Keith Gamache, the father of two elementary school students in East Rockaway New York, is adamant about the importance of being heard when John King comes to town. This is what he wrote:
Democracy by Invitation Only: They can control the dialogue, but they can’t control what we think of their decisions.
On October 11th, Dr. John B. King Jr. canceled the remaining State PTA sponsored education forums on the Common Core after one uncomfortable evening listening to concerned parents and educators. Shortly thereafter, amid calls for King’s resignation, the State Board of Regents announced a new schedule of forums to be held throughout the state.
The first three of these forums held in Albany, Port Chester, and Rochester were open to the public. Next Wednesday’s (11/13) forum to be held at Mineola High School from 4:00 – 6:30 pm, the first of two scheduled for Nassau County, is reserved for ticketed guests only. Nowhere on the State Ed’s website does it indicate that these aren’t open community forums.
This was apparently the prerogative of Senator Martin, and not a decision of the Commissioner or the State Education Department. The 15 Superintendents in Senator Martin’s district will be allowed to hand out 50 tickets each at their discretion.
The next forum on Nassau County is scheduled for December 9th. It is not known at this time where it will be held or if it will be open to the public or reserved to select ticketed guests.
With the Opt-out membership on Facebook totaling over 12,300 people Senator Martin’s decision to limit voices to 750 select people may minimize the dialogue of discontent, but it will not convince us that current educational policies are in the best interests of our children.
Despite the fact that I am closed out of this forum, I will still show up to have my presence felt. I hope you will consider joining me.
East Rockaway School District
Keith and other parents, students and teachers will peacefully assemble on the street outside of Mineola High School beginning at 3:30 pm. Come join us.