NORTH SHORE RESIDENTS AND TEACHERS WEAR RED FOR PUBLIC ED
September 24, 2015 -- Seeing red over the top-down reforms that have greatly undermined local control over public schools over the last few years, dozens of community members and North Shore faculty rallied at the four corners in Glen Head last Thursday afternoon. Similar demonstrations took place in communities across the Island. "Celebrate the teacher!" "OPT OUT - We are more than just a test score!" "Honk for kids and teachers!" their signs declared, and many of the passersby, supporting the message, enthusiastically obliged.
"I think public education is under attack and teachers aren't feeling supported - so the North Shore Community is coming out to show their support", said Glenwood Landing resident Veronica Attina.
Wear Red for Public Ed rallies have been held around the country and New York State over the past few years, and have been a response to, among other things the expansion of the standardardized testing regimen that elementary school children face and tying teachers' evaluations to those test scores. This summer, the State Education Department, at the direction of Governor Andrew Cuomo and the State legislature, implemented reforms that will expand the percentage that student performance on State standardized tests will count towards a teacher's evaluation from 20% to 50%, as well as other changes that greatly limit local districts' control in evaluating their own teachers.
"This rally is part of a deep realignment in the debate about public education. Today, parents, kids, teachers, unions and administrations are bound together in defense of sophisticated, meaningful learning in the face of predatory attacks from the Governor and his plutocrat friends," said Greg Perles, a Social Studies Teacher at the high school and the President of the North Shore Schools Federated Employees. "WEAR RED FOR PUBLIC ED shows working people and working families rallying together to support an education for the whole child. That means diverse curricula and teacher expertise combined with local control in support of our kids, our schools and our towns."
As for the reaction from the community, Mr. Perles added "the constant din of honking horns shows that the community is firmly with kids and teachers."
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