Wednesday, June 17, 2015

By:  Jeanette Deutermann, Founder of Long Island Opt Out

Here's where we stand. Legislators voted against children by passing Cuomo's revenge policy with the bill. They tried to pass the buck to the regents to fix their mess, and 6 of the regents voted to break this new law and vote with their conscience. It was not the majority, but it was enough to make a HUGE statement that the board is now ALMOST equally divided. It also showed loud and clear that the current law is so screwed up that our own BOR came very close to voting historically to refuse to regulate a morally unjust law. Our disappointment must not overshadow that action. A large and growing group of superintendents have stepped in front of their state organizations, and come out swinging not for themselves, but for our children. Union groups like ST Caucus and MORE, are challenging the current UFT/NYSUT/AFT leadership and speaking for TRUE rank and file members and putting kids at the forefront. We must continue to add fuel to those flames and turn it into a bonfire. Coalitions and opposition are growing in the most important places, with parents leading the way and defining what is important. The 4 month extension on the new APPR regulations was important because it takes the enacting of the new APPR law into the next legislative session. Guess what? Next session is an election year. This means our legislators will be stumbling over each other to be the hero and save the day. APPR changes will not take place until September 2016. As it stands now, 50% will be based on state test scores. If a district choses a local assessment, it will be 25% and 25%. We will continue to get more information on the local component (kind of tests, who sets target scores etc...) Through all of these regulation changes, remember: WE HOLD THE POWER TO VETO!!! Through opting out, we will veto Cuomo's new APPR plan. We will veto CC test prep. We will veto high stakes testing. When we veto, the system will fall. We are the last line of defense between Cuomo, the reformers and privatizers, and our children. WE WILL HOLD THE LINE!!!

You can follow Jeanette on Twitter @JeanetteDeut
Follow LIOO on twitter at @LIOptOut

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