About six years ago I became aware of an increased focus on test prep in lieu of authentic, hands-on learning and how this shift was negatively impacting my students and my own son. The role of play in our early education classrooms was diminishing and K-2 students were being increasingly exposed to the same inappropriate standardized testing as their older counterparts. At the same time, schools were experiencing cuts to staffing and programming due to diminishing and inequitable school funding. In response to these changes, I co-founded New York State Allies for Public Education (NYSAPE).
Through my work with NYSAPE, I have organized with parents, educators, and community leaders across the state to address these issues and have spoken both locally and nationally on the harmful impact of high-stakes testing, the infringement on student data privacy, equitable school funding, and the critical issues facing early education.
In 2017 I directed, produced, and edited a short film about the crisis in early education (New York State’s Crisis in Early Education – Teachers Speak Out) to inform parents about the harmful standards and practices being imposed on young learners. I have also worked with national organizations such as ECE Policyworks, Defending the Early Years, and The Network for Public Education to promote developmentally appropriate practices. I am a member of the NYS Board of Regents Blue Ribbon Committee on Early Childhood and have been a member of the New Paltz Board of Education’s Legislative Action Committee for the past five years. Articles I’ve written about public education advocacy have been published in The American Educator and The Journal of Multicultural Education. In addition, I am a frequent blogger on education issues, and my posts have often been featured by education historian Diane Ravitch.