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December 11, 2013

Vol. 3, Issue 2

WPSBA Pres., Susan Wollin, Author Christopher Tienken, and LHCSS Pres. Ken Mitchell at the Nov 14 Joint Dinner

Across the Board

      A Publication of WPSBA


 Ring in 2014 with Two "Must-Attend" WPSBA Events

Diane Ravitch, January 16th

 "The status quo today is test, test, test, pre-test, posttest, data.  Kids are not looked at as individuals.  They're looked at as data points."  - Diane Ravitch

Dr. Diane Ravitch 



    Over 550 people have registered to hear world renowned author and NYU Research Professor of Education, Diane Ravitch, address public education reform issues raised in her new book, "Reign of Error: The Hoax of the Privatization Movement and the Danger to America's Public Schools.

     This program, sponsored by WPSBA and the Lower Hudson Council of School Superintendents, is free of charge and open to the public. Pre-registration is required and space is limited.  We encourage you to purchase "Reign of Error" before the event, and bring it along to be autographed.    

Date: January 16th 

Time: 7:30 pm - 9:30 pm

Location: Mary Lou Meese Theatre, Fox Lane HS

                632 Bedford Rd., Bedford, NY 10506

To register: CLICK HERE  


Legislative Forum, January 30th (note date change*)


Don't miss your opportunity to sit down for table discussions on critical education issues with our area legislators.

     The 2014 Legislative Forum is sponsored by WPSBA along with the Chief School Administrators of Putnam/Northern and Southern Westchester.

   Date: January 30th

   Time: 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm

   Location: Purchase Elem. School

                     Harrison CSD

                     2995 Purchase Street

                     Purchase, NY 10577

   To register: CLICK HERE


Dine & Network, March 13th (note date change*) - more details to follow.


 *For an updated WPSBA calendar of events, please CLICK HERE

"If You Can't Protect It, Don't Collect It"

Panel (L to R): Leonie Haimson, David Shaw, Mary Fox -Alter, Ken Wagner, & Jay Worona
     WPSBA sponsored an informational panel on Student Data and Privacy on Monday, December 2nd. The conversation was both insightful and frustrating; while we learned a lot, many old and new questions were left unanswered.
     While SED maintains that school districts have been giving information to 3rd party for-profit vendors for years, district officials suggested that there is a difference between school district and SED data- School district data is kept in silos with a firewall between data types (ex. suspension and discipline data), whereas EngageNY portal would put all data in the same bucket. Concern was expressed repeatedly about the importance of local control in managing the dissemination of student data. There was discussion and some agreement regarding the disclosure of data versus the re-disclosure, and it was indicated that FERPA has re-disclosure limitations.
     The discussion also centered on the RTTT mandate versus the EngageNY/inBloom data portal system which NYS is implementing. Several panelists mentioned that the outsourcing of data is NEVER mentioned in RTTT agreements, and thus other states have been able to terminate their relationship with inBloom.
     A question that kept coming up is whether it truly makes sense to collect this amount of data. Panelists, including Ken Wagner of SED, indicated that a broad, valid question is why do we collect so much data? There was also discussion of the costs involved beyond NYS's RTTT grant money, and the cost to school districts in dollars, time, and redundancy for those districts with data dashboards in place.
     At the end of the night, 2 key comments from the audience seemed a fitting end to the conversation:
  • What does this have to do with children?
  • RTTT and NCLB are supposed to be student improvement systems, yet, where is the proof? We need evidence that show it works for our children!

A big thank you to our panel: Mary Fox-Alter, Superintendent, Pleasantville UFSD; Leonie Haimson, Executive Director, Class Size Matters; David Shaw, Partner, Shaw, Perelson, May, & Lambert, LLP; Ken Wagner, NYSED Assoc. Commissioner - Curriculum, Assessment & Educational Tech.; Jay Worona, General Counsel, NYSSBA; and moderator, Susan Elion Wollin, President of WPSBA and of the Bedford BOE 


To Read LoHud's Article on the Panel Discussion, CLICK HERE 


Joint Dinner: The School Reform Landscape
Close to 200 board members and school  administrators attended the November 14th Joint Dinner at the DoubleTree Tarrytown. Dr. Christopher Tienken, co-author of the new book, "The School Reform Landscape: Fraud, Myth, and Lies," shared his insights on the Common Core and its effect on our schools and children.  To access the PowerPoint presented by Dr. Tienken, CLICK HERE.
Wishing You and Yours A Happy, Healthy New Year !         
             From: Lisa Davis, Marguerite Guglielmo, & the WPSBA Board of Directors
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