Westchester County Executive Rob Astorino (R), who hopes to unseat New York State Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D), announced Monday that he and his wife will opt out their two children in public school from the Common Core-aligned assessments.
“Tomorrow, hundreds of thousands of New York children, from third through eighth grade, will arrive at school and be told to serve as guinea pigs in one of the most untested education experiments in U.S. history,” Astorino said.
“After speaking at length with my wife, Sheila, who’s a special education teacher, I am announcing today that my children will join with thousands of other school kids tomorrow statewide in refusing to take the Cuomo Common Core tests,” he stated. “They will be in school, but they will opt out of the exam, as is their legal right.”
Astorino was a speaker at the iREFUSE! Rally held in New York on Saturday, March 29th. Parents and others gathered to state their refusal to allow their children to participate in the high stakes testing associated with the Common Core standards.
Cuomo is among those politicians, business, and union leaders who have claimed that the controversial Common Core standards have simply been too poorly implemented. Cuomo is a supporter of the standards themselves, however.
The standards were developed by three private organizations in Washington, D.C.: the National Governors Association (NGA), the Council for Chief State School Officers (CCSSO), and progressive education company Achieve Inc. All three organizations received private funding from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, and none of these groups are accountable to parents, teachers, students, or taxpayers.
There is no official information about who selected the individuals to write the Common Core standards. In addition, none of the writers of the math and English Language Arts standards have ever taught math, English, or reading at the K-12 level. In addition, the Standards Development Work Groups did not include any members who were high school English and mathematics teachers, English professors, scientists, engineers, parents, state legislators, early childhood educators, or state or local school board members.
The Common Core standards have become a major election issue in the 2014 mid-term elections as grassroots parents’ groups across the country have utilized new media to develop organizations around opposition to the standards.