TO: Local Presidents, RC Presidents,
PAC, and VOTE/COPE
FROM: Matt Jacobs, Regional Staff Dir.
Jeff Friedman, Regional
DATE: April 22, 2015
RE: Press Conference to Oppose
Senator Martins' APPR Bill____
With more than 80,000 students opting out of the Math and ELA state tests on Long Island and more than 200,000 statewide, Albany is desperate to find an easy way out of the hole they’ve dug themselves. The introduction by Sen. Martins of Senate Bill S-4709, entitled “Annual professional performance review plans submitted by the highest performing ten percent of school districts,” is not the solution parents, educators and community members demand.
This bill divides our children and school districts into two classes – those that get a free pass and those required to double down on the onerous and misguided system of test and punish. Sen. Martins’ cynical, self-serving approach will only serve to further widen the gap between the haves and the have-nots.
We emphatically disagree with the approach taken by this “reparative” measure. Those most privileged, high wealth districts, situated in areas that give the most in campaign contributions, will be permitted to give their children the rich, well-rounded, high quality education all children deserve. But in the low wealth, high needs, disadvantaged areas of the state, school districts will be forced to impose still more cuts to instructional programs in order to devote more time to high-stakes testing and the endless hours of test prep that go along with it. As a consequence, districts with the greatest need will have a more difficult time than ever attracting the best teachers. If education is supposed to be the great equalizer this bill takes us in the wrong direction.
We are one Long Island and one New York. All our children matter regardless of where they live. We stand firm in declaring high stakes testing damages all children and we are not fooled by Sen. Martins’ transparent attempt to divide us in order to curry favor with donors.
We will voice our opposition to this bill at a press conference on the steps of Nassau County Legislative Building 1550 Franklin Ave., Mineola, NY 11501 on Tuesday, April 28th at 4:30 PM
We will be joined by community members and allies from NYSAPE, NYCC, AQE and LIPC. Please encourage your members to attend.