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Board Passes Resolution Advocating for Public Schools

Commack Union Free School District
PO Box 150
Commack NY 11725

Whereas, the Board of Education of the Commack Union Free School District has been elected by the residents of the Commack Union Free School District to determine policy and approve programming for the students of the District, within the confines of both federal and state statutes governing education, and 

Whereas, this Board of Education, on many occasions, has expressed its displeasure with the requirements of the No Child Left Behind Act and the Every Student Succeeds Act, as well as the implementation of the Common Core and Annual Professional Performance Review and the high‑stakes testing which accompany these mandates, and

Whereas, the Board of Education envisions the inauguration of Donald Trump as the President of the United States, on Inauguration Day, as an opportunity for a renewal and re-visioning of public education in the United States of America in a way which creates opportunities for students of all ages to learn in a way which is beneficial and in a way which recognizes the whole student, and 

Whereas, the Board of Education wants all of our students, regardless of ability, background, race, or gender, to feel secure, focusing on the physical, social, emotional, cognitive, and relational growth of our students, and 

Whereas, President Trump is charged with the nomination of a candidate for Secretary of Education of the United States and the President’s nominee must be confirmed by the HELP Committee comprised of U.S. Senators; 

Whereas, the Board of Education urges said committee to consider the following when making a determination to confirm the next U.S. Secretary of Education.  

The candidate must be able to: 

  • demonstrate substantial credentials as an educator and experience in the administration and management of public schools, and demonstrate avid support of effective, well‑funded public schools.

Whereas given her track record and positions that are inconsistent with those stated by the Board of Education, including support of voucher and choice schools, potential financial conflicts of interest, and inexperience with educational policy and public education, Betsy DeVos is an inappropriate candidate for US Secretary of Education. 

BE IT RESOLVED that the Commack Board of Education strongly opposes the following:

  • any school choice or voucher program, particularly in school districts with a proven track-record of success – success that goes beyond test scores,
  • the reduction of funds to any public school in an effort to fund “choice” schools,
  • any voucher program that would drain funding from public schools and cause an already challenging financial picture to become even more challenging,
  • that “choice” and/or charter schools do not have to meet the same requirements and are not subject to the same level of scrutiny as public schools,
  • that “choice” and/or charter schools, etc. would not be required to maintain a demographically diverse student population that mirrors the surrounding public schools. 

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the Commack Board of Education does not support: 

  • any candidate for U.S. Secretary of Education that has no experience in teaching, managing or leading in public schools;
  • any candidate that supports any voucher system for “choice” schools and/or private and/or parochial schools that siphons funds away from public schools,
  • any candidate that supports “choice” and/or charter schools that do not have to meet the same requirements as public schools,
  • any candidate that supports any “choice” and/or charter schools, etc. system that would not be required to maintain a demographically‑diverse student population that mirrors the surrounding public schools, and
  • any candidate that supports the one-size‑fits‑all approach to standards, curriculum and testing such as the current Every Student Succeeds Act mandated testing protocols and Common Core Standards. 

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the Commack Board of Education will continue to oppose any nominee for U.S. Secretary of Education, including Betsy DeVos, that is not a staunch advocate of public schools willing to consider alternative ways of identifying success as it is our position that the current one-size-fits-all testing and identification model is deeply flawed.   

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that any nominee for U.S. Secretary of Education must be capable and willing to consider alternative means of supporting all public schools; alternatives that must include, among other things, a recognition of regional differences and economic need. 

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