Parent Action Committee (PAC)

The BNS PAC (Parent Action Committee) is a group of parents dedicated to supporting and preserving high quality public education for all. 

To contact the BNS PAC, email






The election of Betty Rosa as Chancellor of the Board of Regents was a great step forward for NY State public schools, but there's only so much the Regents can do given current New York State laws. Fortunately, there are bills being introduced in the New York State Assembly and Senate, which, among other things, de-couple test scores from teacher evaluations and repeal the inequitable and unjust receivership law. (The receivership law, promoted by Gov. Cuomo, turns schools judged to be failing--based on students' state test scores--over to charters or other non-public management. Schools on the receivership list typically have large numbers of students living in poverty and/or with disabilities, so the pressure to boost test scores to stave off receivership disproportionately affects the poor.)
Please contact your state legislators to urge them to support these bills--and then pass this info on to fellow New Yorkers! It's quick & easy. Just do it soon!




New PAC-ket Available: Click on the links below






Please also link this amazing parent resource:



If and When You're Ready, Here’s the 2016 BNS Choose to Refuse Letter. Just Fill it Out and Return to Amy S. in Backpack Mail. and connect with other parent education activists on Facebook. Read Bianca Tanis' take on Common Core here (warning: strong language!) and Valerie Strauss of the Washington Post here.


2016 BNS High Stakes Tests slideshow


Here is a Choose to Refuse letter appropriate for other schools.

Letter to Parents from BNS Teachers about Cuomo's Education Proposals

New York Teachers' Letter

March 4 Opt Out Forum at PS 261 video: Opt In? Opt Out? It's Time to Choose



Video from April 1, 2014 Opt Out Press Conference (courtesy of

Stills from April 1, 2014 Opt Out Presser (courtesy of GIRLRAY)

Links to Media Coverage (a long list and growing)

Parent Takiema Bunche-Smith's Powerful Blog Post

Parent Janine Sopp's Heartfelt "Opt Out, The New Normal"



About Opting-out of the State Tests

How do the State Tests Affect Children and Teachers?

On the State Tests for 3rd, 4th, and 5th Graders

On Test Scores and Getting into Middle School and our Middle School Survey 

Check out the following minutes from recent Testing Q&A sessions with Anna:


Anna Q&A – Sunday, Jan. 12, 2014


Anna Q&A at PTA – Wednesday, Jan. 15, 2014


Anna Q&A – Thursday, Jan. 16, 2014

Click HERE for a great conversation on High Stakes, Alternative Assesment, and the NYS Regents Waiver. This conversation took place at the Institute for Collaborative Education (ICE) on 2/12/14.

Click HERE for a series of Testing FAQs generated by the BNS School Leadership Team

Click HERE for Testing FAQs generated by a different school (Earth School in Manhattan)

Click HERE to learn more about the BNS benchmarks


 Here are three things you can do now:




Click HERE to take our brief quiz: Fun Facts about Testing & Teacher Evaluation. You'll find the answers HERE. 


Community Education Council, District 15 Public Meeting: “High-Stakes Testing and District 15 Common Core Test Results”, READ ANNA'S TRANSCRIPT HERE

BNS teacher, Katherine Sorel, who proctored this year’s state tests, breaks down what made this year’s tests harder, & it wasn’t because our kids were asked to do more challenging work. Note to Test Designers: Bad Questions are not the Same as Hard Questions

BNS parent Liz Rosenberg, explains some of the reasons that her family will refuse their daughter’s test scores this year, including a discussion of far-above-grade-level test passages and the arbitrary designation of what is “proficient.”  Why We Won’t Look at Our Daughter’s Test Scores

The NY Times editorial board lays out the argument for scaling back high stakes testing policies.

What does the “Common Core” look like for first grade? This link is to a recommended NY State Early World Civilizations first grade unit plan.

Citing “growing evidence of the reforms' ill effects and of the reformers' self-interested motives, John Tierney offers a comprehensive analysis of the impacts of corporate reform policies and practices, and explains why he believes a revolution public education is coming.

ParentVoicesNY is one of the groups parents have formed to address high stakes testing. Here is a brief history of high stakes testing. This is a great resource for learning about the gradual increase in tests and the stakes attached to them over time in NYC and NY State.

How do the new teacher evaluation systems work? Aaron, Pallas, a professor at Teachers College, examines the outcomes of last year’s NYC pilot of these “value added” systems, looking at the teacher whose data report identified her to be one of the “worst” teachers in the city.

Why parents in Long Island and elsewhere chose to opt their children out of high-stakes tests last year

What does the big drop in new standardized test scores really mean?

What are private schools doing about testing?

Public School Standardized Testing:  Enough Is Enough for New York State Kids

Private Schools Are Expected to Drop a Dreaded Entrance Test

Private Schools Take a Comprehensive View



Parent Voices NY’s toolkit

Change the Stakes