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There was an enthusiastic and energetic audience of about 1,500 parents and educators at the Tilles Center for the Performing Arts on Long Island, Néw York, on March 9. Long Island is the epicenter of the Opt Out movement, which is supported by many of its superintendents.
This is the best, most factual account I have seen of that great evening. It was written by Jaime Franchi, the best education writer on Long Island and one of the best in the state.
“Critics of the controversial education reform Common Core rallied at Long Island University Post Campus Monday in the first such organized protest on Long Island this year against the Obama administration initiative and the latest in what has been a consistent and relentless campaign among opponents to halt the contentious standardized testing examinations.
Titled “Standing Together to Save Public Education: A Call to Action,” the gathering drew more than 1,000 parents, teachers, school administrators and anti-Common Core activists, including New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s former gubernatorial primary challenger Zephyr Teachout, and was keynoted by renowned education policy analyst, historian and New York University professor Diane Ravitch.
Joining her onstage was a panel of distinguished educators including: South Side High School in Rockville Centre Principal Carol Burris, Comsewogue School District science teacher and Port Jefferson Station Teachers Association President Beth Dimino, Comsewogue Superintendent Dr. Joe Rella, New York State Allies for Public Education (NYSAPE) cofounder and Long Island Opt-Out Facebook administrator Jeanette Deutermann, and education advocacy group Lace to the Top cofounder Kevin Glynn, a teacher at Brookhaven Elementary School in South Country School District.
Each spoke about how the Common Core tests are damaging to children and echoed the need for attendees to “Refuse The Tests.” With more than 30,000 students across Long Island “opting out” and forgoing taking the exams last year—and with that number expected to increase significantly during the next scheduled round of exams this April—panelists found a welcoming and charged audience quick to respond with resounding applause and cheers. [Read About How Thousands Of Long Island Students Opted-Out Of Common Core Here]
“We are in the midst of a vast social experiment on the children of the nation and it is all tied to the standardized test,” Ravitch told the electrified crowd, many of whom held homemade posters and signs decrying the Common Core program.”