More than 2,000 parents, students, educators and community members in Port Jefferson Station on Long Island rallied at the Comsewogue High School football field over the weekend to say "students, not scores."
The rally was reminiscent of the "One Voice United" rally organized by NYSUT and held in Albany in June. That event also brought together education stakeholders - nearly 20,000 from across New York - who stood up and spoke out against the state’s obsession with standardized testing and the misuse of test scores in ways that hurt students, teachers and principals.
NYSUT President Richard Iannuzzi (pictured below) spoke at both rallies. On Saturday, under sunny skies and a warm breeze, he told rally-goers that scores based on the shoddy implementation of the new Common Core learning standards "are not a reflection of student achievement or teacher effectiveness (but) a refection of the problems associated with moving too fast without taking into account what matters most - giving our children what they need to succeed."
Iannuzzi and Port Jefferson Station Teachers Association President Beth Dimino were invited to speak at the Saturday rally by Comsewogue School Superintendent Joe Rella, whose letter to state lawmakers protesting the state Education Department’s rush to implement Common Core and their associated tests went viral earlier this month.
Rella's message was one that NYSUT has championed for more than two years, as the union - with the growing support of parents, students and community activists - has pressed policymakers in Albany to "get it right."
On Saturday, Iannuzzi repeated that call, adding: "Working together, parents and teachers are - and will continue to be - an unstoppable force. Together, we are the key to getting it right."