Assemblyman says Congress must “referee” to stop Secretary of Education from cutting federal school funding to punish NY for massive student opt-outs of grades 3-8 tests
Assemblyman Jim Tedisco (R,C,I-Glenville) today is calling on New York’s congressional delegation to prevent the U.S. Department of Education from carrying out a threat to sanction New York schools as punishment for the hundreds of thousands of students who opted-out of grades 3-8 Common Core standardized tests this month.
U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan has suggested that the massive student boycotts of the Common Core tests as seen in New York is unacceptable, and if unchecked, could lead to federal intervention in our schools to ensure test compliance.
In the past two weeks, hundreds of thousands of parents across the state staged a parental uprising against the Common Core curriculum and culture of over-utilization of high stakes standardized tests and exercised their right to refuse to have their children take the grades 3-8 ELA and math exams.
“While the state legislature works to protect the rights of parents to refuse the Common Core tests, we need our congressional representatives to referee on the federal level and send Secretary Duncan a clear message there will be consequences for penalizing our schools. Parents should be the primary decision makers on what is best for their children’s educational futures and not penalized by state and federal bureaucrats,” said Tedisco, a former public school special education teacher.
“New York is at the epicenter of a parent-led uprising against a culture of testing in our schools that’s forcing teachers to teach to the test and robbing children of the joys of learning. Make no mistake, Secretary Duncan and his special advisor, John King, our former education commissioner and the architect of Common Core’s disastrous roll-out in New York, are trying to bully and intimidate New York’s schools into submission and stop the anti-high stakes testing pushback before it spreads to other states. Now, more than ever, we need to starve the beast that’s Common Core and we need help from our representatives in Congress,” said Tedisco.
Tedisco has written a letter to New York’s entire House delegation and to Senators Charles Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand along with House and Senate leaders and the President urging them to stop Secretary Duncan from acting on his threats. He also is introducing an Assembly resolution with the same request. (See attached letter and draft resolution).
Tedisco is the sponsor of the bi-partisan Common Core Parental Refusal Act (A.6025/S.4161), to require that school districts notify parents of their rights to refuse without penalty to have their children in grades 3-8 participate in the Common Core standardized tests.