Long Island Opt Out Politics 101
By: Jeanette Deutermann, Founder Long Island Opt Out
In this blog entry Jeanette posted this on the Facebook page she started called Long Island Opt Out. LIOO has led Long Island, New York in the largest regional test refusal movement in the nation. As with many Facebook pages, politics can be a hot button item. Jeanette's words ring so true of all of us who fight for change daily - this is NOT about politics to us - it is about our children! ~Marla Kilfoyle, Executive Director BATs
1. This is a page dealing with opting out/CC/public schools AND politics. They are all one and the same thanks to our legislature and Governor who made it that way. For anyone that says "this page is not for politics", or "you can't post politics here", you are 100% incorrect. I do not post anything without full thought, consideration, and intent. Respectfully disagreeing is what makes this page successful and different from most others. Questioning motives and disrespectful comments cannot be tolerated in order for us to remain effective.
2. Both myself and this organization are issue voters/supporters. Our steering committee is made up of ALL parties. I have voted Democrat, Republican, and Green over the past few years. On this page I will post anything/information about anyone I feel is detrimental to this movement, our public school children, or our public school system. If it happens to be your favorite party or politician that is being called out, then you may want to ask that politician why they stand where they stand, rather than criticize that they were called out. I am not in the business of protecting those that do not deserve protecting. I WILL speak in favor of those that are working with us. I have backed members of all parties when they back us.
3. New Yorkers are notoriously party line voters, which is why we are also the most corrupt when it comes to politics. Our politicians have been trained to ignore voters who vote party lines no matter what they do while in office.
3. Being anti-common core is not the same thing as being pro-public education. Often those two things line up. But when they do not, let me be clear about my priorities: THIS IS A PRO-PUBLIC EDUCATION PAGE. PERIOD.
4. Save only a few legislators from the majority houses (Senate GOP and Dem Assembly) EVERY SINGLE LEGISLATOR WAS CULPABLE in last year's catastrophic vote on the Education Transformation Act. The majority houses that control the law being passed voted FOR, and the minority houses admitted they had the luxury of voting no since their vote didn't count. These votes were block votes and coordinated by the leaders of the houses. Again ALL WERE RESPONSIBLE.
5. As far as I am concerned, the ONLY way for these guys to get off of the black list is to show they are willing to do something to fix what they destroyed. Those that ride through this legislative session without action will remain on that list. If our backs are turned to every single one of our legislators for last year's vote and they believe they have no hope at redemption, then they will not bother trying and all is lost. Grudges may feel personally gratifying, but will grind progress to a screeching halt.
6. We have a Republican majority in the Senate, and a Democrat majority in the Assembly. THIS is why no great bills get passed EVER. Both houses must pass the bill for it to become law (and signed by the Governor) The ONLY chance large bills have at passing is generally when they are introduced by the majority party from either house, or it will never leave the house floor. Then the other house majority has to pass a "same as" bill (which also rarely happens because god forbid these guys sign onto a bill that their "enemy" has passed). Often the other party says "oh great bill, but we're not letting you take credit!" They just change a few words, reintroduce it, and now the process starts all over again. It is a complete display of insanity and childish behavior.
7. If we want the current law changed, bills HAVE to be introduced by a majority (Democratic Assembly or Republican Senate) member or it will be DOA.
8. Being on the inside of our political process has been disheartening and depressing to say the very least. It is corrupt, childish, unfair, and entrenched. Hearing the way the public reacts to trying to change this system and force the changes we want to see is almost worse. The game of politics is an ugly one, but make no mistake, it is in fact a game. Stomping our feet and shaking our fists is not going to help. Being smart, savvy, and playing their game BETTER than they do is our only route through this mess that has become our children's education.