Saturday, March 23, 2013

Re-Thinking Testing's April Calendar is Jam Packed

Let's turn this "Testing Season" INTO "Awareness and Activism Season"

Join the Conversation
Tuesday April 2nd, 7:00pm
Elting Memorial Library, 93 Main Street, New Paltz

Are you concerned about the effects of High Stakes Testing? Join Rethinking Testing on Tuesday April 2nd, 7:00 pm at the Elting Memorial Library in New Paltz. Talk to others who are working on spreading awareness about the negative impacts of high stakes testing, share your experiences and concerns, and learn more about taking action.

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Cheating Our Children: The Emotional and Educational Impact of High Stakes Testing
Thursday April 11, 7:00 pm
SUNY New Paltz, Coykendall Science Center Auditorium

This panel will offer the voices of a superintendent, principal, school counselor, teacher, parent and student who will each discuss the effects of high-stakes tests on the educational and emotional health of young people in our schools. A question and answer period will follow.

Panelists include: 
  • Ken Mitchell, Superintendent of Schools, South Orangetown Central Schools 
  • Katie Zahedi, Principal, Linden Ave Middle School, Red Hook Central Schools
  • Andrea Cooper, School Social Worker
  • Tracy Grant, Psychologist in private practice, New Paltz
  • Nancy Keeney, Teacher, Linden Ave Middle School, Red Hook Central Schools 
  • Matt Elkin, Teache, Duzine Elementary School, New Paltz Central Schools
  • Stephanie Santagada Wells, Teacher, Highland High School, Highland Central School District
  • Keri Smith, Parent, Pine Bush
  • Bianca Tanis, Parent, New Paltz 
  • Brennan McEntee Student, New Paltz Middle School 
RVSP on Facebook

Opt Out Day 2013
Tuesday, April 16, 2013, 11:00am
NY State Capital Building

Join ReThinking Testing’s grassroots resistance movement. As the testing season commences, help us send a strong message to representatives and policy makers in Albany that high stakes testing is hurting our schools and our students.  Join us for a one-day “Opt Out” to remind lawmakers that a child is not a number. On Tuesday, April 16th, 2013, We invite students and their families to opt out of NYS State Exams and spend the day at the NYS capital building advocating for the preservation of a student centered public education that meets the diverse needs of our children. Let’s send our message by resisting the corporate education agenda and teach our children that in the words of Gandhi, “You must be the change you wish to see in the world."

We will let our children remind our representatives that a narrowing, high stakes test driven curriculum deprives them of an education rich in the arts and humanities. As our children present our representatives with their own works of art, poetry, and song, we will remind them of the creativity and freedom of expression that stands to be lost.  We will schedule lobby visits with representatives and ask that our children be recognized on the floor. Let’s make our voices heard and tell those in power that we are not OK with our hard-earned tax dollars going into the coffers of corporate test-makers. Instead, we demand that our resources go to support the hiring of teachers, smaller class sizes and after school programs.

Details to follow... RVSP on Facebook

A Talk by Alfie Kohn - Asking Questions About Common Core Standards: The Latest Version of Top-Down School Reform
Thursday, April 25, 2013, 4:30 pm
SUNY New Paltz, Coykendall Science Building Auditorium

For decades, “school reform” in America has meant prescriptive, one-size-fits-all state standards imposed on teachers and students by distant authorities and enforced by standardized testing. Now that movement has gone national with a uniform set of new “core” standards. In his talk, Alfie Kohn will raise troubling questions about this latest attempt to create a teacher-proof curriculum, asking who has pushed for its passage, whether there is any merit to the claim that such policies tend to improve schooling, why education groups have largely failed to challenge its premises, and what impact the standards are likely to have in classrooms.

Alfie Kohn is the author of twelve books, including No Contest: The Case Against CompetitionPunished by RewardsThe Schools Our Children DeserveUnconditional Parenting, and, most recently, Feel-Bad Education. He has been described by Time magazine as “perhaps the country’s most outspoken critic of education’s fixation on grades [and] test scores.”

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