FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: January 25th, 2016
More information contact:
Bianca Tanis, (845)389-0722
Jia Lee, (347) 410-4994
Rank and File Teachers Call on NYSUT Leadership to Do More
A coalition of Rank and File educators including MORE (Movement of Rank and File Educators), ST Caucus, Badass Teachers, and Teachers of Conscience, are calling on the leadership of the state teachers union, NYSUT, to do more to protect students and teachers from Governor Cuomo’s test-focused education law. Their call to action can be found at rankandfilenewyork.wordpress.com.
Across the state, teachers have expressed outrage over NYSUT’s member-funded million dollar “multi-media campaign to highlight progress.” Jessica McNair, public school teacher, technical advisor to the Common Core Task Force, and NYSUT member states, “Not only does the ad fail to inform parents that their children will see no relief from damaging tests this spring, there is no call to action, no call for the repeal of a law that doubles down on testing. The leaders in NYSUT know full well that unless Cuomo’s test and punish law is changed, teachers and students will continue to suffer.”
Marla Kilfoyle, Long Island public school teacher, NYSUT member, and Executive Director of Badass Teachers said, “I am deeply disappointed in NYSUT’s latest media campaign which I feel misleads both teachers and parents in NYS. I have been a loyal member for over 27 years and paid my dues faithfully. This is not what I would expect my union dues to be used for. All teachers will still be rated on test scores (different, locally determined tests) and our children will have to take more exams, not less. I am calling on NYSUT to discontinue this campaign and rectify it with correct and solid facts.”
Beth Dimino, a Long Island public school teacher who has refused to administer the NYS Common Core tests and a NYSUT member concurs, “Union Leadership appears to be working against students, teachers and public education. At a time when unions are under attack, it is more important than ever for our leadership to step up and protect not only rank and file teachers, but our students and their communities.”
Kevin Gibson, Buffalo public school teacher and NYSUT member stated, “By law, impoverished and under-resourced schools in receivership will still be subject to takeover and privatization based on flawed state test scores. When will NYSUT mobilize members and call on all locals to take a position against Receivership?”
Parents who have been instrumental in leading the opt out movement have expressed similar dismay. “The misinformation being spread about what is actually happening on the ground by leaders of various professional organizations is astonishing. When I ask my children and classroom teachers if anything is better in terms of test prep and narrowing of the curriculum, their reply is that nothing has changed.” said Lisa Rudley, Westchester public school parent and founding member of NYSAPE.
Jia Lee, A NYC public school teacher and NYSUT member added, “This is a critical time for the leadership of the largest local in the state and country to respond to the concerns and interests of its dues paying members. It’s time to end the pandering to politicians who represent the interests of corporate philanthropists.”
The Coalition urges rank and file teachers to contact union leadership and demand an immediate halt to misleading and expensive ads, and to urge NYSUT leadership to actively work towards an amendment of the 2015 Education Transformation Act. It it time that the leaders of NYSUT do more to protect teachers and students.
Educators and parents can learn more by visiting rankandfilenewyork.wordpress.com.