Saturday, January 23, 2016

Why Why Need Betty Rosa As Regents Chair in New York State

One of the reasons we need to have Betty Rosa as the next Regents Chair in New York State is because she can help shine a light on the damage the whole "Receivership Schools" program is doing to education in the state. The damage is not only being inflicted on teachers and students in the schools already in the program, which number well over 100, but on all those which fear being placed in the program if their test scores go down. Basically, the threat of state mandated school take overs is a source of constant pressure on schools in low and moderate income districts or communities to emphasize test scores above all, and to apply their limited resources to test prep. This means sacrificing art music, gym, recess, school trips-- but it also means creating an atmosphere of near panic among teachers, students and families,a panic you can see most expressed by principals and superintendents when parents choose to opt out their children from tests. I know several districts in Eastern Long Island where this is the case, and I am sure it is happening all over the Bronx.
We cannot really claim to have released the vise grip of testing in New York state while over hundred schools are in "receivership" and hundreds if not thousands more fear being taken over by the state.
This is why we need a Regents Chair who has worked as an educator in a high poverty district and understands the damage being done in such districts by excessive testing and the threat of school takeovers by the state.