the blog of Carol Burris

A parent’s letter to the Governor regarding King’s cancellation of public forums

Keith and Michelle Gamache are devoted parents.  They are kind, thoughtful and respectful. They are writing the governor expressing their displeasure with Commissioner King. Keith wrote the following letter, as well as a model letter that follows for others to use. Please share and send your own.

Here is Keith’s letter.

Dear Governor Cuomo, I’m writing to express my incredible displeasure at Commissioner John B. King, Jr.’s decision to cancel the state sponsored PTA town hall meetings. As parents, we have legitimate concerns regarding his educational reform policies that are affecting our children. He must have the decency to listen to our concerns and defend his decisions publicly. This is inexcusable, and he must be held accountable.

 
On Tuesday night, I was looking forward to asking him what evidence he had that it was educationally beneficial or a valid measure of learning to include reading passages on the 3rd grade ELA exam that the average 3rd grader would only understand 50% of the reading material according to our understanding of lexile levels.
 
If the State’s education reform agenda is sincere in its efforts to improve teaching and learning for our children and not a thinly veiled effort to privatize public education for profit, it is imperative that corrective measures be taken now as a gesture of good faith. I implore you to immediately decrease the duration and frequency of testing, to ensure that the tests be returned to the schools and families so they can be used to make sound educational decisions that impact learning, and eliminate student test scores from teacher evaluations since VAM has been judged to be too unstable by the same people who developed it.
 
Many Long Island parents, like myself, moved to this region or chose to remain here because of the quality schools that have existed for decades. The Commissioner’s policies are threatening our children’s learning experiences. The canceling of these important meetings is further evidence of the Commissioner’s arrogance. Though the Commissioner is not an elected official, he is appointed by people that are and as one of my elected officials I am requesting that you listen and respond to our concerns.
 
Sincerely,
Keith Gamache
(Parent of Everett age 7 Centre Ave. School, East Rockaway and Atticus age 4 future kindergartner)
 
__________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
 
Dear ___________________, I’m writing to express my incredible displeasure at Commissioner John B. King, Jr.’s decision to cancel the state sponsored PTA town hall meetings. As parents, we have legitimate concerns regarding his educational reform policies that are affecting our children. He must have the decency to listen to our concerns and defend his decisions publicly. This is inexcusable, and he must be held accountable.

 
On Tuesday night, I was looking forward to asking him…insert your question here.
 
Many Long Island parents, like myself, moved to this region or chose to remain here because of the quality schools that have existed for decades. The Commissioner’s policies are threatening our children’s learning experiences. The canceling of these important meetings is further evidence of the Commissioner’s arrogance. Though the Commissioner is not an elected official, he is appointed by people that are and as one of my elected officials I am requesting that you listen and respond to our concerns.
 
Sincerely,
Name
Children’s School
Address
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16 Responses to “A parent’s letter to the Governor regarding King’s cancellation of public forums”

  1. Elizabeth Stack

    Sad that someone like Commissioner King, who cites his former teachers in NYC’s public schools as saving his life, is involved in destroying the teaching profession and the joy of learning as well. He is inept, disingenuous and arrogant and should be removed from his appointed post. While King’s educational background is impressive, his resume is very thin (with only three years actual teaching experience and this in a charter school in NYC), and feel strongly that he is out of his league when it comes to providing true leadership or sound education reform.

    Reply
  2. title1texas teacher

    Ironic and sad that his kindergartener is named “Atticus”: the bright, heroic parent of the kids in “To Kill a Mockingbird” was named Atticus. This parent, who wrote this letter, obviously loves literature, and only wants the best for their child…

    Reply
  3. Anne

    Cuomo is on board with common core because he is in with Pearsons who is creating all of these tests!! This is a joke! These politicians need to be stopped!!

    Reply
    • Rosie

      This is part of the problem with CC and the testing mania – many politicians have already been BOUGHT. They will support those that line their pockets.

      Reply
  4. Dolly

    If teachers cancelled feedback meetings because they didn’t like what they were hearing, their heads would roll. King should practice what he preaches and listen and learn. Reschedule the parent forums!

    Reply
  5. Rosie

    John King was NOT placed in his position because of his leadership skills but because he was willing to push the horrible agenda against our students – which is to destroy the teaching profession and privatize our schools.

    Why do you think they’re placing all these noneducators or barely educators in these positions???

    Reply
  6. Kevin

    King John was put in his position because he went to grad school with Tisch.

    Reply
  7. Richard Irwin

    The Regents Reform Agenda is just that…The REGENTS Reform Agenda (DDI, CCLS and APPR)…Meryl Tisch (Chancellor of the NYS Board of Regents) sold NYSED’s soul to the devil for $700,000,000 in RTTT money which virtually turned out to be a mere pittance when distributed to New York States’ over 700 districts. I think the Common Core Learning Standards are of high quality and that using data to drive instruction an effective strategy but tying students’ scores to teacher performance to be the death knell of the RTTT agenda.

    Reply
  8. Louise

    EngageNY, PARCC and New York State have not done enough to support the ELL students in this state. The Common Core Language is all focussed on Grade Level. ELLs will never be there until they are fully fluent to grade level expectations.

    Reply

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