The “March Massacre:” The Legislature Dumps Two Senior Regents Members and Appoints Three Former Superintendents: Change Is In the Air.

Call it the “March Massacre,” two of the longest serving members of the Regents were seeking re-appointment, a process that in the past was automatic, were bumped, and, the two vacancies were filled with retired superintendents (Chin/Johnson)

Judy Chin Interview:

Beverly Ouderkirk Interview:

Judith Johnson Interview:

Catherine Collins bio:

The new 17-member Board will have six former superintendents.

The actions of the leadership of the NYS Assembly are an example of democracy in action, when the public rises up, attend meetings, visit legislators, write letters, create web sites and Facebook pages, the electeds listen.

Commissioner King, although well-intentioned did not, or refused, to understand that the public, primarily parents and teachers care deeply about their children and their profession. You cannot bully to change, reform is a process, and if change is viewed as punishment it will fail.

The Common Core State Standards became the symbol of evil, resistance grew and grew, and Pearson, the test-makers become a dirty word.

Kids who had done well in school suddenly failed state-wide exams, the Common Core State Standards seemed unfair, seemed punitive. Teachers, who were successful for years with the flash of a pen, became unsuccessful. Requests to slow down, to phase in the changes were ignored, not only ignored, but disrespected. From the Common Core to teacher evaluation, to new College and Career Readiness metrics, one massive rollout after another. Superintendents, principals and teachers were overwhelmed, no one was listening. Parent anger grew and was directed at local electeds, why couldn’t they slow down the train?

King was shuttled off to Washington, no matter, the anger continued to build.

Opt-Out Long Island has 20,000 members and growing, Opt-Out movements are growing across the state,

The governor flinched in June and introduced a law to slow the impact of the Common Core, and, out of anger/revenge or just plain nastiness vetoed his own bill.

Fred Dicker, in the NY Post, writes, democrats despise Cuomo,

“People in the party all hate him,’’ one of the state’s best-known Democratic operatives told The Post.

A prominent Democratic elected official added, “There’s an ABC factor at work here. It’s ‘Anybody But Cuomo.’’

Cuomo’s attack on teachers, his full-blown support of the King agenda escalated, parent and teacher anger seethed.

The Assembly leadership sent a signal: they “fired” two of the most senior members of the Board of Regents and added three public school superintendents to the Board. If you view the U-Tubes above you can watch the interviews, the superintendents are teachers, and as all educators they question the direction of education in New York State. Why the hyper-emphasis on testing? Why test kids every year? Why rate teachers by test student test scores?

While the governor is demanding that the use of student tests scores increase to 50% and 35% of observations are made by an outside entity, the new Regents, with many years of experience in the trenches demur.

Today the legislature will “elect” seven members of the Board, four new (see above) and three incumbents (Cashin, Tilles and Young), will the new members, all accomplished women, continue to follow the King policies or move the state in a different direction. And, the best way to make a statement is to select a commissioner who represents the parents, teachers and citizens of New York State, not ill-considered “reform” agenda out of Washington.

A number of times the former commissioner and his staff explained why DC “rules” or “regulations” prohibited what appeared to be a perfectly sensible idea, Harry Phillips, who chose not to run again, jumped in, “Let’s challenge the feds, let’s be disobedient”

Harry was right, hopefully the new Board will move the education ship of state back on course.


2 responses to “The “March Massacre:” The Legislature Dumps Two Senior Regents Members and Appoints Three Former Superintendents: Change Is In the Air.

  1. Seems like the pendulum is swinging back toward the novel idea that an educational policy-making Board should be composed of educators.

    Is it a coincidence that this is happening now that Sheldon Silver, who presided over (dictated) the selection of Regents, has indelicately been separated from his Speaker’s seat?


  2. Great article…I agree with every writing point youv’e asserted……


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