NYS PTA Important Advocacy Update (4/26/15)


Please take a moment to read and review the advocacy update we’ve received from the NYS PTA. Strong support is needed from parents (voters) in order to make change. Please tell our legislators to act now!


Dear Advocate,

Please share this message below with your legislators, TODAY!

Next Steps for Assessments!


Student testing deemed questionable by parents and educators combined with a state budget that links aid increases to even greater use of test scores has resulted in a storm of protest. An effective response will require both time and collaboration with state policy makers to craft solutions that will calm the rhetoric and improve student and teacher assessment to move education forward. To those ends we request immediate legislation that requires:

  1. Time Out.  The Governor and legislature to postpone implementation of new Annual Professional Performance Review (APPR) components until September 1, 2016, while distributing promised 2015 state aid increases to schools during 2015-2016 school year.
  2. APPR Review.  The NYS Board of Regents to recommended re-structure of the APPR program in a manner that recognizes students as more than a test score and educators as more than merely a test score and a classroom observation.
  3. Test Review.  The NYS Board of Regents to evaluate current state tests in direct response to testing concerns expressed in the field regarding length and frequency of test, item ambiguity, volatility of growth measures, developmental appropriateness and the validity of using test results for multiple purposes.
  4. Parent Communication. NYSED to develop a communication strategy that makes the purpose of assessments and the interpretation of results more clearly understood, by providing individual student data with sufficient depth in a timely manner so parents and teachers can use the data to improve student outcomes.

To send this message to your legislators, click on the TAKE ACTION link below:

TAKE ACTION: Next Steps for Assessments        

Thank you for your Advocacy!

Important Advocacy Update (3/17/15):


This is an important week for the future of our schools and our students and teachers need your help. Please take a moment to educate yourself on some of these active issues that will affect your child’s education. Strong support from parents is necessary in order to make change!
The state legislature is about to negotiate the education portion of the state budget before a final April 1st vote.
Significant elements underfund NY public schools and undermine local control of school districts.
Please click on the links below to learn about and consider joining the following letter writing campaigns organized by the Westchester Putnam School Boards Association.


The Governor must release the state aid runs without delay or contingencies.
Without projected aid runs, school districts can not responsibly develop their budgets or adequately involve our communities in the process.


The Governor’s education proposal requires significant reform and should not be tied to the State budget.


The NYS Gap Elimination Adjustment (GEA) has reduced the state’s financial obligations to public schools in order to close the state’s budget.
Now is the time to work together to eliminate the GEA and recoup the state education funding owed to our children.


For further information about reactions to the Governor’s education proposals, see this link:
Create a True Opportunity Agenda for NYS Children

Governor Cuomo is proposing a host of “education reforms” and is hinging increased school aid on the legislature passing these reforms. The petition addresses the following:

1. Funding is too low and will cause our property taxes to continue to rise.
2. The reform of having standardized tests count for 50% of teachers’ evaluations is misguided for a host of reasons, including that it puts far too much pressure on young children to have their performance determine their teachers’ futures.
3. The reform of an outside evaluator determining any part of a teachers’ evaluation is misguided, as a one-time snapshot tells only a partial story and as the cost will likely fall on us.
4. The reform of bringing in a receiver to take over a “failing” school is misguided for many reasons, including that local boards of education who are accountable to us should make decisions about our districts, and that the cost will likely fall on us.

Here is the link. If these reforms pass — and they have a good chance because Gov. Cuomo is hinging increased school aid on that — we fear that serious detriment follow:


The PTA is involved in advocating for our children. One of the ways we do this is though our participation in the Rivertown Parents Group and the Suburban New York (Formerly Lower Westchester) Education Consortium.

Our PTA has joined the New York Suburban Consortium for Public Education (formerly the Lower Westchester Education Consortium), a group of PTAs, dedicated parents and school district administrators from Westchester, Putnam, Rockland Counties and other counties in the Hudson Valley and Long Island. Our last meeting was called to discuss letters for a letter writing campaign on three important issues. Please review the three letters below about the issues that threaten to compromise our children’s education, and – if you agree – send one or more letters to our state leaders. It is critical that our representatives hear your voice!  What can you do?  Read the letters and learn about the issues.  Learn about the issues that threaten to compromise our children’s education and then make your voices heard. Please join us in asking your state legislators to do what they promised.

We encourage you to review the letters and – if you agree – send one, several or all of the letters to our state leaders. You may print them out and send them into school in your child’s backpack, or please give them to your grade level VP. We will collect all letters and send them in to our representatives.  Or, you may email them to our Representatives. Their email information is below. We must send these letters to our legislators before the end of the year.  The legislators need to know that parents do not want their children to lose valuable programs because of their inaction.  Please tell our legislators to ACT NOW!

GEA Cover Letter for Parents                                                                    GEA Letter for Legislators

APPR Cover Letter                                                                                       APPR Letter for Legislators

Cover letter for parents on Mandating field testing                             Letter to Regents on Mandating field testing


Our representatives are Senator Andrea Stewart-Cousins and Assemblyman Thomas Abinanti

Thank you for your participation in this important campaign!
If you have any questions you may contact:  Jacki Geoghegan, Angel Rafter or Pamela Louis


Click here for: Common Core information


New York Suburban Consortium for Public Education Meeting with Legislators on October 14, 2014

Legislators included:  Assemblyman David Buchwald (93rd district), Senator George Latimer (37th District), Senator Andrea Stewart-Cousins (35th District) and   Assemblyman Thomas Abinanti (92nd District).

Minutes from meeting:

Consortium Meeting October+14th-FINAL