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NYSUT 2013 Policymaking Convention in DC

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The New York State United Teachers Union is taking aim at what leaders call "New York's testing obsession" - they're in Washington for a three-day policymaking conference.  

At NYSUT’s annual representative assembly, delegates will debate and act on 65 resolutions, including one that addresses New York's rollout of the new Common Core curriculum.

NYSUT maintains that New York state’s uneven roll-out of new standards and new assessments is too much, too soon. While the standards have been adopted by 45 states and the District of Columbia, New York is one of only a few states testing students on the Common Core this year.

NYSUT leaders plan to deliver to New York State Education Commissioner John King 10,000 letters from classroom teachers detailing the adverse impact the state’s over-reliance on standardized testing has had on their students.
Teachers statewide have been writing Commissioner King and the Board of Regents since November as part of NYSUT’s “Tell It Like It Is” campaign.  The State Education department confirms King will attend the convention. He plans to address delegates and host a question-and-answer session on Friday.
A statewide NYSUT poll of parents with students in public schools conducted from March 14 through March 20 found that 81 percent said their children have not had enough time to prepare for standardized tests on the state’s new Common Core Learning Standards. The poll also found that 78 percent of parents believe this year’s tests should not count at all, and 88 percent said the tests should not be used for high-stakes decisions for students and teachers.
Most states begin Common Core testing in 2014, which is the year recommended by the federal government.

The NYSUT convention runs through Saturday.

Dave Lucas is WAMC’s Capital Region Bureau Chief. Born and raised in Albany, he’s been involved in nearly every aspect of local radio since 1981. Before joining WAMC, Dave was a reporter and anchor at WGY in Schenectady. Prior to that he hosted talk shows on WYJB and WROW, including the 1999 series of overnight radio broadcasts tracking the JonBenet Ramsey murder case with a cast of callers and characters from all over the world via the internet. In 2012, Dave received a Communicator Award of Distinction for his WAMC news story "Fail: The NYS Flood Panel," which explores whether the damage from Hurricane Irene and Tropical Storm Lee could have been prevented or at least curbed. Dave began his radio career as a “morning personality” at WABY in Albany.
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