Just minutes ago, I posted a strong letter from Superintendent Jeff Ramey, calling on parents and educators to support their schools and protest the budget cuts and tax caps that undermine them.

Carol Burris, an outstanding high school principal in Long Island, New York, responds here:

Superintendent Rabey,

I assure you, there are outraged New Yorkers all over our state.

Over 12,000 New Yorkers have signed the petition against high stakes testing http://roundtheinkwell.com/2012/12/29/petition-to-the-nys-board-of-regents-against-high-stakes-testing/ in two months. The Alliance for Quality Education has an Albany rally this month regarding funding. Over one third of all New York Principals signed a letter in opposition to APPR for the reasons that you mention. http://www.newyorkprincipals.org . The Niagara Regional PTA is proposing a resolution at the State PTA conference against high stakes testing. Schools Boards in Bedford and in New Paltz have passed their own resolutions.

The problem is that there is no state-wide coordinated effort and frankly a lack of courage to go beyond grumbling and resolutions into passive resistance and even active resistance. If you take your three key points–lack of funding, over testing, and state controlled teacher evaluations with test scores–and link them together, you have a powerful combination that many would support. Think about how much more funding there would be if all of the dollars going to testing and test prep and APPR went into classrooms in the schools that can no longer adequately serve their students?

I will hop on that bus anytime and I will bring others with me. In fact, you will have overwhelming support from principals and from rank and file teachers, though not necessarily from NYSUT, at least not on APPR.

Will you, however, get your colleagues to stop whispering their disgust at the Albany agenda and be willing to stand up against it?

Several years ago, death by lethal injection was brought to a halt in California, because anesthesiologists refused to participate. Courage, not compliance, is what is needed now.

Carol Burris