Teachers and their Supporters Deliver their Discontent with NYS Education Policies at the State Fair

Aug 28, 2015

Dozens teachers and their supporters wore black t-shirts on the first day of the State Fair on Thursday with a pretty direct message for the Governor… “Call Out Cuomo.” The only problem was, he wasn’t there to see it firsthand. However, he did send Lt. Governor Kathy Hochul who acknowledged the teachers when asked by the media.

Mexico Teacher David Von Holtz and his family pose for a photo with their "Call Out Cuomo" shirts on.
Credit John Smith, WAER News

“The Governor’s budget just passed this spring talks about reducing the burden on testing on students. So, he is committed to that. He’s a parent, I’m a parent… we wanna make sure that students and parents not feel overwhelmed by the education system but, making sure that we ensure that we have the highest standards in the State of New York. Because our students are competing with kids not just from other states but from all over the globe. So, we’re gonna work it out, it’s gonna be great.”

David Von Holtz, a Mexico School District Teacher and parent brought his family to the State Fair and everyone wore the shirts.

“I don’t believe as much authentic learning is going on in the classroom. I believe a lot of teachers are afraid of the tests, afraid of their evaluation scores. So, they’re now teaching to the test, rather than teaching kids what they need to know.”

Solvay High School Teacher Patricia Campbell says she loves being a teacher; however…

“We wanna teach, we wanna be teachers. We’re not asking other asking for anything other than just to be able to do our job, do it well and be supported in that… and not continually be told that we need to be testing kids more and that we need to be testing kids more… and we need to have more punitive evaluations against us.”

East Syracuse Minoa Middle School Teacher Lisa Dicosimo (L) and Solvay High School Teacher Patricia Campbell (R) inside the Dairy Building at the NYS Fair.
Credit John Smith, WAER News