They’re still coming. Teal buses, white buses, Trailways buses, Onondaga Coach Tours. And everyone stepping off the bus is hurrying to the Empire State Plaza in Albany for the “One Voice United” rally, their smiles brightening, their feet lifting high, their posters raised over their heads. Catching the music from the stage, their voices rising in excitement. They don’t want to miss a minute.
“This is going to be the year to make change, or everything we know is going to be gone,” said Vanessa Holland, who co-founded Warwick Parents for Change in February. “Our mission is to continue to provide quality education in schools. We’re tired of all the mandates and the unequal funding.”
The parents wore T-shirts reading: “Warwick Parents Say” on the front and “Enough is Enough” across the back.
Parent Geri Hayes said her middle school daughter comes home from school now and naps. She is exhausted from stress.
Parent Shannon Hockwender, newly appointed to the Warwick Board of Education, joined the throng of educators, students and community activists at the rally because her third-grader came home and cried after taking the test.
“It broke my heart,” she said. “She puts so much pressure on herself from these tests. I do not want her education to be about that.”