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Day of Action Gives Voice to Education Concerns

Community members, students, educators and local officials will gather Monday morning at the five schools in the Nyack Public School District to speak out about concerns regarding changes in educational policy in New York.

The groups will rally against what they consider excessive mandated testing, problems with the implementation of Common Core learning standards and student information being shared with the private company inBloom.

Participants are asked to wear blue to symbolize the sadness many feel regarding the impact of these educational policies.

"Now we can stand up and say we don't like this and we're sad," said the event's primary organizer, Donna Ramundo, the president of the Nyack Teacher's Association and the Rockland Teacher's Association. "This will be a nice community event. We are all in this together. We will all wear blue in solidarity."

"This is about the privacy issue with inBloom, overtesting kids and the implementation of the Common Core. These are all unfunded mandates. We want to reclaim the promise of education."

New York State Assemblywoman Ellen Jaffee, Assemblyman Kenneth Zebrowski, Rockland County Legislative Chair Harriet Cornell and a representative of State Senator David Carlucci's office are expected to participate along with Nyack students, staff and Board of education members before classes begin Monday. 

"What's cool is we have parents helping out," Ramundo said. "School board members speaking. The Assemblywoman and Assemblyman will speak. Students from the high school.

"And (Nyack) Superintendent (Dr. James Montesano). This couldn't happen without an okay from him. This is all of us coming together and doing this. He feels this is the right thing, (too)."

There will be five separate gatherings,at each of the district's five schools, starting in front of Nyack High School at 7 a.m. The full schedule is as follows:
  • 7 a.m. - Nyack High School
  • 7:30 a.m. - Nyack Middle school, near the flag pole
  • 8 a.m. -- Liberty Elementary School by the flag pole, Valley Cottage Elementary by the playground and Upper Nyack Elementary in front of the school.
Ramundo said there will be a mix of speeches and songs at each location. Speakers will be limited to two minutes to ensure everybody gets to class on time. Though there will be one group going from the high school to the middle school, then to Liberty Elementary, there will be different speakers at each location. 

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