The April 14 School Board meeting included several discussions and speeches on the issue of state-mandated tests. The full video was recently posted to Saugerties Lighthouse TV23, and can be viewed here.
Two portions in particular relate directly to some of the more controversial aspects of the issue, covered by Saugerties Times.
In the first, from 23:50-47:11, Superintendent Seth Turner rebuts a rebuttal to a letter he posted to the district’s website. For reference, here is the article on Turner’s original letter, and links to the full letter and the rebuttal.
In the second, from 105:00-108:40, Trustee Angie Minew speaks about the role of teacher unions in the opt-out movement. Here is a link to our article on her speech, and a letter from Minew stating that her comments had been misquoted on social media.
When watching this meeting, it’s important to keep in mind that it was conducted the evening of the first day of testing. By the following day, reports of huge numbers of opt-outs were released, with local numbers from 40 to 60 percent typical. Much of Turner’s letter, rebuttal, and rebuttal to the rebuttal, deals with possible consequences if more than 5 percent of students don’t take the test.
As for how many Saugerties students didn’t take the test, the district won’t say. Although other districts have released numbers, Saugerties, in response to a FOIL request by Saugerties Times last week, stated that “the records do not exist.”