As an Assemblyman with a degree in Elementary Education, and as someone who has taught in a classroom, I agree with you that New York State is on the wrong track when it comes to the unnecessary, over-testing of our children.In an attempt to comply with the federal Race to the Top Program, the state has implemented regulation upon regulation, cumulating to a detrimental impact on our children’s academic experience, and hampering of our teachers and their ability to teach.After talking to all of the schools in my district, I have made it very clear to the governor, members of the Senate, and to all of my colleagues in the Assembly, that complying with the regulations to receive funding from the Federal Government’s Race to the Top Program costs far more to implement than we actually receive from the Federal Government. Competing for the Race to the Top funding is tantamount to spending ten thousand dollars to get a two thousand dollar grant which does not make sense and is fiscally irresponsible.Further, complying with the Race to the Top program has had a detrimental effect on many of our children.Throughout New York State, the graduation rate in the low-needs and moderate-needs schools is seventy-three percent, which means that three out of every ten students is dropping out. In high-needs schools, the graduation rate is sixty two percent which means that four out of every ten students is dropping out. As much as we want all of our children to be nuclear physicists, that is not a reality. Many children end up getting frustrated and dropping out of school. These children have acquired no skills to participate in our economy. The State is doing a disservice to these children and to our state by not addressing this problem correctly.When I went to school, we had wood shops, automotive shops, electrical shops, metal shops, cosmetology, and many other trade based programs. We offered students the ability to acquire a general, as well as a regents diploma; A career track, as well as an education track. There is nothing wrong with a career in the trades. As a matter of fact, have you paid an electrician, a plumber or a mechanic lately? Trade schools give our children a future in many worthy careers.We need to return to what has worked in previous years. Government should not be tinkering with the education experience of our children, while ignoring the voices of the professionals in the classroom.I have been a strong advocate over the time I have been in office for the restoration of the proven methods listed above. Hopefully with added voices, such as yours, we can get government out of the classroom for the benefit of our children.Alfred C. Graf Member of the Assembly Fifth Assembly District
“Federal Education Means Federal Control”
State Opt Out Guides:
- CCSS – Parent Opt Out Form
- Eight Senators Join Fight Against Common Core
- How School Kills Creativity
- MAP & RESOURCES: States Fighting Back
- NYS Allies For Public Education
- Truth In American Education
Common Core In Jeopardy – NO Common Core
The Folly of Common Core:
Consider this when you consider government control and a nationalistic agenda with “our” “public” education:
“Education is a weapon whose effects depend on who holds it in his hands and at whom it is aimed.” – Joseph Stalin
“Give me four years to teach the children and the seed I have sown will never be uprooted.” – Vladimir Lenin
“He alone, who owns the youth, gains the future.” – Adolf Hitler
Education Without Representation
Parents Launch Executive Order to Stop Common Core and to Stop Student Data Mining
This week, a group of Florida parents, supported by parents and educators nationwide, released an executive order, demanding an end to Common Core and the parentally unauthorized student data mining that’s taking place in every state.
As parents, we claim the privilege of directing our childrens’ educations, free from SLDS (state longitudinal database tracking systems), free from Common Core-aligned testing, standards, or “model” curriculum; free from private trade group EIMAC/CCSSO data collection, free from federal micromanagement, free from federal “accountability”; free from the both student and teacher data mining and tracking that is offensive to individual liberty and to Constitutional, local control.
As parents and teachers, we claim the privilege outlined in the Declaration of Independence that government is by consent of the governed. We, the governed, have not been asked nor have we approved these unvetted standards and systems. Therefore, any governance of children or school staff under the Common Core agenda is simply invalid.
Why: The promises of the promoters of the Common Core Standards do not add up. The evidence is overwhelming, and increases daily, that the Common Core agenda damages where it claims to serve; yet those who push back against the Common Core agenda are disrespected by school boards and in hearings around the nation. This is outrageous. We are the children’s parents; children are not the government’s human capital” despite what the Department of Education repeatedly claims.
Along with the executive order, parents have issued a longer, referenced document that explains the reasoning behind the executive order. This document is entitled “Welcome to the Common Core Fuzzy Math: Common Core Equals Conditions Plus Coercion Plus Conflict of Interest.”
Please pass this message along.
Here is a partial list of all the parent-educator groups working to fight the federal-and-corporate partnered machine of Common Core.
■New York: https://www.facebook.com/groups/607166125977337/
■New York (State Island specifically): http://www.facebook.com/groups/638305829518125/
■New York (Long Island specifically): https://www.facebook.com/groups/141680156005331/