Comsewogue BOE Adopts Resolution to Oppose Betsy DeVos

Last night, at their regularly scheduled meeting, the Comsewogue Board of Education unanimously adopted the resolution below.  We thank them for their advocacy for our students and the broader public education world.

Whereas, the Board of Education of the Comsewogue Union Free School District has been elected by the residents of the Comsewogue Union Free School District to determine policy and approve programming for the students of the district, within the confines of both federal and state statutes governing education, and

 

Whereas, this Board of Education, on many occasions, has expressed its displeasure with the requirements of the No Child Left Behind Act and the Every Student Succeeds Act, as well as the implementation of the Common Core and Annual Professional Performance Review and the high stakes testing which accompany these mandates, and

 

Whereas, the Board of Education envisions the inauguration of Donald Trump as the President of the United States, on January 20, 2017, as an opportunity for a renewal and re-visioning of public education in the United States of America in a way which creates opportunities for students of all ages to learn in a way which is beneficial and in a way which recognizes the whole student, and

 

Whereas, the Board of Education wants all of our students, regardless of ability, background, race, or gender, to feel secure, focusing on the physical, social, emotional, cognitive, and relational growth of our students, and

 

Whereas, President-Elect Trump has called for the nomination of Betsy DeVos as Secretary of Education of the United States, a candidate apparently lacking any credentials as an educator, experience in the administration and management of public schools, demonstrating a pre-disposition towards and long-history of support for charter schools and school voucher programs, which by their very nature eviscerate free and appropriate public education for specific economic, social and racial groups, and

 

Whereas, Ms. DeVos has been at the forefront of the establishment of the Detroit charter school initiative, by all accounts an abject failure which hurt students and enriched the coffers of private companies, therefore be it

 

Resolved, that the Comsewogue Board of Education hereby, based on this record, opposes the confirmation of Betsy DeVos as Secretary of Education, and until such time as the incoming Trump administration presents a formal vision for the future of public education in the United States of America

 

and will continue to oppose such a nomination, and calls upon the incoming United States Senate to stand firm by opposing this nominee and affirming this serious need, and be it further

 

Resolved, that the Board of Education invites the president-elect, the nominee for secretary of education or representatives of the incoming education team to meet with them to conduct a forthright and meaningful discussion about the future of public education and their strategies to affect the necessary changes.

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PJSTA Live- Episode 2- Betsy DeVos

Check out our December episode of PJSTA Live where I was joined by Carol Burris, Marla Kilfoyle, and Michelle Gunderson.  We talked about the appointment of Betsy DeVos but also dove into a more deeper discussion on how we build resistance not only to DeVos but to privatization in general.  We discussed the need, as unions, to do the all important work of site based organizing within our schools to build the foundation for the work that we have in front of us.

Watch the episode whenever you get a chance… on the couch, on the treadmill, in your faculty rooms at lunch time, or even listen to it in the car.  Please share far and wide within your circles, and be sure to make suggestions for our future episodes.

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PJSTA Live- Episode 2 Coming Next Week!

Last month we shared with you the debut of our YouTube broadcast PJSTA Live.  This month we are excited to be bringing you our second episode.  We’ll record that episode next week and share it with our millions of many viewers.

For Episode 2 we will be covering Donald Trump’s nominee for United States Secretary of Education, the conservative billionaire Betsy DeVos.  Democracy Now! recently was dubbed DeVos, who has never held any job at any level, “Public (School) Enemy No. 1”.

For this episode we will be joined by three guests…

  • Carol Burris– a former high school principal in Rockville Centre who is now the Executive Director of the Network for Public Education
  • Marla Kilfoyle– a teacher in Oceanside who is also the Executive Director of the Badass Teachers Association
  • Michelle Gunderson– a teacher in Chicago who also serves as a Vice President for the Chicago Teachers Union

If you have questions for our guests or if you have suggested guests or topics for future episodes please submit them here or by tweeting us using the hashtag #PJSTAlive

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NPE:: Tell Your Senator to Vote NO for Betsy DeVos

Via the Network for Public Education…

The Network for Public Education is appalled, but not surprised, by Trump’s nomination of Betsy DeVos as Secretary of Education. DeVos is a long-time advocate for the Trump/Pence education privatization agenda. She, like the Trump/Pence team, favors vouchers that would give public funds to private and religious schools. Her family’s foundation has promoted vouchers in many states. The Trump/Pence/DeVos plan, long supported by the extreme right, would take Title I funds from districts and allow parents to “shop” with those dollars among private schools, charters and online schools. DeVos believes that the market solves all problems, and she and her husband’s foundation spent nearly 1.5 million dollars to persuade the Michigan legislature to kill a bill to regulate charter schools in the state.

Thanks to her efforts, 80% of the charters in Michigan operate for profit, without accountability or transparency.

Send a clear message to the Senate that Betsy DeVos should not be confirmed as U.S. Secretary of Education. Her hostility towards public schools disqualifies her. Send your letter today.

Click the link above to easily send your letter to our senators telling them to vote NO to betsy DeVos.

 

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PJSTA Live- Episode I- The 2016 Election

Check out our very first episode of PJSTA Live where I had the opportunity to discuss the 2016 election and it’s implications on public education with Jeanette Deturmann, Alexandra Gordon, and Merrie Najimy.  Jeanette is the founder of Long Island Opt-Out and a member of the New York State Allies for Public Education steering committee.  Alexandra is a trustee on the Comsewogue School Board and has been a long time advocate for public education.  Merrie is a member of the Educators for a Democratic Union caucus in Massachusetts and the President of the Concord Teachers Association.

We had a great, wide ranging discussion where we covered the following…

  • What the Trump presidency means for public education.
  • What does school choice, Trump’s big education talking point, actually mean for students and schools?
  • The impact of the down ballot state legislative elections on public schools in New York State.
  • The resounding victory that the Massachusetts Teachers Association had over a ballot initiative that would have raised the charter cap in their state and decimated public schools.
  • How teachers can organize statewide to fight back against reform groups and politicians who are backed by school privatizers.

Watch the episode whenever you get a chance… on the couch, on the treadmill, in your faculty rooms at lunch time, or even listen to it in the car.  Please share far and wide within your circles, and be sure to make suggestions for our future episodes.

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