FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: 05/04/2015
Parents Demand NY Attorney General Investigate Common Core Tests
Serious concerns have arisen over the validity of the recent NYS ELA and Math Assessments
Rochester, NY: Parents of school age children are deeply troubled over the validity of the recently administered Grades 3-8 Common Core English Language Arts and Math Assessments. Their concern did not end with the explosive test refusal movement that saw hundreds of thousands of parents refusing the tests on behalf of their children. Parents like Monique Armann of Long Island, were “shocked by the content and length of the tests”, while other parents question the secrecy surrounding what is supposed to be a helpful assessment, which oddly no one can see or discuss. Many feel the strong arm tactics of Albany education bureaucrats concerning the tests is akin to bullying. Now that a bright light has been shined upon highly disruptive education reforms throughout New York, they have quickly moved to generate a petition demanding an independent investigation into the validity of these tests. They’ve brought their concerns straight to the state’s top law enforcer, bypassing the state Education Department and even the Regents.
The fact that parents would go directly to the Attorney general might seem bizarre or out of line to some, but there’s good reason for that decision. Last year parent advocate Anna Shah-Bomba filed a freedom of information request, to have an internal independent review of 2014 tests performed by the state education department released to parents. It was not, and has not, as of this moment been released. A deadline was provided by the state in accordance with requirement of the law, yet has not been complied with as the deadline has long since passed.
Parents have been left with no choice in trying to do due diligence in directing the education of their children, in this very unresponsive environment created by the state education department as well as the Regents. Recently Governor Cuomo stated that ”the tests were meaningless”, when asked to comment on the burgeoning refusal movement. Parents are left to ask, “If these tests are so meaningless, why are they dominating their children’s time in school? Why have reports come in as to the age inappropriateness of the tests? What actual value do these tests hold for their individual children? Why are they making their children’s test scores responsible for their teachers employment? And lastly, why on earth are they being stonewalled by the education bureaucracy?”
Parents have decided enough is enough. They want answers and will not be settling for being told “no”.
This press release represents over 60 parent led advocacy groups across New York State including Buffalo, Rochester, Syracuse, The Capital Region, The North Country , The Southern Tier, Hudson Valley, New York City and Long Island. These groups comprise tens of thousands of concerned parents who have been seeking solutions to the states failed reform efforts for several years. Support for this petition’s intentions has also been secured from local and state legislators.
We the undersigned parents and taxpayers of New York petition you for a redress of our grievances.
Those grievances are summarized in the following items:
1. A request for an independent review of the 2015 ELA and Math tests for grades 3- 8 due to grave concerns with the validity of the tests.
2. A request for the release of the Freedom Of Information Act request for the independent review performed for the year 2014 tests which have not been released according to legal requirements, details of which are included within the petition.
3. A demand that SED release the most recent ELA and Math technical reports in accordance with their obligation under the law.
Our petition is attached, as is a printed proof of signatures and comments from across New York State. On page (2) of this communication we’ve included formal endorsements of this petition from 63 parent led groups that represent tens of thousands of parents and taxpayers from every corner of New York.
We appeal to you as the state’s chief enforcer of the rule of law to take immediate measures to address your constituents concerns. Thank you for your time and consideration
Michael J. Panessa
Parent Advocate/Lead Petitioner
CC: Merry Tisch Regents Chancellor
CC: Elizabeth R. Berlin, Acting Commissioner
The following parent led education groups on behalf of their membership base have fully endorsed this petition, it’s assertions, and it’s demands:
-Stop Common Core in New York State
-NYSAPE (New York State Allies for Public Education)
-Fairport Schools Impacting education
-Stop Common Core in Wappingers
-Warwick Moms Against Common Core
-New York Grassroots Against Common Core.
-Stop Common Core in Ulster County
-Stop Common Core in Long Island
-Stop common core in the Fingerlakes
-Patriots Against Common Core FB GROUP
-Opt out Geneva
-Americans Against Common Core page
-New York Guardians
-Common Core and The Brain
-Stop Common core in Dutchess County
-Special Ed Advocates to Stop Common Core
-North Syracuse Parents Concerned About Common core
-Stop Early Childhood Common Core
-JPEGS against Common core
-Depew Union Free Advocates for Public Education
-Southern Tier Against Common Core and Testing
-United 2 Counter The Common Core
-The War Report on Public Education
-Delaware County for Public Education
-Democrats Against Common Core
-North Country Alliance for Public Education
-Hudson Valley Parent Educator Initiative
-Hudson Valley Against Common Core
-Badass Parents Organization
-Spackenkill Community Alliance for Public Education
-West Islip Against the Common Core
-Buffalo Allies for Public Education
-Stop Common Core Ballston Spa CSD
-More Than a Test Score
-Stop Common Core in Yonkers, New York
-Stop Common Core in Westchester County
-Stop Early Childhood Common Core
-NYS Special Needs Parents Against Common Core
-Islip Parents for Education
-Islip Parents Against Common Core
-Long Islanders United against the Common core
-Restore Local Control New York
-Lace To The Top
-Monroe County Against Common Core
-Oswego County for Public Education Discussion Group
-Central Square – Stop NYS Testing and Common Core
-Stop Common Core in Rockland County
-Opt Out Newfield
-South Country Parents Against Common Core
-The Committee to Combat Common Core Curriculum
-Shen Families against Common Core
-BH-BL and Capital District Parents Concerned Over Common Core
-Patchogue Medford Parents Against Common Core
-New Yorkers United for Kids
-Kingston Action for Education
-Central and Northern New York for Public Education
-Rethinking Testing: Mid-Hudson Region
-Western New Yorkers for Public Education
-Riverhead Parents Questioning common Core
-NYS Refuse the Test
-Long Island Opt-Out
-Moms Against Duncan