FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: January 15, 2016
More information contact:
Lisa Rudley (917) 414-9190; firstname.lastname@example.org
NYS Allies for Public Education (NYSAPE) www.nysape.org
Strong, Collaborative Leadership A Must for the Board of Regents to Steer NY Education on the Right Path
NYS Allies for Public Education and organizations across the state stand firmly behind Dr. Betty Rosa for Chancellor of the NYS Board of Regents and Regent Beverly Ouderkirk for Vice Chancellor. (See list of organizations below)
New York State must embrace more child-centered and educationally sound policies. We must move away from a system that is punitive and dysfunctional, often catering to political influence. The Board of Regents needs new leadership that is committed to collaborative, inclusive, and research-based policy making. Only in this way can we begin to put students first and restore the public's trust in the New York State education system.
We believe that Betty Rosa and Beverly Ouderkirk can do just that as Chancellor and Vice Chancellor of the New York State Board of Regents. We place our support unconditionally behind these two career educators, both of whom are exceptional leaders.
Although this vote takes place within the ranks of the Regents themselves, advocacy efforts from parents and community members to their local and state legislators and Regent representatives can have a significant impact on this vote.
Regent Betty Rosa has extensive experience as a teacher, principal, superintendent, and college professor with a strong background in special education and ELL education. Please see here for Regent Rosa’s detailed background. Regent Beverly Ouderkirk also has an extensive background as a teacher, principal, superintendent, and has held several special education leadership positions. Please see here for Regent Ouderkirk’s detailed background. Both have traveled the state to talk to stakeholders to collaborate and gather important feedback on education policy.
We are calling on the Board of Regents to postpone the elections for the offices of Chancellor and Vice Chancellor vote until April, when the two open seats are filled with new Regents. The current plan calls for a vote in March (as per the Board’s bylaws), but we believe that it makes very little sense for two outgoing Regents to vote for the next leaders of the Board they will no longer be serving on.
Jeanette Deutermann, Long Island parent and leader of Long Island Opt Out states, "As the legislature, SED, and the Governor claim to be moving away from the harmful and failed reforms of the previous five years, we must have leadership on the Board of Regents that reflects these changes. While Regent members such as Merryl Tisch and Lester Young attempt to anchor the Board of Regents to the failed policies of the past, Regent Betty Rosa's vision for the future will launch us into a new era of child-centered, parent collaborative, and educator-driven educational excellence."
"We need a Chancellor like Regent Betty Rosa, a leader who has a strong background in education and understands how the current reform movement has negatively impacted the children of New York State. Furthermore, Beverly Ouderkirk as Vice Chancellor with her vast experience as an educator and background in special education would be an important change," says Chris Cerrone, Buffalo area parent, educator, and school board member.
"The Rochester-based Coalition for Justice in Education strongly endorses the candidacies of Regent Betty Rosa and Beverly Ouderkirk for the positions of Chancellor and Vice Chancellor of the New York State Board of Regents. We believe that Regents Rosa and Ouderkirk have the necessary educational experience, knowledge of education research, and organizational skills needed for this change, and will lead New York State in a direction that will meet the needs of all of our students, particularly those who suffer the negative impact of concentrated poverty," said Dan Drmacich, Chairman.
The New York branch of the Badass Teachers Association, an education activist group of over 70,000 nationwide, supports policy makers who have proven they stand for the best interest of students. “Betty Rosa has a proven track record of standing for children and not for Wall Street. Betty is also a former educator and understands all that goes into educating our children and providing them with what they need to succeed,” said Marla Kilfoyle, General Manager of the BATs.
“Regents Rosa and Ouderkirk have shown from the beginning their commitment to listen to parents and do the best for kids. Their experience and love for education is clear through their words and actions. They truly represent the interests of children,” said Margarita Garcia-Notario, PhD, North Country Alliance for Public Education founding member.
Jamie McNair, a parent of two children who attend public schools, educator and co-founder of Opt Out CNY, notes that it is past time for new leadership on the Board of Regents. "Opt Out CNY celebrates the departure of Regent Bottar from the Board and Vice Chancellor role, as it provides an opportunity for meaningful change in children's best interest. However, that change will come about more quickly, meaningfully, and with public support if there is a responsive, experienced and level-headed Chancellor at the helm. Regent Betty Rosa can provide the leadership that will allow the new Regent of Judicial District 5 to best serve the Central New York public."
Jamaal Bowman, father, and principal of CASA Middle School in the Bronx, stated, "The children, families, and educators of New York urgently need Dr. Betty Rosa as the next Chancellor of the Board of Regents. Not only is Dr. Rosa, representative of the communities most in need, her distinguished and impeccable resume speaks for itself. Most importantly, Dr. Rosa is passionate about a student centered, whole child, and community schools approach to education, which is desperately needed throughout the state. All children are brilliant and Dr. Rosa will help to create policy that cultivates the brilliance of every child, and is the perfect person to facilitate the recommendations of the common core task force. I strongly endorse Dr. Betty Rosa as the next Chancellor of the Board of Regents."
“Throughout her career, Ms. Ouderkirk has acted on her most central beliefs about education: assuring that the welfare and learning of all students is primary above all other concerns, and strengthening educational practice in all facets of the school,” said James C. Shuman, Ed. D. Associate Professor of Education Emeritus, St. Lawrence University.
The Hudson Valley Alliance for Public Education has also endorsed Regents Rosa and Ouderkirk for these leadership positions. Suzanne Coyle, Rockland County public school parent said, “Regents Rosa and Ouderkirk have consistently rejected the status quo, casting their vote against shoddy policies that hurt both students and educators. While many other members of the Board of Regents failed to take action to protect our children from damaging regulations this past June, Regents Rosa and Ouderkirk authored with four other Regents a dissenting position paper and advocated for students with disabilities and English language learners. Under their leadership, we will reclaim public education.”
Growing List of Supporting Organizations (alpha order)*:
Change the Stakes
Class Size Matters
Espanol Opt Out National (NY based)
Hudson Valley Alliance for Education
Long Island Opt Out and its numerous LI affiliate organizations
New York BATs
North Country Alliance for Public Education
NYS Allies for Public Education
Opt Out Central New York
Parent Coalition for Student Privacy
Pencils DOWN Rockland County
Port Jefferson Station Teachers’ Association
ReThinking Testing Mid-Hudson
Save Our Schools
Spackenkill Community Alliance for Public Education
The Rochester-based Coalition for Justice in Education
Westchester Opt Out
Western New Yorkers for Public Education
NYSAPE is a grassroots coalition with over 50 parent and educator groups across the state.
*Click Here to see the most current list of Supporting Organizations