NEW YORK STATE BADASS TEACHERS ASSOCIATION - PRESS RELEASE
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: May 26, 2015
More Information Contact:
Marla Kilfoyle, General Manager, BATs
Melissa Tomlinson, Asst General Manager, BATs
Badass Teachers Association - http://www.badassteacher.org/
NY BATs – New York Education Commissioner – No Good for NYS Kids!
The New York Badass Teachers Association, is a diverse pro-public education organization of 3,287 members. It is the state affiliate of the Badass Teachers Association, currently 55,328 strong nationwide.
NY BATs strongly denounce the appointment of MaryEllen Elia as the new Commissioner of Education in New York. Assemblyman James Tedisco stated, “Today, the Regents jumped the shark and appointed an anti-education Common Core defender as New York State Education Commissioner. The new Commissioner, MaryEllen Elia, was terminated in January from her position as Superintendent of Schools in Hillsborough County Florida.”
Retired New York teacher and special education advocate, Terry Kalb, “Elia's board in Florida was willing to pay a million dollars for her to leave- that should have given the Regents reason to look elsewhere when there are so many excellent candidates who are NY public education superintendents. The parents of NY were promised an open process. Instead, there was an "emergency" meeting behind closed doors, and no public vetting. New York students deserve better than a Superintendent who was run out of town.”
NY parent and teacher Marla Kilfoyle asks, “Where is the process and transparency that parents and teachers were promised?”
MaryEllen Elia comes to NY by way of Hillsborough County, Florida where she was an ardent supporter of evaluating teachers on test scores, merit pay, and Common Core. NY BAT Michael Hirsh said, "The newly appointed commissioners stand and key educational issues is crystal clear, well documented, and go against everything the people of New York have loudly indicated they wish to see. She is an avid supporter of high stakes testing, who has little compassion for high needs students. She uses heavy handed tactics to push through her disconnected agenda and is certainly not the right candidate for the job."
We are not optimistic. Reports from our Florida BATs and parents are not positive. They report she has a record of ignoring parents of special needs students and high suspension/discipline rates for children of color happened under her watch. “Without a doubt, this district (Hillsborough) has built one of the worst school-to-prison pipelines in the state of Florida,” said community activist Marilyn Williams, who last year filed a federal complaint against the school district, which is now being investigated, over possible racial disparities in school discipline.
The children of New York deserve better and the Board of Regents has once again let them down!
MORE COMMENTARY FROM NY BATs
MORE COMMENTARY FROM NY BATs