Thursday, March 12, 2015

PS 20K - Hands-Around Our Schools to Protect Public Education, March 12

Hi, I thought you would be interested in this event Thursday morning at 8:20am. Co-located schools in Brooklyn are joining together against Cuomo's ed. proposals. Public Advocate Tish James will be at this event along with several state Assembly Member representatives.

Marnie Brady 202-492-4719 cell 
Vascilla Caldeira: 347-706-5621 cell

Co-located Schools Unite in Citywide Action to Stop Cuomo’s Education Proposals:
Hands-Around Our Schools to Protect Public Education
Who:                 Parents, teachers, Assembly Members
What:                Human Chain to Oppose Cuomo’s Education Policies
Where:              P.S. 20 and Arts & Letters NYC public schools
225 Adelphi Street, Brooklyn NY 11205 (Ft. Greene)
When:                Thursday, March 12, 2015 / 8:20am

On the morning of Thursday, March 12th the communities of two co-located schools, P.S. 20 and Arts & Letters in Ft. Greene, Brooklyn, along with invited elected officials, will create a human chain around their school building with a united message to stop Gov. Cuomo’s education plans. Parents say the governor’s proposals will harm their children’s education, and cause unilateral damage to the public schools families have worked so hard to support.

Parents and teachers oppose what they call the governor’s “hostage tactics,” holding back $2.2 billion in court-mandated funds owed to NYS public schools while imposing detrimental policy changes into the April 1 budget. These changes include basing 50% of teacher evaluations on state test results, and the diversion of public education resources into private hands. Parents are taking action with social media, and emergency meetings with state representatives.

One A&L parent, Kimberly Bliss, who is taking off work on March 11th to join other public school parents in Albany, explains: “Our governor is bullying our teachers and our schools with high stakes tests that have been proven to be ineffective. So we are giving a lesson to our children in how to stop a bully: we are joining hands to protect our beloved schools from Cuomo's dangerous "reforms". We stand united with our teachers to protect quality education based on inquiry, innovation, problem-solving, collaboration and community. We demand our state assembly members, including Walter T. Mosley, stop Cuomo’s proposals.”

P.S. 20 PTA President Vascilla Caldeira states: “We stand hand in hand as schools because we are determined to be the change we want to see. Parents & teachers demand fiscal equity for the common core to be implemented successfully. We're standing for the kinds of authentic evaluations that will uplift the teachers who commit their skills and time to make our children life-ready. Testing makes our kids into clones instead of the creative people they are meant to be."

Opal Morrison, a P.S. 20 teacher, opposes Cuomo’s evaluation plans: “Outside consultants coming in who have no idea who our students are is not helpful or fair. As a special education teacher, I spend my before school, lunch, & after school time supporting my students. Test scores & outside evaluators can’t capture my students’ struggles and achievements. It’s just disrespectful, not only to us teachers but to our children.”

Arts & Letters teacher John Allgood is also concerned about the increasing focus on state tests: “High stakes standardized tests necessarily narrow the curriculum so that children learn less. These tests do not give teachers any substantive information about what students know and need to learn.”

Parents throughout NYS are considering refusing state standardized tests scheduled for April. Last year, 3rd grade parents at Arts & Letters prevented the use of the state test results for teacher evaluation purposes through a mass opt-out. For more information about additional citywide actions, contact Maria Bautista at the Alliance for Quality Education: 212-328-9217  ##

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