Friday, February 6, 2015

NEW JERSEY PARENTS TAKE A STAND TO SPEAK FOR THEMSELVES.


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE      
New Jersey   February 6, 2015
NEW JERSEY PARENTS TAKE A STAND TO SPEAK FOR THEMSELVES.
Parents all over New Jersey demand that their voices be heard.

Dissatisfied with how high stakes standardized testing is eclipsing their children’s education, parents all over New Jersey are insisting upon their right to make decisions that impact their child's education by exercising their right to refuse their children from the harmful practice of high stakes standardized testing.

In an effort to appease the call for legislation to slow down the use of high stakes standardized testing in NJ, Governor Christie created the Study Commission on the use of Student Assessments to study the new reforms, including the PARCC assessment and the Common Core State Standards.

Recently, the study commission has held several public forum testimony sessions where parents, educators, and other taxpayers have come together to voice their concerns. At the Jersey City meeting on Wednesday, January 28th the members of the public heard from Ms. Catherine M. Lindenbaum, who introduced herself as the Parent Representative on the Commission.  Ms. Lindenbaum is one of the governor-appointed members of the Study Commission as well as a NJ Parent and Teacher Association Representative.

The parents of New Jersey's test refusal movement take issue with the fact that National PTA, which leads NJPTA, has accepted monetary contributions from the Gates Foundation.  The Gates Foundation has also invested millions of dollars in the Common Core State Standards and the parents feel that there is a definite conflict of interest.

“I am a parent and she definitely does not represent me in this discussion,” states Colleen Martinez of Montclair, NJ. Colleen has actively been advocating for maintaining local and state control of public education.

“Any organization that accepts money from the Gates Foundation cannot be trusted to not have an agenda to support his educational initiatives,” says Melissa Tomlinson, a special education teacher. “The tests are designed in a way that there will never be success for specific populations of our students. Statistically, they are invalid and of little actual use to us in classroom decisions.”

Text of the letter that was signed by nearly 500 New Jersey parents and taxpayers is attached.
Contact: Colleen Martinez 
Contact: Melissa Tomlinson 
See below for letter
End
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From: New Jersey Parents
To: Ms. Catherine M. Lindenbaum
NJPTA
8 Quakerbridge Plaza, Suite F
Mercerville, NJ 08619

February 4, 2015
To Ms. Catherine M. Lindenbaum, a member of the Study Commission on the Use of Student Assessments in New Jersey:
Ms. Lindenbaum, On January 28th, at an open meeting in Jersey City, you introduced yourself as the “Parent Representative” serving on this commission.
Well Ms. Lindenbaum, I too am a parent, and if you support high-stakes standardized testing you don't represent me.
If you support hours upon hours of valuable instruction time lost in favor of teaching to a test, you don't represent me.
If you support millions of dollars being funneled away from music, arts and enrichment programs to pay for this test, you don't represent me.
If you support pushing children to developmental levels that many can't possibly reach, you don't represent me.
If you support test questions which are confusing, unnecessarily complicated, or purposely deceptive, you don't represent me.
If you support teachers being unfairly judged on the basis of one set of test scores, you don't represent me.
And if you support handing our children's education over to private business without question, you certainly don't represent me.
**THIS LETTER WAS SIGNED BY 479 NJ TAXPAYERS**
Copy:  Commission Members
NJ PTA
Governor Christie


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