FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: April 16, 2014
For more information contact:
David Greene, (914)523-6835, Save Our Schools, dcmentor@gmail.com
Lisa Rudley, (917) 414-9190, NYS Allies for Public Education nys.allies@gmail.com
saveourschoolsmarch.org & nysape.org

Advocacy Groups Unite to March in Support of Public Education

On Saturday, May 17th at 2pm, thousands will gather in Manhattan’s City Hall Park and march to the NYC Department of Education to support and celebrate the efforts of parents, teachers and community members who have worked to fight to preserve and protect public education. Save Our Schools is proud to partner with New York State Allies for Public Education (NYSAPE), MORE, Change the Stakes, BATs, Lace to the Top, FairTest, NY Principals, Students United for Public Education and other advocacy groups (a complete list can be found at http://saveourschoolsmarch.org/event/nyc-metro-spring-action/) in calling for community activists, parents, educators, and lawmakers to join together and march in support of a developmentally appropriate and equitably funded public education free from the influence of corporate reform and high stakes testing.

This rally is the culmination of growing resistance to corporate reform as evidenced this spring by over 33,000 test refusals throughout New York State, resistance of high-stakes testing rallies led by NYC principals, and parents, superintendents and school board members coming together to oppose inBloom and student data sharing. Kicking off the event will be renowned education scholar and activist, Dr. Diane Ravitch. In addition to Dr. Ravitch, those attending the Rally we will hear from a diverse panel of speakers who have been actively working to resist corporate reform policies. Speakers include Carol Burris, Leonie Haimson, Brian Jones, Jeanette Deutermann, Dao Tran, Mark Naison, Joe Rella, Jose Vilson, Bianca Tanis and many more.

“This has been an incredible year,” said Jeanette Deutermann, parent and founder of Long Island Opt Out. “Parents across NYS have taken a clear stand and are letting those in power know that we will not stand by and let public education be destroyed.”  According to David Greene, Treasurer of Save Our Schools and Chair of the ‘Taking Back Our School’ rally’s steering committee, “We must assure that students have access to locally developed curricula that honors local languages and cultures while addressing the unique needs of special education students, English language learners, and the poor and children of color who have been marginalized into a second tier system of education.”

Dr. Mark Naison, Co-Founder of BATS says, “BATS is thrilled to join with teacher, parent and student organizations from around the city and the state in this very important rally. It is time we showed the billionaire school reformers and the politicians they have bought that is our city, not theirs!”

“This month’s controversial NYS ELA exams and their secrecy are a prime example of the education leadership’s failure to heed the concerns of parents and educators. While we have made tremendous progress, we still have much work to do,” said Bianca Tanis, parent and co-founder of NYSAPE. Kevin Glynn an educator, parent, and co-founder of Lace to the Top says, “2014 is the year parents and teachers take back their schoolhouses. We are shutting the door on corporations and so called philanthropists that seek to profit from labeling our children as failures. We will not let test scores define us as students, teachers or parents.  Together, we will protect our schools and secure our students’ love of learning’ as one.”

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