ALBANY, N.Y. June 7, 2013 - Thousands of teachers and throngs of parents, students, business leaders and community members will converge in Albany on Saturday to press the fight for the future of public education.
The rally will begin at noon on Saturday, June 8 at the Empire State Plaza in Albany. As of Monday, more than 225 buses had been reserved and will depart for Albany from schools, colleges and office buildings across the state. Please be advised: the mass arrival of buses is requiring some street closures around the Empire State Plaza. In addition, members of the news media are asked to check in at the Media Tent located behind the main stage on the State Street side of the Empire State Plaza. A media platform and multi-box will be available for the press. Interviews can be arranged through NYSUT spokesman Carl Korn on site, or via his cell, (518) 461-7009.
The "One Voice United" rally, sponsored by New York State United Teachers and more than one dozen other education, labor, community, business and faith-based organizations, will target the state’s over-emphasis on standardized testing and the increasing power of giant testing companies over education policy. Rally-goers and speakers will call for a moratorium on the use of standardized tests in high-stakes decisions for students and teachers until the State Education Department and Regents properly implement the state’s new Common Core learning standards.
The rally’s focus, however, will extend far beyond the explosive growth of standardized testing. Public education supporters will also demand fair and equitable funding of schools, including restoration of essential programs, as well as greater local control of schools by fixing the tax cap to restore the democratic principle of majority rule. Supporters will also demand a greater investment in public higher education, enactment of the DREAM Act, and legislation to help ensure a safe, secure learning environment for every student.
In addition to NYSUT, sponsoring organizations include the New York State AFL-CIO, American Federation of Teachers, National Education Association and a host of allied organizations, including: Class Size Matters; New York State NAACP; Alliance for Quality Education; Citizens Action; New Yorkers for Fiscal Fairness; the New York State Labor-Religion Coalition; Strong Economy for All; New York Students Rising; Occupy Albany; the New York Immigration Coalition; New York State School Counseling Association; Educate NY Now; Long Island Progressive Coalition; First Israel AME Church; BALCONY; Educate NY Now; Student Assembly-State University of New York; Save Our SUNY and Long Island Jobs with Justice.
NYSUT, the state’s largest union, represents more than 600,000 teachers, school-related professionals, academic and professional faculty in higher education, professionals in education and health care and retirees. NYSUT is affiliated with the American Federation of Teachers, National Education Association and the AFL-CIO.