Press-Republican

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June 16, 2013

Locals join Albany rally against testing, data collection

(Continued)

InBloom has defended the safety of its data-collection method in comments to the press. 

THREE BILLS PENDING

Along with the legislation on the release of personally identifiable student information, two other “Truth About Testing” bills are pending — one that would audit costs of school testing in each district and another that would limit exams for children in kindergarten through second grade to diagnostic evaluation only.

“The fact that you saw those bills introduced in this session speaks to the interest for getting a legislative fix for next school year,” Carlisto said.

“Hopefully, we get these bills done, and we’ll start to see some adjustments made that will be better for everyone.”

GETTING TOGETHER

A collective is forming among parents from area school districts to address the issues.

A Parent Teachers Alliance was formed at Saranac Lake Central School this winter. Plattsburgh schools have a similar group meeting regularly.

Garcia-Notoria said the Plattsburgh membership plans to meet in the first week of July to determine how much city schools spend on testing.

And AuSable Valley Central School parents and teachers are also working to address testing and data-mining issues.

“We’ve had a lot of good conversations among concerned groups about going forward. This is about, can we restore some balance, please?” Carlisto said.

“Can we make sure accountability doesn’t crowd out every other initiative that schools want to pursue?”

PARENTS SUMMIT EYED

The local coalition is looking to organize a parent alliance summit, likely in the fall.

As for his role as a teacher, Carlisto sees it as part of all teachers’ obligation to speak about issues that impact their occupation.

“Fortunately, I work in a district where teachers’ viewpoints are respected.”

Email Kim Smith Dedam: kdedam@pressrepublican.com

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TO LEARN MORE

Learn more about the nonprofit group Class Size Matters: http://tinyurl.com/mz8h6pw.

Read the Reuters article "School database loses backers as parents balk over privacy": http://tinyurl.com/q28pv9r.

InBloom's security policy and descriptions of who will be able to access the database is online: http://tinyurl.com/pnkplmo. See Assembly Bill A06059A: http://tinyurl.com/nbh5tnk.

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