Join in REFUSING the tests April 2015

New York State’s new Commission of Education – MaryEllen Elia

Despite concerns raised by parents and NYS Allies for Public Education today, the NYS Board of Regents appointed MaryEllen Elia as the new Commissioner of Education.

A former school superintendent in Florida who led efforts to tie teacher evaluations and pay to student achievement and was fired after clashing with her board was appointed New York State’s education commissioner on Tuesday.  – “MaryEllen Elia named New York State Education Commissioner” New York Times

Read more about Ms. Elia here and here and here.  This facebook page called for her resignation in Florida and here is NYSED’s glowing press release announcing her appointment today.

I hope and pray that the concerns raised about Ms. Elia are all for naught since she is now the New York State Commissioner of Education.  However I am baffled as to why the Regents decided to appoint a new Commissioner who comes to New York trailing rumors of dissatisfaction from parents in her previous Florida school district when New York is itself in such a state of turmoil.  How will starting with a commissioner that had to be ‘snuck in’ (Regents called in the day after a holiday weekend to vote before anyone got wind of what was going on) because the Regents apparently knew a large portion of the New York population would be unhappy with this appointment get us started on the right foot?

In a totally baffling move, NYSUT has expressed support for Ms. Elia.  Unfortunately we know that NYSUT is not expressing the will of many of the teachers it is supposed to be representing so I guess I shouldn’t be surprised by the fact that NYSUT is supporting a Common Core supporter from the most highly tested state in the country who has a goal of firing teachers based on standardized tests/VAM (junk science).  Read over 3,000 New York teachers denouncing the selection of Ms. Elia here.

From Valerie Strauss, Washington Post Answer Sheet May 26:

Carol Burris, an award-winning principal in New York, said this about Elia:

“It is now apparent why the Board of Regents did not reach out to stakeholder groups and inform them that she was a candidate–if her support for merit pay, the Common Core, Gates Foundation grants,  the formulaic dismissal of teachers, and school choice were known, certainly there would have been an outcry from New York parents and teachers who have had more than their fill of test-based reforms.  The message of 200,000 Opt Outs has not been heard.”