Our school superintendent is up to his usual tricks


"So I lied; what difference, at this point,does it make?"

“So I lied; what difference, at this point, does it make?”

The new Core Curriculum tests are scheduled for Monday and parents are chewing to opt out on behalf of their children. 

Anonymous fliers calling on students to skip the exams have been circulating in the district, notably at Greenwich High School. One of them includes a form for parents to sign to authorize their children opting out.

District officials have responded by dismissing the opt-out forms as fake and reiterating their intent for all students in the tested grades to sit for the exams.

“Let me be crystal clear: Per federal and state regulations, students do not have an `opt out’ option with the Smarter Balanced field test,” Superintendent of Schools William McKersie said in a letter Thursday to district families.

But that statement was contradicted recently by a top educational authority in the state — the chairman of the state Board of Education, who, ironically, is a major supporter of the new tests.

“There’s certainly no state law that says they can’t (opt out),” Chairman Allan Taylor, an attorney, said during a March 12 hearing of the state Legislature. “Therefore, residually, presumably they have that right. What the local district chooses to do about that is a local district decision ¦ The state Department of Education will not be reaching down and sanctioning parents.”

This week, students throughout the district will start taking online “field tests” or pilot versions of the new exams, which were developed by the Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium. Aligned with the Common Core State Standards, the exams are replacing Connecticut Mastery Tests in grades three through eight and most of theConnecticut Academic Performance Tests in grade 10. High school students will take the new tests in 11th grade.

This year’s exams will not be used for school-accountability purposes or factored into teacher evaluations. The “operational” roll out of the Smarter Balanced tests will be in 2015.

But state education officials are adamant that this year’s “test of the test” does not mean students can blow them off.

“Both state and federal laws require public school students to take annual state assessments in certain grades and subjects,” said state Department of Education spokeswoman Kelly Donnelly. “These laws do not provide a provision for parents to `opt-out’ their children from taking state tests. These mandates have been in effect for many years, and the State Department of Education, as well as all public schools, must comply.”

Not exactly true, said Wendy Lecker, a columnist for Hearst Connecticut Media Group and senior attorney for the Campaign for Fiscal Equity at the Education Law Center.

“There’s no punishment in either state or federal law for students who refuse to take the test,” Lecker said. “They’re telling a partial truth when they say that there’s no opt-out provision. But they don’t tell parents that there’s no sanction if they refuse.

“`Will my child or me get punished if we don’t take the test?’ — that’s really what parents are asking. Why does the state have to play with semantics?”

This is the same crap McKersie and his state bosses pulled with racial redistricting (by the way, when can we expect to see the legal opinion we paid for last year to review the legality of the star mandate on redistricting? ). They toe the corporate line because they are the corporate line. Greenwich homeowners who depend even in part  for the quality of our public schools, which is to say, all of us, should pay attention: parents here are sophisticated enough and have the financial wherewithal to yank their kids from the grasp of these bureaucrats and when they do, there goes the system.

Probably couldn’t happen a moment too soon, but home values will take a hit. The school system is everyone’s business – wake up.


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38 responses to “Our school superintendent is up to his usual tricks

  1. D. R. Symmes

    Greenwich parents say no to Common Core.

    Sent from my iPhone

  2. anon2

    Many states are forming serious anti-Common Core groups, AND SUCCEEDING. Oklahoma has won I believe. New York is fighting tooth and nail against CC. Google “teachers against common core” and you’ll see the rabid hatred of this stupid curriculum. If I had a kid in public school, I’d keep him away from the test.

  3. anon2

    Here’s a website of Connecticut parents against common core:


    • anon2

      I’ve spent some time looking at the link I posted and I think it’s merely a template that any state can use. There’s no contact info; as a matter of fact, most of the pages are blank. Skip it. Sorry. I should have vetted it before posting.

  4. Daniel

    Have the students fill them in at radom?

  5. Walt

    Dude –
    Just what the heck is “Common Core”? Is it some new Libtard progressive program to show we are all the same? Remember “No Child Left Behind”? And I don’t think that was even a Libtard program. SOME KIDS SHOULD BE LEFT BEHIND!! You know why? BECAUSE THEY ARE STUPID!!

    No one wants to admit that. Some kids are smarter than others. Not everyone is a winner. DEAL WITH IT!! And encourage the stupid ones to enter a field where they can prosper. Like an auto mechanic. Or selling dirt.

    Are we going to keep on pretending the gooks aren’t better at math? The NBA is 78% black. So we should pretend the Negro’s don’t play basketball better than everybody else? How stupid is that? When is the last time you went to the emergency room, and didn’t have an Indian trying to stick a finger up your disgusting little hairy ass? Dot, not feather.

    Anyhows, I could design a simple test, to weed out the haves from the have not’s. You want to see it, Not? OK THAN!!

    1) Name all 58 States.
    2) What was the title of the movie Lincoln was watching when he was shot?
    3) If anti-gun laws work, why isn’t Chicago the safest city in America?
    4) How does taxing the “rich” help other people succeed?
    5) Name one thing the Government does more efficiently than the private sector.
    6) Wouldn’t the Government be more successful in providing free birth control if they paid for breast implants as well?
    7) Who would you rather bang? Nancy Pelosi or Maxine Waters? (This is a trick question Dude. There is no good answer). Although I think Francis may pick a gang bang.
    8) How do we get the politicians to understand they work for us, and not the other way around?
    9) When do we get over slavery?
    10) When will we put the country ahead of special interest groups, so we can all succeed together?

    I have a lot more, but I think this is a good start. Educating children starts with care giver involvement. If you surrender your children to these bureaucratic, union, Libtard thugs, like the Shamalamadingdong Francis and Lee supported, you get what you deserve.

    What do you think?

    Your Pal,

    • Anonymous

      You uninformed idiot. You must be single. Francis didn’t get his choice. Instead Greenwich got a board full of PTA women over age 50. And a backstabbing weasel named Peter Bernstein. So Greenwich for the next 2 years will be stuck with members who don’t dare challenge McKersie. Common Core is coming.

    • Anonymous

      Both optical parties have their supporters and detractors of Common Core. The governors of Florida, Tennessee, and Loisiana are all supporters. Idiots on both sides of the table here.

    • Phenut

      I bet you LOVE the fact that Jeb Bush supports Common Core . He’s my fave Repub at the moment. How about a Cruz -Bundy ticket ?

    • Phenut

      No Child Left Behind was proposed by George W. Bush and coauthored by John Boehner. Not “libtard “. This was but one of many ghastly and unforgivable decisions that Dubya made. Perhaps he should have been ” left behind” as you put it. Jeb is referred to as “the smart one “. I’ll stop now.

      • All central government types love centralized education – glad you share our distaste, and welcome to the Tea Party.

        • Phenut

          Almost there. But off topic, get your brother more involved with his blog , but only if he wants to. Mebbe he’s too busy with working towards an Oscar. ( not the fish ) Or something. Just sayin’.

  6. Anonymous

    I’m pulling my kid. It’s a BS test for the federal govt. no bearing on college.

  7. Parent of 3

    We have a superintendent who really thinks he is smarter than most. Yes he can get away with talking down to BOE members ( he does so all the time ) but he will not get away with talking “bull shit ” to parents about common core. He’s a good salesman but not that good. His agenda has hurt Greenwich and if he is not stopped the kids are going to suffer.

    • Riverside resident

      You shouldn’t be surprised “parent of 3 ” …. Elections have consequences. This is what you get when you elect a board of PTA women who really think they know whats best for our children. None of the women held jobs before being elected but ALL seem to have answers for everything. Appelbaum doesn’t stop talking and only votes the way Erickson ( who knows everything just ask her ) does. Our state delegation needs to step in and convince McKersei to slow down. Threatening people with suspension does nothing but infuriate parents. I voted for Peter Sherr with the hopes he will counter the Superintendent when needed. The others won’t I know that.

  8. Concerned citizen, parent of 2

    Our state delegation to their credit has tried to curtail common core. Led by Walko and Camiilo. Good for them. Our BOE who’s primary background included long standing members of the PTA haven’t a clue what to do. They vote in blocks like deer crossing the road. One member named Peter Bernstein who I believe is a lawyer but will only vote after asking permission from the RTC chair. Another member named Laura Erickson spends most of her time plotting ways to get even with certain DEMS who didn’t want her on the fiancé board ( a board she is still eager to get on but will never get .) My advice to both of them… Stop politicking and start contributing to the position you were elected. Its not good enough to just show up at meetings and once in a while submit a well orchestrated quote to the GT. The schools have serious problems that are not getting better. The Superintendent needs guidance. He should not be allowed to implement an agenda that is clearly still unknown.

    To our state delegations… Thank you for trying. Please keep it up.

  9. New Leb. parent

    The Superintendent’s letter is flat out wrong. He either knows this and is lying or he plans on doing what he can to fast track a common core agenda. I too have no faith in our current BOE members ( maybe Sherr ) so I will reach out to my Rep. ( Walko ) to ask for advice. I tried calling Havemeyer but as of Friday no return call. When I approached Dr. McKersie he rattled off complete and utter nonsense that I don’t think he really believes. That night I also spike to board member Erickson who didn’t let me complete my sentence before lecturing me on the benefits of common core ( what are her qualifications anyway .) What formal role does our state reps have? Where does Tesei and Marzullo stand?

    • Political observer

      Marzullo the Democrat has for years been on record questioning the fast pace of common core and its implementation. His last quote in October compares and contrasts data from various states. I googled Tesei the Republican and can’t find any quotes or opinions from him related to common core. I think he too has lots of questions about it.

      I plan on contacting both Selectman and our state delegation. Hopefully they will put some pressure on the Superintendent and order him to stop.

      This appears to be agenda oriented.

  10. Anonymous

    Thank you for this post. You are exactly correct. The Superintendent is misleading the parents and the public. He does this time and time again. He is extremely political ( remember he tried to oust Sherr ) and he always with his condescending tone lectures at every board meeting. The BOE won’t do a dam thing because they are controlled by him. Common Core at the very least is still unknown. The jury is still out . At one debate last year Erickson and her puppet Appelbaum answered a question about common core that clearly a first grader could of done better.

    Contact your state reps!

  11. Anonymous

    BET people…..Particularly Mason
    Cut any funding related to common core.
    RTM budget officials are you listening?

  12. Anonymous

    Anyone who thinks they can vote their way out of this is a fool. Anyone who thinks that writing a finely crafted letter to the editor or blog post will make a difference is a fool.

    Common Core needs to be opposed and destroyed by any means necessary. Irish democracy, home schooling, abstention, private school, whatever.

    McKersie needs to be tarred, feathered, and run out of town.

  13. Anonymous

    Government is dysfunctional and can’t get anything right. The system needs to be torn down.

    Evil control freak National Socialists like McKersie and his bureaucratic cohorts in Hartford need to be removed.

    Boycott the tests.

    Resist by any means necessary.

    • Anonymous

      Thank you to Leslie Moriarity for hiring this guy. This was her last gift to Greenwich before assuming MISA in chief. She won’t go away. Lets send her the cost overrun for MISA.

      Where is the BET? Mason? Or better yet Leslie Tarkington who complains till she is blue in the face about cost but does nothing. Get rid of her too.

  14. Cos Cob voter

    Contact the Board of Selectman and your State Rep.
    Ask them to question the Superintendent. Ask them to demand from McKersie a full account of his future intentions regarding common core. Don’t leave this up to a bunch of incompetent BOE members. The Superintendent has a responsibly to update the elected leadership on such an important topic. According to Rep. Camillo he and the other state reps. And BOS never get briefed by McKersie.

  15. Cos Cob resident, father of 1

    Camillo is absolutely right on this one! About common core and about McKersie! I’m voting for him again in November.

  16. NY Tax Refugee

    Parents would do themselves a favor by first opting out of the field test ( the trial run) of the new SBAC test this week. The schools can not reject your request to opt out of the field test if you request this in writing 4 times. Schools have been instructed by state education authorities to give in to the parent’s request if the parent asks in writing 4 times. (Print 4 copies of the same letter and send the 2nd, 3rd and 4th copies after each time you are refused.) There is no law requiring public school children to field test an assessment test. Demand that your child receive classroom instruction instead during test time.

    GPS will receive no useful feedback on student performance on the field tests this year. The data the district receives from administering the field test is one-off and It can’t be compared to any of our children’s previous assessment tests nor to the one they will take next year. So the GPS will have no useful performance data for this year or next whether all kids take this test or none of them do. Administering the test is a complete waste of our students’ time.

    If enough kids sit out the test and demand instructional time, then parent voices are heard. Parents can do something proactive NOW by taking a stand against the field test. There is no reason our children need to be guinea pigs.

    Then start talking to your state reps about Common Core…

    Read more here.

  17. Mickster

    When college admissions start looking for these test results in a few years to see if the SAT results were consistent as part of a students overall academic portfolio, applicants who do not have them will look strange. Be forewarned.

    • NY Tax Refugee

      The SBAC field test this year is one-off. It will be comparable to absolutely nothing.

    • Anonymous

      The new SAT, which this year’s freshman class will take down the road, will be more in line with common core standards

  18. They’re field testing new standardized tests in a few weeks here in Westchester too. The school district informed us that all we had to do to opt the kids out was send a letter to the principal informing him of our decision to do so.

    You guys somehow manage to get all of the petty tyrants running things. I wonder how that happened.

  19. Anonymous

    The BOE headed by Leslie Moriarty selected McKersei for first and foremost his Common Core implementation experience. In fact, McKersei is Malloy’s chosen spokesperson advocating and supporting CC. The BOE wanted CC and they got it with this Superintendent.

  20. Anonymous

    AP exams are in one week. For some, the tuition saved by scoring a 4 or a 5 on a test and waiving out of the course in college is material. Does Dr. McKersie think that this use of student’s time is more valuable than class time a week before AP’s?