It’s a topic that NYSUT President Dick Iannuzzi regularly weaves through his presentations as he travels the state. But, usually, they are presentations to stalwart unionists who have already embraced the concept of solidarity and a united front.
However, today, in the city of Rome, Oneida County, the unity of which Iannuzzi spoke was one that brings together NYSUT members, parents, retirees and community leaders in support of public education.
“Rome stands for the hardships that many other parts of the state are struggling through but, at the same time, it stands for the promise for the future of New York state,” Iannuzzi told several dozen NYSUT members and area residents at Rome City Hall. “And we will achieve that promise — that potential — through our public schools.”
Iannuzzi said that the state’s obsession with standardized testing — which Rome Teachers Association President Rob Wood called “a set-up for failure — has brought together teachers and parents like never before. NYSUT has led a very public campaign against the over-emphasis on tests, even though the new curriculum has not yet been taught in many cases.
The NYSUT president asked those present to go to testing.nysut.org to voice their concerns about the effects of too much testing on students and their teachers. There, teachers can “Tell It Like It Is” to Commissioner John King and the Board of Regents, while parents and other concerned citizens can sign a petition telling the state to do testing right.
Iannuzzi also urged the community to come to Albany on June 8 for NYSUT’s rally to Fight for the Future of Public Education.
“Parents and teachers must be the voice that defines public education,” Iannuzzi said. “We must be the voice that says ‘enough is enough.’ The future of public education is too important to hand over to corporations and billionaires.”