Oppenheimer to Hold Sham Hearings in Wake of Exam-gate Scandal

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Oppenheimer to Hold Sham Hearings in Wake of Exam-gate Scandal

September 10, 2010 - 12:03

Cohen Says Hearings Look More Like a Pre-Election Whitewash Than an Investigation

WHITE PLAINS – State Senate candidate Bob Cohen (R,I,C – 37th District) today called on Senator Oppenheimer to quit protecting the special interests bankrolling her political campaigns and use her full authority as Senate Education Chair to launch a comprehensive investigation into the unexplainable decline in education performance standards in recent years. Cohen called the Senator’s currently planned hearings ‘window dressing’ and an ‘attempt to cover up a scandal that occurred on her watch as Education chair.’

“Parents who thought their children were doing well in school are now shocked to learn that they are actually behind the curve,” said Cohen. “As a parent and a taxpayer, I am appalled. Senator Oppenheimer owes us a thorough investigation, but it looks to me like the Senator has already determined the outcome of her committee’s hearings.”

Last week, Senator Oppenheimer announced that her committee would conduct hearings to investigate how standards for scoring student achievement tests were allowed to deteriorate in recent years. The decline was exposed when more accurate benchmarks were put into place this year by the newly appointed state Education Commissioner David Steiner. According to the New York Post, Dr. Steiner is among those Senator Oppenheimer plans to subpoena, but former Education Commissioner Richard Mills – who oversaw the department during the years when test scores inaccurately spiked – is not. (

“I see no value in it,” the Senator told the Post. “He (Mills) did what was best back then."

“Why even hold a hearing if you are not going to call on the people responsible for this debacle to testify?” said Cohen. “This is an obvious effort to sweep the whole affair under the rug to avoid embarrassing those who share the blame. Senator Oppenheimer has a duty to protect parents, students and taxpayers, and should not be allowed to single-handedly give a pass to those who should be held accountable.”

There are 5 Comments

Administration officials keep parents from getting too much information, councelors keep parents from getting answers from teachers, teachers keep parents from getting information and the whole bunch of them blow smoke up parents butts and claim that they want the parents involved. I spent 7 years trying to get information about my kids homework, assignments, tests etc and kept getting stonewalled. With a 250 million budget why can't we have all our kids homework, future assignments, and tests online? Why don't you want parents to take an active roll in the educations system? What is the big secret? The public is starting to get sick and tired of shadowy world of education.

You too are a little too paranoid. Everyone in the school is clearly averting parents and you to keep you from understanding why students struggle.

Roberta the Postperson

Maybe if I wasn't very involved in my childrens education you could call me paranoid, however, I spent years trying to pierce the secrecy and runarounds, phone calls not returned, emails not answered, scheduled meetings that were canceled, meetings that certain teachers never attended even though I had to wait months for a certain date so those teachers could attend.
When I asked Mrs Kennedy (coucelor at NRHS) why the school system didn't implement a system where all teachers posted all the homework assignments, reading assignments, future projects, test results etc, for the students, she replied "not all the teachers are computer savvy". How's that for an answer? Schools all around the country have this, and it puts the onus on the parent. If a child is unprepared a parent has no excuse, the work is in their childs account and parents should be checking to see their kids have done all their homework. But the New Rochelle School System does not want parent involvement at all. This is not paranoia it is a fact drawn from experience.

What conspiracy are you peddling now?

Are you going to blame the students? Maybe you would be willing to volunteer some time at your local high school to help those studnets who struggle to pass these exams.

Roberta the Postperson

Not sure what you 2 are rambling about below, but 1 thing is for certain, we are being underserved by Sen. Oppenheimer.

She's a part of the problem in Albany. Higher taxes, out of control spending, borrowing to balance the budget are what come quickly to mind. All bad things that Senator Oppenheimer supports with no regrets so why would anyone vote for her?

Bob Cohen seems like a down to earth business man that we should all be supporting. 1 that will never support higher taxes on its citizens. 1 who would push to reduce the size of NYS government to a more sustainable level. Did anyone hear of any cuts (other than school aid and that's not cutting the size of government) this year?

For the good of the state, vote Bob Cohen on 11/2 and lets start the change in Albany!!!! We need to be heard loud and clear.