The Daily Star, Oneonta, NY - otsego county news, delaware county news, oneonta news, oneonta sports

Cary Brunswick

October 29, 2013

Obama's stuck between a rock and a hard place

(Continued)

In a letter to the state’s school superintendents, King wrote that education officials “recognize that a variety of pressures at the state and local level may have resulted in more testing than is needed and in rote test preparation that crowds out quality instruction.”

King said the Board of Regents was considering eliminating an eighth-grade math test and others where possible in other grades. However, he noted that some tests are required by the federal government. Grants will be provided to help school districts reduce local standardized tests, his letter states.

The group Allies for Public Education, which called for King’s resignation last week, was not impressed.

“Eliminating a few standardized tests is like touching up the paint on a car and expecting it will run when in fact it has a faulty engine,” the group’s spokesman, Eric Mihelbergel, told the Associated Press. “Until the high-stakes nature of testing is removed and the collection of private personal student data is halted, our children will continue to be harmed.”

Likewise, a spokeswoman for the group Oneonta Area for Public Education urged concerned parents, taxpayers and teachers to “keep speaking out, writing to your legislators, voice your displeasure with a phone call to your regent, call for King’s resignation. Do what you have to! We will be heard!’’

•••

A group of upstate New York Indians will be meeting with National Football League officials this week in an attempt to end the racism implicit in the name of the football team in our nation’s capital.

The Oneida Indian Nation opposes the Redskins nickname as a slur, insisting the name is degrading and has devastating effects, especially on younger Indians, according to Ray Halbritter, an Oneida leader.

The tribe began advocating for a name change recently as the Washington Redskins dealt with the latest onset of criticism over their nickname. Even President Obama joined the debate, saying he would “think about changing” the name if he owned the team.

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Cary Brunswick

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