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Rockland Education Rally Draws Small Crowd

The group No Common Sense Education set up rallies all over New York State Monday to draw attention to concerns regarding education reform in the state, specifically the Common Core learning standards, before Gov. Andrew Cuomo's State of the State address Wednesday.

The protests were planned for the offices of local television news stations with the hope of drawing more media attention, but only a small group showed up for the Rockland County rally outside the offices of News 12 Hudson Valley on West Nyack.

The small group of teachers, all but one from North Rockland, held up signs that read "Our Children, Our Community, Our Priority" and spoke about the pressure being put on schools and teachers. 

North Rockland Teacher's Union President Robin Brennan and Secretary Lauren Schimko both spoke about the additional unfunded mandates related to the Common Core, increased testing and teacher evaluations. 

"The link with Common Core and the teacher evaluations and the testing for the children is they cost our district millions of dollars to do the testing and the evaluation process," Schimko said. "None of it was supported by the state, but it's mandated."

"Gov. Cuomo has not funded schools for several years," Brennan said. "We lost good teachers. We've closed three schools. We've got 30 kids in a class right now. No staples in the copy machine. It's gotten to the point where it's really hurting the kids."

They both said the combination of the recent reforms is pushing toward privatizing education and keeping teachers from staying around long enough to build up to larger salaries and pensions. 

"I encourage young people not to teach," Gregg Malora said. "My wife gets mad at me...but I say do not become a teacher. I will not allow my children to be teachers.

"It's going to be privatized and for profit. The big publishing companies will get their slice. The corporations will make money from education. What happened to medicine will happen to education."
willina January 07, 2014 at 01:06 PM
oh those teachers can cry me a river. the only job where you get tenure and can't be fired, no matter if you teach the same lessons year after year after year. AND they make a ton of money, have ample vacations, and are able to take second jobs in the summer if they wish, tutor to the tune of $80 an hour(what I paid more than one public high school teacher). they need to be held accountable--and what's this about "governor cuomo not funding them for years"? all of our public schools receive state aid. the sad thing is that we have no options, other than to move. we're stuck with these teachers, the good and the bad, for as long as they want to stay.
Monica February 05, 2014 at 02:10 PM
Has anybody actually seen the common core test? It's the best thing that happened to public school. It gives them the same skills as students in prep schools who go to the best colleges. The people who are complaining: teachers union, parents of children that don't test well and people who haven't seen the test. The test is great. But there are more people on the bottom and in the middle than on top. And the people on the top want to stay there so they have to make sure everyone is middle or bottom. It'[s the old "you need poor people in order to be rich". The Common Core Standard is Great!

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