Thursday, November 10, 2011

Long Island Principals In Revolt

Dear Friends:
You are receiving this message because you have indicated your support for the Long Island Principals Open Letter Regarding the NYS APPR Legislation ( We thank you for your support and would like to provide you with an update on all that has happened since Newsday published its front page article.

Some numbers to report:
·       Over 65% of the Long Island Principals have signed the letter
·       Over 60 principals outside of Long Island have signed the letter
·       We have well over 1600 supporters now -- teachers, supervisors, parents, superintendents and board members included!

Some encouragement to report:
·       Diane Ravitch made a terrific post on her EdWeek Bridging
Differences blog. You can check it out at:
·       The New York Daily News came out with an editorial on Monday forcefully rejecting our position. As Carol has said, the fact that the DN felt the need to come out and write about the paper speaks to the power of our ideas. You can read the editorial at:
·       In a keynote speech to the Great Neck educators at today's Superintendent Conference day, Regent Tilles brought up our paper, applauding the courage of the principals and expressing disappointment in Superintendents and Boards of Education for their lack of support.
·       The New York Times ran a story about Tennessee's Rules for Evaluation. This is definitely worth a read:
·       More and more teacher leaders are organizing their members and getting support for the paper
·       Carol and I are actively reaching out to our Nassau and Suffolk PTAs. Parents need to understand this issue and are receptive to speaking to us.
·       There have been countless interviews over the past few days. It is important to keep the paper in the news. Reach out to your local newspaper; local reporters are always interested in a story as local as the school! If you know of a good story, kindly share the link with me so I can post it on the website.

Steps to Take:
We need to continue to build support for our position! It is
particularly important that we get support from our non-Long Island colleagues! Some suggestions for building support:
1.      Be sure that you are familiar with the three areas of concern, the ten talking points and the three recommendations. Lost in this discussion is the fact that we are NOT running away from the use of scores as part of an evaluation of teachers and principals. We want this done in a way that is supported by the research regarding what works best in schools.
2.      Local control matters! The APPR legislation is taking decision making power (over teachers and principals) away from schools and districts.
3.      Share the letter with your colleagues -- teachers, principals, central office administrators -- and encourage them to support it. The more signatures we get, the more powerful our message will become!
4.      If you know of a principals association in your region, kindly provide me with a contact name so I can reach out directly to the executive board! Reach out to your teachers association as well! Every contact matters!
5.      Tweet, Share, Facebook or whatever it takes to get the message out! We have a number of signatories from out of state! Remember:

In less than two weeks, we have placed an issue of great importance at the front and center of some our country's most circulated newspapers.
We need to continue keeping the issue out in the forefront.
Thank you once again for taking a stand on such an important issue!
Sean C. Feeney
Carol C. Burris

Sean C. Feeney, Ph.D.
The Wheatley School
11 Bacon Road
Old Westbury, NY  11568
Follow my blog at

No comments: