New Yorkers United for Kids Repeal the Common Core State Standards! Mon, 08 Aug 2016 21:46:19 +0000 en-US hourly 1 67470125 Parents & Teachers What Do You Think About Latest Big Education Fad? Mon, 08 Aug 2016 21:43:46 +0000

The Latest Big Education Fad, Social-Emotional Learning, Is As Bad As It Sounds

Jane Robbins

8/8/2016 12:01:00 AM – Jane Robbins

The U.S. Department of Education (USED) longs to plumb the psyches of our children (as its own reports reveal – see here and here), and it enjoys the eager complicity of state education establishments. As reported by Education Week, the Collaborative for Academic, Social, and Emotional Learning (CASEL) recently announced that eight states will “work collaboratively to create and implement plans to encourage social-emotional learning in their schools.” These states are jumping on a bandwagon that threatens to roll over innocent children and their privacy.

CASEL is the big gorilla in the zoo of social-emotional learning, or SEL. Having proved so adept at (or perhaps having given up on) teaching students English, math, science, and history, state progressive-education establishments are joining CASEL to explore more esoteric pursuits. Better to diminish academic content knowledge and push SEL: “self-awareness, self-management, social awareness, relationship skills, and responsible decision-making.”

The average parent might object, “Wait, that’s what my child learns from me and from Sunday school.” But CASEL & Co. believe the government should take over in case the parents and church don’t do it right — perhaps teaching the wrong attitudes and mindsets.

Suppose the government decides a child will be a more acceptable student, citizen, and worker bee if he learns to acquiesce to the “consensus” of the group, regardless of his own moral standards, or if she learns to accept that all commands of the government must be obeyed. The student may fulfill the standard by developing the correct attitudes, but under whose authority does the government presume to instill attitudes that may conflict with parents’ desires?

These eight states (California, Georgia, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Nevada, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, and Washington) have thus joined a few others in assuming the right to substitute their authority for the parents’ in children’s most intimate and personal development, from pre-K through graduation. In doing so, the nanny states are acting in the spirit of the new federal Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), which encourages rating of schools based partly on “nonacademic” factors that may include measures of SEL, and which provides funding for a range of potentially SEL programs. Thank you, Speaker Ryan, for ramming this bill through.

Assessment and development of students’ social and emotional skills is risky business. What kind of training will teachers or other school personnel have for this responsibility? Psychologist Dr. Gary Thompson points out the extremely sensitive nature of evaluating children’s social-emotional makeup and warns about having inadequately trained personnel implementing plans designed to alter students’ psyches.

When non-psychologists dabble in these murky waters, the result is tremendously subjective analyses of what a child is thinking or feeling as opposed to what the government thinks he should be thinking or feeling. Dr. Karen Effrem, who has researched and written extensively about the issue of SEL, warns about the subjectivity of this kind of analysis, particularly with young children.

Even prominent SEL proponents caution that assessing students on SEL standards, especially with the common mechanism of student surveys, can be a shot in the dark. Researchers Angela Duckworth and David Yeager have said that “perfectly unbiased, unfakeable, and error-free measures are an ideal, not a reality.”

Dr. Effrem and Dr. Thompson both warn also about the extraordinary threat to student privacy that implementation of SEL standards would present. With states’ building longitudinal student databases that track children from cradle to career, it’s inevitable that data collected from observing and analyzing children’s emotional states will be preserved . . . forever. And because USED has gutted federal student-privacy law to allow sharing of personally identifiable information on students with almost anyone the government wants, that data is likely to be widely disclosed – without parental consent.

If a child’s school dossier says he doesn’t meet an SEL standard for, say, anger-management, could that come back to haunt him? Maybe when he applies to college, or for a job, or enlists in the military, or . . . goes on trial for a crime?

Dr. Thompson points out, as well, that these records (containing what is rightly considered medical information) would be characterized as education records and therefore not protected by HIPAA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act). “Placed in the wrong hands,” he warns, “psychological testing can ruin lives as well as cause psychological trauma to people” if the results are misused.

According to the monolithic progressive-education establishment in this country, SEL is the next big thing to fix the problems with public education. The same was true of outcome-based education, and Common Core, and fads infinitum. But this fad isn’t just ineffective, it’s dangerous. Parents should demand a halt to pseudo-psychology – and a restoration of their autonomy in raising their children.


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How To Defeat Common Core Webinar – July 14 Thu, 14 Jul 2016 00:04:33 +0000 I chuckle when I hear we can’t do anything about Common Core. There’s plenty to do and parents all around New York State and saying, “Hands off my kids!”. Join us on Thursday, July 14 for a very special presentation. You will be glad you did!


Click Here to Find Out More


Get the politicians out of our kindergarten classrooms.

Get the politicians out of our kindergarten classrooms.

Shame Sat, 21 May 2016 14:17:19 +0000 It would be a shame if I did nothing with the knowledge that I have about how Common Core is literally hurting our children and destroying the American public education system. So I have chosen the path of political action and advocating for local control of education. Americans have a long history of doing great things. During the Industrial Revolution when children were shamefully being abused to work in factories people stood up and laws were enacted to protect them.

When every New Yorker in all 62 counties – especially parents – organize and share with two people and they in turn with another two and so on what’s wrong with Common Core we will continue to grow the opposition. As Dr. Duke Pesta says, “It’s global elitists against everyone else.”

Activists from around the state and country have contributed to this website. The information is here to show you the facts and to provide action items to help you get started in your pushback or to help you to continue your opposition.  The website translates to numerous languages. Please consider an outreach project to newly arrived immigrants in your community. You can even call upon your veterans. Wouldn’t they want to know what’s happening the schools they attended. It’s a great to time to thank them for our Liberty and now it’s our turn to stand up.

As we get ready to enjoy the Memorial Day weekend consider what would happen if we do nothing. Whether you love children, your community or country I believe public education is worth fighting for.

The politicians in DC who have never met your children have increasingly made education centralized and thereby you’re losing local control. Nowhere in our constitution is education mentioned and the reason for that is that our Founding Fathers knew local control was best.

I invite you to WATCH (click here)  and listen to this video from an Education Forum sponsored by Assemblyman Pete Lopez , District 102,  where Dr. Peg Luksik from Founded on Truth uses original government documents to show you what’s happening to education. About 3/4 way through you will see the MOST DAMNING slide.

Assemblyman Lopez says, “I’m not a fan of top down education.” Please reach out to him.

There’s plenty each of us can do to protect local control of education. The people who are pushing this Common Core reform forgot that behind every child are parents. The chain of the bond of Love is strong and cannot be broken.

Cathy Sapeta


Profit vs Widget

Profit vs Widget


If you have questions please email us at We also welcome stories to share.


New Yorkers United for Kids participated in orchestrating the event. Thank you to Mert Melfa for the video.


High Stakes Testing and Opt Out New York Tue, 10 May 2016 21:45:51 +0000

In Loco Parentis, High Stakes Testing, and Opt Out

By Tim Farley

Just a few years ago, parents sent their children to school with an enormous amount of trust and faith in the teachers and administrators. There was a general sense that the education professionals would consistently act in the best interests of the students in their charge. In fact, there is a Latin term, “in loco parentis,” meaning, “in the place of a parent” as it applies to a school setting, and allows educators to act in the best interests of the students as they see fit (less of course any violation of civil liberties).

How should the concept of in loco parentis apply to the opt out movement? Are the tests our children are taking different from the tests we took as kids? How are these tests being used?

Let’s examine some of the NYS Education Department’s (NYSED) grades 3–8 test questions. NYSED, after much pressure from the opt out movement, has started releasing the test questions from the grades 3–8 ELA and math tests. Last year, they released approximately 50% of the test questions and this year they are expected to release 60%. I will provide two examples from the 2015 Grade 4 ELA test. Released test questions for both ELA and math can be found here.

The questions below come from the 2015 NYS ELA Grade 4 Test. For the sake of brevity, I will not cut and paste the entire reading passage the students were required to read, nor will I include all of the questions, but I encourage readers to do so and keep in mind that students taking these tests are either nine or ten years old.

The first reading passage is titled, “The Night the Bat Got In,” by Virginia Kroll. The text includes words such as: hassock, stifling, erratically, frenzied, illuminated, and emerged. The reading passage (with a readability level well above grade level) is followed by six questions.

Q5: Which phrase from paragraph 17 helps readers understand the meaning of “illuminated” in paragraph 19?

A ​“hear the flapping”

B ​“unfamiliar surroundings”

C ​“turned on the floodlight”

D “in the backyard”

Besides the requirement for students to flip back and forth several times through the test booklet, the students are challenged with identifying the best choice out of four plausible answers. For those of you who are curious, the answer is “C.” Thirty-three percent of all NYS students answered this question correctly.

Q6: Which sentence would be best to include in a summary of the story?

A ​Mr. Overton and Mr. Halvorsen have a plan, but Andrew objects.

B ​Because of Andrew, the bat is able to fly off into the night.

C ​Mr. Overton praises Andrew for his smart thinking.

D ​Andrew asks everyone to wait quietly.

The answer to this question is “B,” and 59% of all NYS students in grade 4 answered this question correctly.

Interestingly, if you take the average percentage of the multiple choice test questions answered correctly (from the test questions released), the statewide average for correct answers of the released test questions is 57%. This includes two questions that had 33% and 26% of students answering correctly. If you remove these two questions, the statewide average response goes to 61%. Since the statewide passing rate in 2015 was 31.3% (a 26% discrepancy), one could argue that the state released the “easier” 50%.

As if the tests themselves are not bad enough, they are using the student test results to measure teacher effectiveness. NYSED uses a model called, “value-added model” to determine how much impact a teacher had on her students’ growth. In the spring of 2014, the American Statistical Association determined that “teachers account for about 1% to 14% of the variability in test scores, and that the majority of opportunities for quality improvement are found in the system-level conditions. Ranking teachers by their VAM scores can have unintended consequences that reduce quality.”

Using a new “matrix” system, a whopping 50% of a teacher’s overall effectiveness rating is derived from her students’ results on tests that are designed for the majority of students to fail.

Parents are not stupid. It doesn’t take long to determine that their kids are being set up to fail along with their children’s teachers and schools. If every teacher and administrator were to take “in loco parentis” as seriously as it was originally intended, the opt out rate would be significantly higher.

Read Tim Farley’s Blog here.


Data Privacy – Did you know? Mon, 09 May 2016 02:00:55 +0000 FERPA was changed to allow collection and sharing of children’s personal information without parental consent. This is just the tip of the iceberg. Parents continue to band together and push back on Common Core.

Common Core is the program where the taxpayer is the piggy bank and the children are the guinea pigs. But why do they need so much data?

The Astonishing Amount of Data Being Collected About Your Children by Valerie Strauss 2015

Electronic Privacy Information Center

We would love to hear your local school stories.

The pushers of this program tell New Yorkers its a bad implementation but we know better. It’s being implemented exactly as they want to. Let’s stop this program that principal financier Bill Gates said it will take ten years to prove. We know it will NEVER work. You can’t standardized children like McDonald’s hamburgers.


There were no educators involved in Common Core. Would you subject your child to an experiment?

There were no educators involved in Common Core. Would you subject your child to an experiment?





What’s Wrong With Standards Based Education? Sat, 16 Apr 2016 00:28:53 +0000 The simple answer to the question what is wrong with common core is PLENTY!

How dare the politicians and corporate reformers think that they know better than mom! Do you remember that saying, “Mother knows best?” She does know best. She’s the closest to her child.

Did you know that in the Every Student Succeeds Act the Federal government is allowing parents to be an equal partner in their child’s education?

There’s a lot happening in the education field and the biggest area of growth is in homeschooling. It really is no wonder. Mother knows best and she won’t allow the overreaches of a big government to take control of her child in a failed system that will never work. You cannot standardized children like McDonald’s hamburgers. Ask a mother and she’ll laugh at you. But this is no joke. Our children don’t get back their childhood.

Please help extend our reach and share our articles and videos. With your help we will continue to push back restore local control to education.


Why did 200,000 parents opt out of the tests? What does college and career ready mean? Where can you get facts vs marketing? Come learn from Dr. Peg Luksik on Jan 18.

Why did 200,000 parents opt out of the tests? What does college and career ready mean? Where can you get facts vs marketing? Come learn from Dr. Peg Luksik this May!

My Tests Are Meaningless, Opt-Out Today!

My Tests Are Meaningless, Opt-Out Today!

Why Share? Tue, 15 Mar 2016 02:24:02 +0000 Well why not share this message? Once you know what Common Core and #optout2016 is it’s easy to share. Our children are more than a test score.

Please share.

Message for Public – Parents and Taxpayers – Opt-Out Sat, 12 Mar 2016 12:35:29 +0000 My Tests Are Meaningless, Opt-Out Today!

My Tests Are Meaningless, Opt-Out Today!

                                Meme Credit To Chris Zaleski

Why do teachers give tests?  The answer seems pretty obvious that teachers give tests to see what the students have learned.

So why do we advocate to refuse tests? That answer is pretty easy once you know the specifics about the high stakes tests we are advocating to parents to refuse for their children.

But they (school district websites) say take the tests because of this that and whatever.

Want more information on tests so you can make your own decision? Click here to read this article from last year!!!!

Here is what education expert Dr. Peg Luksik has to say about Computer Adaptive Tests – Feb 2014, Poughkeepsie, NY forum- major sponsor New Yorkers United for Kids.

Here is a testimony by a New York State parent on refuse the tests.

Refuse the Test Tools by Opt Out CNY.

Audio clip with Eric Mihelbergel on Why Refuse the Tests. CLICK arrow below.

Education Experiment “Improved” Without Warranties or Guarantees Fri, 26 Feb 2016 23:53:44 +0000  

Take Back the Education Poison

Take Back the Education Poison

Team NYU4K writes about the Extended School Day

One of hot topics in education is the idea of extending the school day with recommendations for 30 minutes to as much as 2 hours additional class time each day. The belief behind this is that it will close the achievement gap and improve student achievement in high-poverty, low performing schools. While extended school day has a host of potential positive benefits such as more time for classes such as art and music and more learning time with educators. While the theory of more learning time sounds good, there is no guarantee that more time will equal more learning especially if the teachers are not provided with the proper amount of time to prepare. If implemented incorrectly making the school day longer can have a host of negative effects on students that include less time for personal interests and family time. If one peers closer at this topic, it is clear that one of the idea’s behind extending the school day is that it would provide the foundation needed to sustain a successful Common Core implementation, since students would be given more time to learn the material set forth in the standards through extended math and English classes. We as educators, parents and concerned citizens need to step back and call for a full repeal of standards that require a longer day for our students, if the day needs to be extended up to 2 hours just to ensure that students can achieve academic success then it is time to see that the problem is not the students, or educators but New York Governor Cuomo and the Common Core Standards.


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You’re Fired! Tue, 16 Feb 2016 01:37:18 +0000 If your elected isn’t working for you isn’t it time to say, “You’re fired?” Find a suitable replacement candidate.

In the mean time here are some things we can do to help push back on Common Core including thanking the State Assembly members – Democrats and Republicans – who sponsored Assembly Bill A5142 to Stop Common Core and meeting and or calling your State Senator to get them be the champion for the parents and students of New York and sponsor the Senate Companion Bill to Assemblyman Al Graff’s A05142 bill.

Are you tired of all of the marketing nonsense from Albany saying we’re going to delay teacher evaluations or politicians telling you Common Core is gone?

Help us grow. Share our website and articles with friends, family and neighbors. Join our mailing list.

Remember these High Stakes Tests Grade 3 – 8 for ELA and Math are meaningless. Choose to Refuse.

Here’s the bill we like!

A05142 Actions:

BILL NO    A05142 

02/12/2015 referred to education (The State Assembly knows parents are NOT going to give in!)
01/06/2016 referred to education


BILL NO    A05142 

SAME AS    No Same as 


COSPNSR    McDonough, Montesano, Giglio, Blankenbush, Murray, Lupinacci, Curran,
           Ceretto, Friend, Corwin, Kolb, McKevitt, Hawley, Garbarino, Crouch,
           Goodell, Duprey, Raia, Katz, Stec, Tenney, Ra, McLaughlin, Tedisco,Thiele
           Palmesano, Butler, Lopez, DiPietro, Johns, Nojay, Malliotakis,
           Lawrence, Lalor, Brabenec, Wozniak, Colton, Walter, Palumbo


Add S115, Ed L

Relates to the common core state standards initiative.

A05142 Text:

                STATE OF NEW YORK
                               2015-2016 Regular Sessions
                   IN ASSEMBLY
                                    February 12, 2015
          Multi-Sponsored by -- M. of A. THIELE -- read once and referred to the
          Committee on Education
        AN ACT to amend the education law, in relation to the common core  state
          standards initiative
          The  People of the State of New York, represented in Senate and Assem-
        bly, do enact as follows:
     1    Section 1. The education law is amended by adding a new section 115 to
     2  read as follows:
     3    § 115. Common core state  standards  initiative.  Notwithstanding  any
     4  provision  of  law  to  the  contrary,  the department shall discontinue
     5  implementation of the common  core  state  standards  developed  by  the
     6  common  core  state  standards initiative. Any actions taken to adopt or
     7  implement the common core state standards are void.
     8    § 2. This act shall take effect immediately.
         EXPLANATION--Matter in italics (underscored) is new; matter in brackets
                              [ ] is old law to be omitted.



Cuomo's Gotta Go!

Cuomo’s Gotta Go!