On February 27, 2015, a parent of a middle school student in the Adirondack Central School District (ACSD) shared this photo of an Incentive Plan for State Assessments that was given to her child during English class after a spiel by the principal.
Opt Out CNY promptly put out a media release in response to this egregious misuse of power by school administrators. That media release is available here:
The “Incentive Plan” has already received a huge amount of attention both locally and across New York State. The Utica Observer Dispatch ran this article yesterday around 5:00pm.
Parents are outraged and as conversation heated up on social media, more information about “the plan” was shared by parents from ACSD. In addition to the incentives offered, students were also offered breakfast and candy bars in return for their participation in NYS tests. Students were also told that their eligibility for advanced placement programs would be in jeopardy if they did not participate.
The fact that school leaders have resorted to bribing and coercing students into participating in exams speak volumes as to the misguided agenda of Governor Andrew Cuomo who continues support this culture of “test and punish” while withholding state aid runs until his education reforms are approved by the NYS legislature. .
Interestingly, the idea of incentivizing through a raffle has been attempted before in New Jersey. Of special note here in New York, it should be noted that the ACSD is asking students to participate in a raffle, which is in violation of the NYS Gaming Commission Guidelines for Conducting a Raffle, available here
Things didn’t work out so well in New Jersey. Pressure from the community forced the Morris Hills Regional District to offer an apology. To make certain that Adirondack Central Schools do the same, Opt Out CNY is calling upon its members and the general public to share their thoughts with district officials. Contact information can be seen in the “Action Alert” to the left, and is also available below.
How do we make certain that this type of bribery never happens again?
*Contact ACSD Officials:
Mark Trabucco, Middle School Principal
315-942-9202 x 45000
Mr. Edward Nitzik, Superintendent
315-942-9200 x 1800
Nadine Medvit, D.A.S.A Coordinator
*Support NYS Assemblyman Jim Tedisco’s legislation that would ensure “…students are not punished or rewarded for their participation or lack thereof in the exams ” as well as require that school districts notify parents that their children have a right to refuse NYS grade 3-8 Common Core aligned Math and ELA exams.
*Contact your elected officials.
While the Adirondack region prides itself on its beauty, history, and traditional way of life, the Adirondack Central School District is clearly behind the times. We invite them to join Opt Out CNY, a growing coalition of over 1,800 students, parents, educators and school administrators who advocate for children, ensure that our schools remain a safe place where all students feel welcome, and speak out against education reforms intended to privatize our public schools.