A group of school superintendents in New York banded together in late February to form The Alliance to Save Public Education. They began with 30 superintendents from Nassau County, Suffolk County, Westchester County, and Monroe County, and their number has grown to nearly 100 superintendents (PS: they now have 102). They invite more superintendents from across the state to join them in signing their Declaration below. They welcome the signatures of school board presidents and leaders of parent associations as well.]

Please contact your Superintendent, Board President, or PTA President to sign:

Print it, then sign the printout with a dark flair-type pen in a blank spot

Scan & email it (or fax it) back to dgamberg@southoldufsd.com

You can download the letter to print here.

Here is the text of the letter:

March X, 2015

Dear Lawmaker:

Every day, nearly three million children and adolescents attend New York State’s public schools: upstate and downstate, rural, urban and suburban, small, medium and large. The variety is immense. It may be painfully true that 109,000 students attend failing schools in New York State, but it also means that between 2.8 and 2.9 million students are attending successful schools. Even in successful schools, we are familiar with a certain percentage of our children who fail. We are constantly looking for ways within those systems to discover new and better methods to teach those struggling students and eliminate failure from the landscape of our public schools. However, we must continue to support the segments of our systems that can create success. In fact, they should be celebrated and replicated where possible. The current effort at State reform, rather than focusing on our success and supporting what works effectively, appears to focus only on the State’s failures. Failures can never be ignored, and do in fact need to be fixed, but not at the expense of damaging what creates our successful schools.

The Governor’s agenda is connecting the politics of State aid to education policy … AT WHAT COST?

The Governor’s agenda is removing control of our schools from our local communities … AT WHAT COST?

At what cost do we over test our students? It must not be at the cost of our children, and our communities.

New York’s public schools include many that sustain student learning at high levels, and also some schools that fall below everyone’s expectations. We believe the best use of our resources allows schools that work to continue to do so, and, at the same time, to support schools that need help to engage their students at the level we expect for all children. In a state as varied as New York, a one-size-fits-all approach to school improvement is bound to damage schools that already engender students success, while dissipating the focused support that failing school require, to meet the needs of their students.

We urge the legislature to refrain from enacting the Governor’s proposals without a thoughtful debate.


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