Thursday, October 02, 2014

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State Teachers Union Protests Privatization of Testing

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CNY/NNY/S. Tier: State Teachers Union Protests Privatization of Testing
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ALBANY, N.Y. -- Taking a stand against tough testing in New York state, hundreds joined members of NYSUT Monday night to protest what they're calling the corporate influence on a child's education.

Testing giant Pearson was the target of the protest, and teachers shredded a copy of the company's more than $32 million contract with the state, and protesters said private businesses in public schools have too much sway on a child's education.

"Well I don't think they should be able to take money just because we're taking tests. And that a lot of people don't like the tests and they shouldn't be able to make money off of us taking them," said 11-year-old Michael Jacques.

Michael was the reason the hundreds of people gathered on the steps of the state education department building.

Parents and teachers said Pearson is the problem.

"Schools are really forced to purchase materials created by Pearson in order to perform well on the high stakes test," said Arielle Chiger, a parent and a teacher.

Because Pearson owns the tests that all public school students are required to take.

The pieces of paper now shredded were once the Pearson contract. A document that the president of the New York State United Teachers said prohibits them from even talking about the problem.

"It's basically a gag order being written into the contract which is a really significant problem," said Karen Magee.

So teachers, students and parents were out here Monday night to prove they can't be silenced and they will put up a fight.

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