Friday, 21 June 2013 00:00
Fifty teachers, parents, and administrators from the Roslyn and East Williston school districts traveled to Albany on June 8 for a rally dubbed, “One Voice United Rally for Public Education.”
They were joined by other educators from throughout New York, from Montauk and Niagara all in a rally to express their opposition over excessive testing, budget cuts and APPR. Donning union and school colors, protestors waved signs and cheered speakers such as AFT President Randi Weingarten, NYSUT President Dick Ianuzzi and President of the AFL-CIO, Mario Cilento.
Highlights of the event included special guests such as folk singer Tom Chapin. The crowd sang along to his rendition of his satirical 2007 hit “Not on the Test.” Student activist, blogger and 2013 Syosset High School graduate, Nikhil Goyal electrified the crowd when he blasted the “drill-kill-bubble-fill” culture of public education. The crowd applauded further after he announced plans for a student boycott next year of standardized tests used to evaluate teachers.
Journalist John Nichols of The Nation inspired all with his reminder that public education is the cornerstone of any democracy. He introduced Olivia Castor, a high school senior who recently led a 500-student walk out to protest budget cuts in East Ramapo.
Despite the serious and impassioned pleas from the podium, protestors still managed to use their humor and wit to express their outrage. M
any posed for photos of two men dressed as a pineapple and hare, a clear reference to the infamous eighth grade ELA passage. Others were very creative sign makers. This list is of the local teacher’s favorite signs: Stop Corporate Core, I Am A Pearson, Education Cuts Don’t Heal, Kindergartners Should Be Blowing Bubbles, Not Filling Them In, There’s Nothing Common About My Kids, John King, Not King John, Pearson: Always Learning, Race To The Top: We Live The Hunger Games and I Rate You Ineffective.
—Kelly Denig, Wendy Svitek and Meryl Fordin contributed the information to this article.