Posted at: 06/08/2013 10:22 PM
Updated at: 06/09/2013 2:31 AM
By: Dan Bazile
An estimated crowd of more than 10,000 rallied at the Capitol on Saturday to support the future of public education.
ALBANY - Thousands of people rallied at the Capitol on Saturday, fighting for the future of public education. The crowd is pushing for change on several issues, including what they say is an over-emphasis on standardized testing.
The crowd was estimated at more than ten thousand. From Brooklyn to Buffalo, teachers, school administrators and parents, all converged at the Empire State Plaza in Albany. They were calling for changes in public education.
On the main stage, the band "Watts on Tap" played music to fire up the crowd.
The "One Voice United" demonstration, sponsored by New York State United Teachers and more than a dozen other organizations, wants education to focus more on children. NYSUT President Richard Iannuzzi told the crowd student's needs are put on the back burner because of fiscal challenges.
Iannuzzi says, "legislators, the governor, the state ED department, have almost surrendered the needs of students over the needs of corporations."
He also says there's the tax cap, but Iannuzzi says he's not asking property taxpayers to pay more. He says school districts really want the state to pay its fair share of education funding.
The biggest concern at the rally was the state's over-emphasis on standardized testing.
Iannuzzi says says the children are not ready for this type of testing because the common core standard testing was done before the instruction.
He says, "the concept was, well they're going to do poorly but we'll have a baseline. Every teacher knows, and every parent knows, never put a child in a situation where you know they're going to fail. That's not good for the child."