FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Westhill Teachers Echo Call for Resignation of NYSED Commissioner John King
October 21, 2013
The Westhill District Education Association supports the New York State Allies for Public Education in their call for the resignation of New York State Education Department Commissioner Dr. John B. King Jr. Commissioner King’s actions during a recent NYS PTA town hall meeting in Poughkeepsie mirrored his established pattern of ignoring the concerns of parents and educators. The cancellation of the future town hall meetings shows a lack of leadership from Commissioner King.
Parents and educators are losing faith in the New York State Education Department’s policies and administration. Parents across New York State are justifiably worried about an increase in mandated standardized testing, the haphazard implementation of the Common Core Standards and the prospect of their children’s confidential data being shared and compromised.
Although Commissioner King has reversed course and rescheduled meetings around the state (in a format he believes will produce more “constructive dialogue”), his ability to lead the school districts of New York has been called into serious question.
The Westhill District Education Association is proud to stand with the parents, community members and fellow educators in NYSAPE to call for a change in direction and policy beginning with new leadership at the New York State Education Department.
Together we can make a difference. Together we can build a better future.
5 Steps to Our Goal of $5000
- Join the team!
- Pledge $100
- Ask 10 friends to donate $10
- Share our team page on Facebook and Twitter
- Walk with us on October 20th, Clinton Square.
If you’re concerned about student privacy, inBloom, and corporatizing of America’s schools, you might get on the bus June 8th.
If you’re tired of politicians and educrats ignoring the most important factors for student achievement (not teacher practice, but parental involvement and poverty), you might get on the bus June 8th.
If you’re fed up with not being able to grade your own tests and SED’s obsession with test security, you might get on the bus June 8th.
If you’re sick of listening to billionaire ed reformers spout off about education, you might get on the bus June 8th.
If you were shocked the first time you heard that John King sends his kids to Montessori school, you might get on the bus June 8th.
If you care about great teachers being driven out of the profession, you might get on the bus June 8th.
If you think it’s time for change at State Ed, you might get on the bus June 8th.
Join us on June 8th in support of public education. Stand up for our schools, stand up for our children, stand up for New York’s future.
For more info visit: http://www.nysut.org/resources/special-resources-sites/one-voice-united
NYSUT is providing bus transportation to the rally in Albany. Buses leave at 8:30AM from the NYSUT office in East Syracuse (Brittonfield office off 481). See your building rep or email/call Greg McCrea (882-6344) to reserve a seat. If you’d rather drive, please consider taking a friend. The WDEA will reimburse $75 in travel expenses to all members who car-pool (drive) to the event.
Weblinks for this article include:
Calling all walkers, runners, and family members. We need you to join our Corporate Challenge and Relay for Life teams. Follow the links below to sign up for a team or make a donation to our Relay for Life team. As teachers, you make a difference in our community. Please consider joining our team today.
To sign up for the Relay for Life event on June 7th, visit:
To sign up for the Corporate Challenge race on June 18th:
- Log on to JPMorganchase.cc.com
- See “Schedule and Registration”
- Click on “Syracuse”
- Under “Company home pages” you’ll find: Westhill
- Go to “Register for this company”
The deadline to sign up is Wednesday June 5 and receive your free Westhill Team T-Shirt
A retirement letter by Jerry Conti, a Westhill HS social studies teacher, seems to have gone viral on the internet. Last month Conti submitted his retirement letter to the Board of Education and offered his “deepest regret, ending my more than twenty-seven years of service at Westhill.” He goes on to criticize the “ill-conceived policies [that] will betelling and shall resound to the detriment of education for years to come.”
Mr. Conti is a great teacher, and it’s pretty clear to us that his reach goes beyond the Westhill community and kids. We’re going to miss him.
Here’s a few links that may be interesting to anyone concerned about the state of education in NY.
Mr. Conti’s Letter of Retirement and article in the Post Standard.
More about the Gates Foundation and their influence on ed reform.
Just what is a “Vogon”?
Sign the petition today, put an end to run-away high-stakes testing in NY.
Learn about the Opt Out movement growing across NY.
Are you smarter than a 3rd grader? See a sample of the NY ELA exam.
BOE Meeting Tonight
The Westhill BOE meeting is tonight at 7pm in the HS auditorium. Please come out in support of the board as they make the difficult decisions re: the budget, but more importantly in support of our colleagues as they face potential job cuts. There’s no easy way out of this mess, but it will be slightly more bearable if we hang together, or assuredly we shall (well you know the rest).
Budget Deal in Albany
There’s apparently a budget deal in Albany which includes restorations to the education funding. We haven’t seen the details yet, so we don’t know how much more Westhill will be getting. I’ll keep you updated as we learn more.
Tests Make Kids Sick
Fed up with testing? I sure am. There were reports last week of students sickened by the test and a ridiculous response by SED in one case in Westchester County. READ ABOUT IT HERE.
Considering Opting Out?
There is a growing movement referred to at “Opt Out” among parents across the state. Parents are asking districts to allow their children the option of “refusal” on the state tests. A report out of Western, NY appeared on the Buffalo YNN affiliate. CHECK IT OUT HERE.
Sign the Petition, Come to a Meeting
NYSUT has two forums with which you can speak out against high-stakes testing. Go to testing.nysut.org
and sign the parent’s petition and also share your stories about testing in the classroom through “Tell It Like It Is!” NYSUT will host a “Tell It” forum on April 18th, 5:30PM, at C-NS High School. Save the date and recruit your friends to attend. We want Prez Ianuzzi to hear us loud and clear as we stand up against SED’s runaway testing regime.