A parent in New York asked me to recognize the wisdom and courage of the district’s teachers.

I am glad to do so and to place the Corning Teachers’ Association on the honor roll of this blog for supporting the rights of parents and the interests of students.

 

 

Here is her letter:

 

 

“The Corning Teachers’ Association sent the following position statement to all members. As a parent in the Corning-Painted Post School District, I am grateful for their courage to share facts regarding NYS Grades 3-8 standardized testing.
“The CTA memorandum is an example of what needs to happen across NYS if teachers want REAL change instead of relying on empty promises outlined in the NYSED “tool kits”, flyers, and rhetoric from Commissioner Elia.
“Until there is REAL change in NYS classrooms, the opt outs MUST continue. Teachers supporting parents who are refusing the NYS standardized tests are supporting children and the future of public education.
“Will you please consider posting the CTA Position Statement on your blog? It is with hope that teacher associations in other school districts across NYS will have the courage to do the same.

“THANK YOU for all that you do every day to support children and educators!

“Kind regards,

“Lynn Leonard

“M E M O R A N D U M

 

“TO: Members of the Corning Teachers’ Association
FROM: CTA Executive Council
DATE: March 18, 2016
RE: New York State grades 3-8 Testing Position Statement

“We, the members of the Corning Teachers’ Association believe in academic rigor supported by engagement and the enchantment of learning. We believe that it is our responsibility to provide sound educational practices for our students, and we are to be held accountable to these practices.

 

“We believe that a strong curriculum provides time and resources for social and emotional development, practical skills, project-based and authentic learning opportunities, deep exploration of subject matters as well as a focus on social and cultural concerns. Our ultimate goal is to foster a high-quality public education system that prepares all students for college, careers, citizenship and lifelong learning, thus strengthening our social and economic well-being.

 

“We believe that the large amount of learning time that is lost through administration of these high-stakes test is not what is best for children. Mandated New York State standardized testing is an inadequate, limited and often unreliable measure for student learning. While we acknowledge that the test results are currently not tied to a teacher’s evaluation, teachers are still not given the professional freedom to design or score such tests. The delayed results are not available for use to drive further instruction or give meaningful feedback to the stakeholders.

 

“We believe that New York’s children belong to their families. We support the right of parents and guardians to choose to absent their children from any or all state and federal-mandated testing. We support the right of teachers to discuss freely with parents and guardians their rights and responsibilities with respect to such testing.

 

“The Corning Teachers’ Association will, to the best of its ability, protect and support members who may suffer the negative consequences as a result of speaking about their views of such testing or about the rights and obligations of parents and guardians with respect to such testing.”