TO THE EDITOR: John Sims’s letter, accusing New York State United Teachers of undermining education reform by campaigning against standardized tests was as inaccurate and misleading as it was nonsensical.
NYSUT has never advocated for the elimination of state assessments. What’s more, the union has long maintained standardized tests have a place in education — if they are used as one of many measurements to evaluate student and teacher performance rather than a single blunt instrument.
What NYSUT is against is the state’s insistence on testing children beginning in April on a new Common Core curriculum that hasn’t yet been taught and then using results to evaluate students and teachers. Even the federal government recommends Common Core testing not start until 2014, yet New York is going ahead with its decision.
That’s why NYSUT is calling upon the State Education Department and Board of Regents to use these test results only to evaluate this year’s Common Core implementation, not in any high-stakes decision-making regarding students or teachers.
NYSUT has said repeatedly it supports the framework and potential of the new standards. What the union vigorously opposes is the state’s hurried and uneven implementation of the curriculum. It’s not, nor has it ever been, about the absence of testing. It’s about common sense.
Sims also alleged NYSUT’s true motivation lies in protecting union salaries and New York’s national-leading per-student expenditures. As indecipherable as that logic is, financial interests do lie at the heart of this issue: Private, for-profit testing companies have discovered there’s big money in the relentless testing of students.
NYSUT’s campaign is really about protecting the future of public education. And that’s a fight from which the union will never back down.
NYSUT Board of Directors member
TO THE EDITOR: The 2012-13 Plattsburgh Youth Hockey 16U Boys Midget team was formed with the simple purpose of giving local hockey players the opportunity to play some additional games around their respective high-school schedules.
The team was made up of players from PHS/Seton, Lake Placid, Beekmantown, Saranac/Peru and Saranac Lake high schools, who came together and developed a respectful and determined team spirit, which resulted in a second-place finish in the New York State Tier II Championships, earning them a trip to the USA Hockey 16U Tier II National Championships in Troy, Michigan, where they represented the North Country very well.
The team could not have achieved their successes without the support of many local individuals, organizations and businesses whose generous contributions made the season and the trip to the national championship possible.
The players, coaches, and parents would like to extend a sincere “thank you” to: the PYH Board of Directors, Lake Placid Youth Hockey, Fountain Brothers American Legion Post 1619, Post 1619 Sons of the Legion, Post 1619 Auxiliary Unit, American Legion Riders, Plattsburgh Police Local 812, NYSCOPBA Adirondack, Cadyville Gulf DEP, Giroux’s Poultry Farm, Mold-Rite Plastics, Lake Placid Pub & Brewery, Plattsburgh Lodge of Elks No. 621, Rick Lamberton (Jreck Subs), Stephen Tahy (Tahy Real Estate), Rick Young (Young Lyon Floor Covering), Ameri-Can North Sports Center, ORDA, Reg & Barbara Clark, the Craig Ormsby family, Billy Joe and Pearl Leopard, Jenn Lord, Irene and Mike Rock, Billy Jette, Carl McClusker, Tom Carlsen, Norma Goff, and George Caswell and Patty Plumadore.
Again, a sincere thanks to all our supporters and fans. We could not have done it without you.
PYH 16U coaches