to the March 2015, beacon Lite

The Official Newsletter of the Bellport Teacher’s Association
Long Island Forums
March/April 2015
Who Are You Fighting For?
With her blog hitting the 18 understand what their (former) chilmillion mark, it is without question dren could use additional instruction
that Diane Ravitch has an important in.
message that people want and need
There was much conversation
to hear. Ravitch is a research
about the standards and its shortcomprofessor at NYU and has a strong,
ings. One point, the standards were
clear message to all, “Organize,
never field tested. Another point,
mobilize, defend your students. .
(backed by a study conducted by over
Refuse the test, Opt-Out!”
500 educators) came to the same conOn March 9th, at Long Island clusion-that the standards are developUniversity a 1,000 educators and mentally inappropriate. Yet another,
parents gathered as Diane delivered that there is a wide spectrum of norher message. She spoke of an ill- mal development so kids don’t necescon ceive d, p o orly dev elop ed sarily need to achieve each standard in
curriculum and tests which provide a specific grade.
no insight to student’s strengths nor
Diane speaks of a climate
change in teaching due to this excesRavitch equated these tests sive testing. “Teaching to the test used
to taking your temperature every 10 to be unprofessional, now it’s necesminutes to check if it went down or sary.” Teachers are made to feel that
weighing yourself more, to lose they must prepare students for these
weight. Her point-tests should not be tests, or else.
given unless they are used to drive
Teachers are fearful of being
instruction. NYS tests are given to
deemed ineffective. Those deemed
students in April but teachers are not
ineffective for 2 years could be fired.
given the results until after students
Though studies have shown that the
are no longer in their classes.
Common Core reading and math tests
Teachers are not given the are generally 2 levels above their inchance to break the test down to
tended level, teachers are still being
held accountable for student
Ravitch points out
that high-performing nations
do not test in this manner,
they generally test 3 times
over the course of 12 years.
In Finland, they do not use
any testing measures like
Ravitch is not antitesting, she thinks testing to
drive instruction is valuable.
She does believe that students are being tested excessively and funds are being
misused. She is alarmed that,
3rd graders are spending as
much time testing as people
taking the bar exam.
She believes that the
money put into testing should
instead be given to schools
that need support. These
schools would be given assistance in the form of more
psychologists, guidance counselors, social workers, community helpers, fine arts pro-
Who Are You Fighting For? (cont.)
-grams, and additional resources that
provide support.
At Saxton Middle School,
1000’s turned out to support New
York students.
All those who
attended were student focused and
on the crusade for a better education
for all. One student Daniel Carpenter
said it best, “I’m refusing the test
because I’m fighting for a better
education for my younger brother.
Save a student,
Saxton Forum
Save a teacher,
Refuse the Test.”
The messages were clear
by all who spoke.
Students are not failing the
Common Core, the Common
Core is failing our students.
There has been a loss of
quality of instruction and of
local control.
It is not their job to be ready
for college in their childhood.
Children and communities feel
threatened by loss of funding if
students don’t succeed.
 Nothing
teachers have been subjected tohas to do with reform.
The messages are loud and
clear. Be vigilant, get educated on
what is happening, and be involved.
Who are you fighting for?
LIU Forum
Our own Kevin Glynn in the role of monitor at LIU.
Letters from the Editor
Dear Loyal Readers,
Letters to the Editor
Dear Fellow BTA Members,
It seems that it has been a long time since there is not
Thank you to all those who attended the rallies on Long
something significant to talk about in education. As educators, we Island. It is evident that are voices are being heard and we must
are constantly being put in the spotlight and not usually to shine! not stay silent.
We must remember that we need to stay strong to preserve all
I know that I will continue to be there for my students
that it good and right about what we do. It is exciting to see
and my fellow educators– I hope you join me too!
many of us, embracing the good fight!
Thank you!
As always I welcome “Letters to the Editor” where you
can voice your opinion on the happenings in our district. Of
course I will respect your anonymity if you wish. Contributions
can be sent to Stephanie at [email protected] Please send
information from your home email address. I can also be reached
by pony at Kreamer Street. Thank you for all of you support and
Yours in Unity…Stephanie Pirozzi
Important Information:
Save the Date: Retirement Party
Please be on the look-out for ways to
contribute your time. There will be
emails and texts. If you are not receiving
them, please go to the BTA website or
speak to your union representative.
Please join us in honoring our retirees.
Sunset Harbour Thursday June 18th from 6 to 10
Send $40 to Mary Zaffarano at FPL
BTA Website:
Executive Board:
President and NYSUT Delegate: Wayne
Vice-President and NYSUT Delegate: Pat
2nd Vice-President and NYSUT Delegate:
Teri Palermo
Treasurer and NYSUT Delegate: Don
Recording Secretary and NYSUT Delegate: Christine Napolitano
Corresponding Recording Secretary and
Middle School: Matt Kinigson (Senior
Rep) Eric Kramer, Heidi Devitoi, Ann
Metz, Jason Burmeister
SCOSH: Chris Belford
Frank Long: Diane Etzel (Senior Rep), Bill
Mentoring: Daria Hagemeyer
Freda, Tracey Behl
Elections: Jamie Calise
Brookhaven Elementary: Victoria Suarez
(Senior Rep), Jeanine Madrigales
Community Relations: Mark Nolan
Kreamer Street: Nicole Albrecht (Senior
Rep) and Michelle Stiriz
Budget: Don O’Hanlon
Public Relations: Camille Masem
Grievance: Sue Hartmann
Verne Critz Karen Hughes (Senior Rep),
Lori Klamut ,Judi Lindo
APPR: Ellen Plain, Aimee Volk, Debbie
Southaven: Drew Cameron
Social: Mary Zaffarano and Glenn McAvoy
NYSUT Delegate: Donna Snyder
BTA Website: Dave Perkins
NYSUT/Ed Delegate: Trish Gallina
Beacon Editor: Stephanie Pirozzi
NYSUT/Legislative Delegate: Debbie
Ed Problems: Christine Schlosser, Kevin
Glynn, Erika Watson
Building Representatives:
Chief Negotiator: Donna Snyder
Bellport High School: Matthew Feddern
(Senior Rep) Lisa Conk, John Romanshko,
Wendy Palladino, Joe Malandro
BTA Sickbank: Teri Palermo, Laurie
Grants: Rodney O’Neal
Bellport Teachers Association
PO Box 443
Bellport, NY 11713