Thursday, March 9, 2017
Good afternoon Sisters and Brothers of the Plainedge Federation of Teachers! I hope everyone is having a great work week and looking forward to spending the weekend with family and friends!
As springtime approaches, the PFT and many other teacher unions across the state are once again asking our members to have their own children refuse the NYS ELA and math exams. This year, the ELA exams are set to occur from March 28 through March 30th and the math exams are going to be given between May 2nd and May 4th. Please make sure to get your opt-out letter into your child's teacher as soon as possible for them to be excluded from the exam, as well as allow your district time to prepare meaningful educational activities for them during the testing period.
Over the past few years, the opt-out movement has been instrumental in changing the political climate of public education "bashing" that began when Governor Cuomo took office. Thanks to the grass roots effort of groups like NYSAPE (www.nysape.org), we are now in the middle of a 4 year moratorium on the use of these exams to evaluate teachers. Despite all the positive progress that has been achieved in reducing the harm that these tests have on children, teachers, and school districts, the tests are still developmentally inappropriate, lack meaningful input from NYS educators, threaten pubic school funding, and will be once again used to evaluate teachers when the moratorium has ended. Therefore, it is more important than ever that we continue to keep up the pressure on Albany to stop the use of these ill-conceived and detrimental exams.
Please see below to read NYSAPE's complete list of reasons for opting out in 2017. There is also a link to a generic opt out letter that you could use for your home district. If you have any questions or concerns about opting your own children out of the NYS ELA and math exams this year, please do not hesitate to contact me in the PFT office at your convenience.
Thank you to the entire PFT membership for advocating in favor of the children and teachers on Long Island! In solidarity.