Mouth That Roars

Bill Liblick has made a name for himself of National TV Talk Shows where he spouted his outspoken views from the front row. Now he offers you his opinion every week in the "MOUTH THAT ROARS" Column in the Sullivan County Post.

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April 9th, 2015

Turning Children into Robots

A sub storyline on the hit CBS TV series “Person on Interest” depicts a machine called “Samaritan” that in essence is taking our school children, conditioning them, and turning them into robots.

The fiction displayed on the TV drama ala “1984” and “Big Brother” might not be as farfetched from reality as we think it is thanks to the way many of our elected officials want our children educated.

Common Core programs and its standardized testing are just plain wrong.

Teachers are being prevented from doing their jobs in educating – And if they do not obtain certain results – They will be fired.

Each and every child is different and there are a lot of variables and circumstances that come into play when educating a child. The hands of our teachers – Must Not Be Tied!

On March 31st the NYS Legislature passed Governor Andrew Cuomo’s Education Reform. As part of this new reform high stakes testing will be used to evaluate teachers and schools.

In Governor Cuomo’s mind as well as others he is doing the right thing in overhauling our educational system. They feel his sweeping education reforms will impose stricter teacher evaluations, extend the period of time to earn tenure, expand charter schools and boost state oversight of failing schools. His message is that students will be educated better.

But, has Cuomo over stepped the line here? Will his actions do more harm than good? Is uniform testing and obtaining the results to make change in a particular school really the way to go?

There is a huge movement underway urging parents to have their children “Opt Out” of tests that will begin next week, and I could not agree more.

These tests adopt a one size fits all mentality. And, it goes against everything teachers need to do to properly educate our children.

Teachers need to differentiate and individualize to best educate their students.

This type of testing also puts special needs students at a great disadvantage. Some feel the tests go against the spirit of the Federal Law for children with disabilities which guarantee a “free and appropriate education.”

The tests are not developmentally appropriate and create anxiety and frustration.

Test preparation is eating into time that could be spent on whole learning, using creative approaches, and project based learning. These tests are not a true measure of academic growth.

Schools in impoverished communities, which already are underfunded, will not be able to attract and retain excellent teachers.

A lot of good teachers will lose their jobs, while others will leave out of frustration. Universities have already seen a drop in enrollment in their education programs.

How do these new laws actually improve education?

The American Statistical Association has said there is no link to tie these tests to student performance or teacher evaluation. It undermines local control.

Teachers and students are being set up to fail with goals that are literally impossible to achieve.

Fifty percent of the teacher evaluations will be from state mandated tests. The other fifty percent will be comprised of two formal observations. One observation will be done by the principal or administrator. While the other one from an unfunded mandated independent evaluator from outside the building. This outside evaluator could have no knowledge of curriculum, the students, or the teacher.

Some things that are not included in this evaluation process are lesson plans as well as student and parent feedback.

Teacher unions are mobilizing this weekend urging parents to write refuse to test letters. The goal is to get as many parents to refuse to test and send a message to Governor Cuomo and the New York State Legislature.

Countless parents who send their children to public schools now wish they could afford to send them to private schools so they could be educated for education and not taught for the test.

Let’s not turn our children into robots – Opt Out!

For more information to “Opt Out” please visit

Bill Liblick has made a name for himself on National TV Talk Shows where he spouted his outspoken views from the front row. Now he offers you his opinion every week in the “MOUTH THAT ROARS” Column in THE SULLIVAN COUNTY POST.

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