After Commissioner John King had a disastrous meeting with parents in Poughkeepsie, he canceled his remaining five open meetings. But the Board of Regents decided what was needed was even more meetings, so King is now holding more meetings around the state, though so far not in New York City.

At his first new round of meetings, one principal got up and spoke fearlessly about what was happening in the state. This was his statement:

“Dr. King, My name is Tim Farley, from Kinderhook, NY, and I am the proud father of four school-aged children and I happen to be an educator of 22 years. Since this is now a listening tour, I would like to offer you three suggestions from the field followed by a question.

1. We do not want your corporately-backed Common Core. We don’t like it. We don’t like it as parents and we certainly don’t like it as educators. Common Core has not been properly field tested and we do not want our children used as guinea pigs for one of Bill Gates’ newest whims.

2. We do not want inBloom or any 3rd party vendor to have access to our children’s once private and confidential information. We know it’s now legal because those in power literally changed federal law in 2011 just so they can do what they are currently doing. We demand and immediate cease and desist on this wide-spread data collection and specifically, the now mandated “Data Dashboard”.

3. We demand an end to high stakes testing. It isn’t NYSUT that wants to curtail tying student scores to teachers’ ratings of effectiveness; it is us, the parents. We know that the ratings are meaningless and it is unfair to the students and to the teachers.

Now for my question: We know that the NYS Education Department used SAT scores of 560 in reading, 540 in writing, and 530 in mathematics, as the college readiness benchmarks to help set the “passing” cut scores on the 3-8 NYS Tests. These NYSED scores, totaling 1630, are FAR higher than the College Board’s own “college readiness” proficiency cut scores for students as young as 9 years of age. Why did you anchor the cut scores to 1630 on the SATs instead of the College Board’s 1550? And I have NYSED’s benchmark study here for your reference.

Thank you.”