An open letter to school board members who think it is okay to blindly follow an abusive curriculum because Albany said so.


Food for thought, while you may not agree with what I say, there is indeed documentation to back up EVERY statement I make. At least some BOEs around the state have not stopped the truth from getting to the public they represent even though they themselves, like you, are under threat from above. My question is this: what will they do…remove you from your position if you tell the trurth? You will not serve jail time. To the best of my knowledge you will not be fined. Are you yourself so misinformed as to all that is happening that you truly believe these tests are for the best???

What is more important: your “oath” to the NYSSBA or your allegiance to your community? You actually can maintain both: You were told not to “encourage” (I saw the email sent to BOEs across the state recently). You were voted in by the people in your community to whom you owe the respect of INFORMING.

The formula used by the state to determine growth is invalid and unreliable and this is well documented. Proof can be found at this site:

During the budget process Cathy Nolan clearly stated that no district would lose funding if they fell beneath the 95%. ( go to the 4:14 mark in the video )

Regarding the treatment of children whose parents have exercised their rights as parents to choose “refusal” there is something called “The Dignity for ALL students Act” here in NY that clearly states “New York State’s Dignity for All Students Act (The Dignity Act) seeks to provide the State’s public elementary and secondary school students with a safe and supportive environment free from discrimination, intimidation, taunting, harassment, and bullying on school property, a school bus and/or at a school function.” ( )

Regarding the parents rights: The Constitution of the United Stats, the United States Supreme Court, and even the current NCLB law grants parents the right to REFUSE.

If you would like a 23 minute primer on what is happening then please by all means view this:

I hope that you will share all of this with the community you represent, as well as fellow BOE members, and give them the information they deserve to make an informed decision.

My view is by letting children take tests that are age inappropriate for many AND terribly flawed in their measuring statistic, you are allowing your children to exploited and used against our own communituies by a Governing body that no longer listens to its constiuency. I choose NOT to let children be used in that fashion. We simply differ on perspective. Also, PLEASE NOTE that I never said you should be “ashamed” of your decision. Your judgmental statement, and I quote, “used as political pawns, you should be ashamed of yourselves” (refers to a specific district) speaks more about you as a person than anything else you stated. I defend parents right to choose…period. If they choose to refuse that is fine. If they choose not to refuse that is fine as well… is their right. My issue is with parents not being given full and accurate information because someone swore an oath….?? Think on that…if all this was so great then why is all Albany does is threaten threaten threaten?

Respectfully submitted,

John D. Sheffield
Educator, parent, concerned citizen.