We are grassroots group of parents, educators and community members who believe our Public Schools should be well-funded, have small class sizes, with a diverse curriculum that includes history, science, music, arts, and physical education.
We are against the use of high-stakes testing in our schools. Excessive testing takes away significant time from learning, it forces teachers to "teach to the test," it takes the joy out of learning for children, and it uses our children as tools to evaluate school districts, schools, and teachers. We aim to abolish the use of large databases that provide our children's private, personal information to private vendors without parents' permission.
Our goal is to educate parents and community members about the real education that children are receiving and to
help parents understand what the options are for their children.
What we believe
- We believe a strong public school system is an important part of society.
- We stand for well-funded public schools.
- We advocate small class size.
- We are against the use of high-stakes testing in our schools.
- Schools should have a diverse curriculum beyond the emphasis on ELA and math.
- We stand against the privatization of public education.
Western New Yorkers for Public Education Steering Committee:
Mary Bieger - Public education advocate, 15 year elementary educator, and WNY parent of three public school children
Chris Cavarello- Social worker, education advocate, and WNY parent of three children in grades 4, 6, and 9
Chris Cerrone - Public education advocate, 20 year middle school educator, school board member, and parent of two public school children
Molly Dana - WNY parent of two children ages 7 & 10, and public education advocate
Candy Ditkowski - WNY parent of three children and public education advocate
Amy Gipe - WNY parent of two children in public school, public elementary school teacher, and public education advocate
Heidi Indelicato - Registered Nurse, WNY public education advocate, and mother of 3 children who attend public schools
Danilo Lawvere - Public school educator of English language learners, political activist, parent of three public school children
Teresa Leatherbarrow - Public education advocate, Buffalo Public Schools K-6 teacher for 15 years, and parent of 3 children attending Williamsville Central Schools
Eric Mihelbergel - Erie County parent of 2 children ages 12 and 9, and advocate for all children everywhere
Patty Munnikhuysen - Education advocate, parent of two children in middle and high school, science teacher of 22 years in a public school, and a recently elected Board of Education member
Shirley Tokash Verrico - Curator at Buffalo Arts Studio, Adjunct Instructor of Humanities at Medaille College's School of Adult and Graduate Education, education advocate, and mother of three public school children