Bring It On: New York Parents and Teachers Rally to Opt Out of Common Core Testing


NYS rally


Update: 04/05/14: over 10,000 school children opted out in New York State with a little more than half the districts reporting. This is like nothing we have ever seen before in this country and especially New York. The battle in New York is uphill with Andrew Cuomo having taken millions for his campaign from companies like Pearson but that doesn’t mean we can quit or slow down.

Did you know that the tests won’t count for children for three years but they will count in teacher evaluations?

The State Education Department is threatening to punish schools that didn’t have enough students take the tests which is why everyone should join forces. It shouldn’t only be a handful of Superintendents with courage.


Original Story: The second round of Common Core testing is to begin this Tuesday, it’s appropriately scheduled for April Fool’s Day. Not everyone is finding humor in it but most see it as a joke.

Hundreds of people from Downstate, Upstate and New York City and from all political persuasions gathered on Long Island at Comsewogue High School to rally parents and teachers on the Saturday before the Tuesday testing.

They came to attend the iREFUSE rally organized by the Comsewogue Superintendent, Joe Rella, and his colleague, educator Mark Ferreris.

Last year, the standardized testing in New York resulted in extremely high numbers of failures from special eduction students to honor students.  In defiance of all logic, that failure rate was planned according to the Regents.

The students suffered and according to Mary Calamia, a social worker and one of the speakers, her caseload has increased quite a bit with children who are experiencing stress from the testing program and the intensity of the instruction.

New York State was one of the first states to jump into Common Core and the standardized testing which is the reason the country is now watching New York as parents and teachers gear up for a fierce fight to stop it. They are parents, teachers, and administrators who are up against wealthy corporatists and the politicians who support them.

Indiana is the first state to drop Common Core. Can New York do the same? Governor Andrew Cuomo is opposed to dropping Common Core despite the overwhelming opposition from parents and teachers because he has bought into it and is in league with its corporate sponsors 100%, according to several of the speakers at the rally.

The iREFUSE movement is about encouraging parents to opt-out of the tests beginning Tuesday. It’s the only way to stop Common Core and the testing program.

Westchester County Executive Rob Astorino, candidate for Governor of New York gave a personal account of his view as well as some cold hard facts about the unaffordability of Common Core:

David Greene of United Opt Out explained the Common in Common Core:

In this shortened clip of his speech, Comsewogue School District Superintendent Joe Rella asks the question: Are all the children well? He is a man who will fight for the children no matter what the consequences.

Yvonne Gasparino is the founder of Stop Common Core in New York. Listen to some clips from her very impassioned speech:

We’d be negligent if we ignored the beautiful singing:


Full length video on this link.


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