Letter to Gov. Cuomo: Do not allow the Gates Foundation to influence education policy in our state

Jeanette Deutermann

Dear Parents, Educators & Community members,

I hope this email finds you and your family doing well during these uncertain times. During Governor Cuomo’s press conference today, he announced working with Bill Gates and the Gates Foundation to guide NYS on ‘reimagining’ our schools. NYSAPE along with Class Size Matters and Parent Coalition for Student Privacy have sent this letter below to the Governor, copying our state leaders, and Board of Regents/NYSED.

While Governor Cuomo has been managing the crisis with satisfaction from the majority of the state, unfortunately when it comes to education policy, his guidance and compass has been completely wrong. In addition to today’s announcement, last week Governor Cuomo overtly omitted K-12 educators and parents from his re-entry task force. Thankfully, the Board of Regents/NYSED has established its own task force to lead the way.  

Wishing you all well & more to come.

NYSAPE

LETTER SENT TO GOVERNOR CUOMO:

May 5, 2020

To Governor Cuomo: 

As educators, parents and school board members, we were appalled to hear that you will be working with the Gates Foundation on “reimagining” our schools following the Covid-19 crisis.  Bill Gates and the Gates Foundation have promoted one failed educational initiative after another, causing huge disaffection in districts throughout the state.   

Whether that be the high-handed push by the Gates Foundation for the invalid Common Core standards, unreliable teacher evaluation linked to test scores, or privacy-violating data-collection via the corporation known as inBloom Inc., the education of our children has been repeatedly put at risk by their non-evidence based “solutions”, which were implemented without parent input and despite significant public opposition.  As you recall, these policies also sparked a huge opt-out movement across the state, with more than twenty percent of eligible students refusing to take the state exams. 

We urge you instead to listen to parents and teachers rather than allow the Gates Foundation to implement their damaging education agenda once again.  Since the schools were shut down in mid-March, our understanding of the profound deficiencies of screen-based instruction has only grown.

The use of education tech has its place, but only as an ancillary to in-person learning, not as its replacement.  Along with many other parents and educators, we strongly oppose the Gates Foundation to influence the direction of education in the state by expanding the use of ed tech.  

Instead, we ask that you fund our schools sufficiently and equitably, to allow for the smaller classes, school counselors, and other critical services that our children will need more than ever before, given the myriad losses they have experienced this year. 

Yours sincerely,

New York State Allies for Public Education

Class Size Matters

Parent Coalition for Student Privacy

Cc: Board of Regents and Acting NYSED Commissioner Shannon Tahoe

NYS Speaker Assemblyman Carl Heastie & NYS Senate Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins    

NYS Education Chairs: Senator Shelley Mayer & Assemblyman Michael Benedetto

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About Long Island Opt Out

Long Island Opt out has evolved into a collaboration of over 25,000 members with over 200,000 parents fighting high-stakes testing and sweeping federal changes to classroom curriculum and state standards. While policy makers have successfully enacted some changes, many parents continue to advocate for a more comprehensive, whole-child approach to our education system for our children and educate those who want to know more about the education process.

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