Jeanette Deuterman is a parent in Long Island, New York, who started a group called Long Island Opt Out. It now has 22,000 members. Long Island is the center of the anti-testing, anti-Common Core movement in New York State (with the Lower Hudson Valley a close second). Deuterman recently attended a forum composed of local superintendents to explain the virtues of the Common Core, and she was ready.


She wrote about the event:


There was a forum last night called “Common Core: Uncommon Challenges”. Panelists included Lydia Bellino, Assistant Superintendent for Cold Spring Harbor, Lorna Lewis, Superintendent Plainview Old Bethpage, Lydia Begley, Asst Superintendent Nassau BOCES, and moderated by Thomas Rogers, Superintendent for Syosset. Knowing who the speakers were, we knew that this would be a CC cheerleading forum. We rounded up our own experts – teachers, BATS, liaisons, and myself, and attended the event. For the first hour we heard how great it was that our second graders can use difficult advanced words in everyday language. We heard about 4 and 5 year olds learning how to write sentences. We were told that although it’s a plane being built in the air with our children on board, in a few years it will be great! Then it was our turn. One by one OUR experts approached the mike, and gave the true picture of CC and testing. We talked about privatizing, inappropriate grade level material, money, special needs and ELL children being broken and left behind, 5th graders who, being the first CC regents class, may not graduate, and 9th graders getting the brunt. We talked about those that DO stand with us to protect public education, and asked the panel “WHERE DO YOU STAND??” The response was that letters have been written, and some signed onto [Rep. Steven] Israel’s Bill…..Oh, and here I thought they might be part of the problem.


As often happens, when it was my turn at the mike, it was time to wrap it up. So I will write my response to the panel here instead.
Do you want to know why we are so upset? Do you want to know why we are now directing that anger at this panel? Because what we have heard is all the small benefits you see of CC. We didn’t hear you complain of testing. We didn’t hear you say the testing time is inappropriate and abusive. We didn’t hear you acknowledge that you understand why we as parents, choose to opt our children out. We didn’t hear you acknowledge the very real and very dangerous side of CC. We didn’t hear you say you understand that this is a means to privatize public education and make ungodly amounts of money. You are school leaders. You have a responsibility to inform the public. You have a responsibility to educate your parents in you district of the absolute crisis we are in, rather than trying to sell a CC package. CC is paying millions to PR firms to sell CC. They don’t need you. WE need you. We need you to be upstanders. We need you to be loud. We need you to protect our children. The next time you speak to parents or the community, PLEASE…..give them the whole picture. Educate them on what is really happening. Tell them what you talk about amongst yourselves behind closed doors. Be truthful. Be brave. Stand up.