They want
to see a change in the direction of education. They want a multifaceted
education for their child that educates the whole child.
Recently two Long Island Superintendents, Steve Cohen and David Gamberg
wrote, “At first glance the current, heated, conflict over state testing and the
opt-out movement appears to be a dispute between those who believe in and
those who dispute the value of state tests. But this conflict goes deeper. It is a
conflict about what is good for children and adolescents, about how children
learn and thrive, and about how to raise young people to enter into and contribute
to their communities as mature members of a democratic society.”
Didn’t Andrew Cuomo, Meryl Tisch, Ken Wagner, the Democrat majority in the
Assembly, or the Republican majority in the Senate hear what our patriots said
on the night of March 31, 2015?
Andrew Cuomo has been laying low, avoiding the conversation.
Anybody on the wrong side of the budget vote, unscrupulously tied to educational
reform had been quiet, until … lately. A tidal wave of test refusals has
risen up like a tsunami forcing people in high places to engage in a
conversation with the stakeholders. The boat is sinking and the rats are
I think bureaucrats like Cuomo, Tisch, Wagner, and Duncan have
forgotten who they work for. These officials want to command, or dictate, but
they don’t want to listen. They could learn a thing or two from a good public
school principal. A good principal comes out of their office and walks
around the school regularly observing and talking to teachers and students. You
can’t see the valley from the mountaintop.
The people of New York have sent a message that is echoing far beyond the
borders of this great state. We are dissatisfied. The time has come for the
pendulum to swing in the other direction with regards to education. The baby
has been thrown out with the bath water, so to speak. Many of the wonderful
initiatives in schools around New York have been replaced with a singular vision
on how to educate our children. The corporate reformers have dumped billions
of dollars into educational reform, riding on the back of common core. They
have lost sight of what’s important. Parents and teachers that deal with children
on a daily basis instinctively know what’s missing. These reformers have ignored
the basic essence of childhood development.
The “reformers” are pushing for career and college readiness at the expense of
childhood. They speak without knowing, or thinking things through. Reformers
say things like, “We should be able to look every second grader in the eye and
say, You’re on track, you’re going to be able to go to a good college,” Does this
sound like a person that understands what it is like to be seven years old? Doesn’t
he understand that life go by fast enough? Do we need to curtail childhood? Then
there was this gem, “Its fascinating to me that some of the pushback is coming
from, sort of, white suburban moms who all of a sudden their child isn’t as brilliant
as they thought they were and their school isnt quite as good as they thought they
While searching through these idiotic sound bites I also came across this one,
“Diane Ravitch is in denial and she is insulting all of the hardworking teachers,
principals and students all across the country who are proving her wrong every
day.” Arne Duncan, the Secretary of Education, is so completely out of touch
that he can’t fathom that it is actually he who is insulting and offensive
to all the hardworking teachers, principals and students.
He’s not astute enough to realize the true value of this amazing woman.
She holds so much legitimacy where he has none. How foolish he appears
time and time again. Governor Cuomo should pay attention.
Recently a parent was quoted as saying, “The most dangerous place to stand
is between a mother and her child.” That’s exactly where Governor Cuomo,
Meryl Tisch, Ken Wagner, and Arne Duncan appear to be standing, and why
they are so vilified. It’s time for them to listen, or to find another vocation.