Perdido 03

Perdido 03

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Regents Refuse To Meet With Parents Over Testing Concerns In NY State

That's the essential takeaway from this exchange:

A group of parents concerned about the Board of Regents standardized testing program called on the board to meet with them.

Dennis Tompkins, a spokesman for the State Education Department, said people are welcome to show up during the 20 SED meetings scheduled statewide to address concerns and take comments. The fourth session is Thursday evening in the Rochester area. At least one regent is attending each meeting, he said.

This response from SED is a joke.

They are controlling access to the commissioner and the attending regent at these meetings (see here for that), so the chances of a member of the public getting a chance to voice his/her concerns to a regent in person are negligible at best.

And in any case, the parents are asking to meet with the Board of Regents as a whole, not one regent in a parking lot as everyone heads for their cars after a Common Core town hall.

A commenter on this story puts the whole thing in perspective:

SED just doesn’t get it. The Board, not one, but all of them should give the public access as a collective body in a Q&A type forum. But nope they won’t do it, they are all smarter than us, they all know better. Its absolute and complete unaccountability representing almost 1/3 of our budget. So what Senator and “DEMOCRATIC” assembly-member is going to put in the constitutional amendment to abolish the board of regents and put SED under the executive branch, where it belongs? Not a single one. This debacle is all on Speaker Silver, he hand selected every single one of these regents. He has been supporting SED for every single one of his 20 years in power. Now we have a hand selected young, inexperienced, arrogant man running one of the largest state agencies in the state, who doesn’t even have the credentials to be a superintendent of a small school district and has zero credibility. This is just a nightmare no matter how you look at it.

That's it - Shelly Silver is responsible for all these regents who are imposing their corporate education reform agenda upon the state even as the revolt over that agenda grows and grows.

If we want to to put an end to that corporate reform agenda imposition, Shelly Silver and the Assembly members are the people to target with protests, letters, emails and calls.

Same goes for Governor Cuomo and politicians in both parties in the State Senate.

While the governor does not pick members of the Board of Regents or the SED commissioner,he certainly has great influence in state education policy.

The functionaries at SED and their bosses at the Board of Regents are not going to listen to students, parents, teachers or administrators complaining about the Common Core curriculum, the implementation of the Core, the "suggested" SED modules aligned to the Core, the Common Core tests, the teacher evaluation system tied to the test scores, or the data project handing over sensitive and personal student information to Rupert Murdoch and Bill Gates.

We have to make Shelly Silver and the Assembly Dems, Dean Skelos and the Senate Republicans, Jeff Klein and the Senate Democrats, and Governor Cuomo know that there will be expensive political prices to be paid if they continue to ignore the will of the people in these matters.


  1. Shelly Silver should go. He has way too much power and it looks like he is in the pockets of the neoliberals.

  2. Great point you've been on: People have to get the pols to get Commissioner King out.
    The Regents appoint King. So, we have to put the pressure on the people that choose the King --Commissioner John King: the state legislature.
    Take a look at this press release from Silver's office, from March 2, 2010. The Regents terms are up in 2015.
    Legislature Re-Elects Six Members To The
    Board Of Regents

    Legislature Re-Elects Six Members To The
    Board Of Regents

    Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver, Education Committee Chair Catherine Nolan and Higher Education Committee Chair Deborah Glick today announced, in a concurrent resolution of the legislature, the reelection of Lester W. Young, Jr., Karen Brooks Hopkins, Harry Phillips III, James C. Dawson, Robert M. Bennett and Roger Tilles to the New York State Board of Regents.

    The Board is comprised of 17 members elected by the Legislature for five-year terms. One member is elected from each of the state's 13 judicial districts and four members serve at-large.

    "The reelection of these six highly qualified individuals to the Board of Regents underscores the Assembly Majority's continued commitment to provide all New Yorkers with a sound, basic education," said Silver (D-Manhattan). "We look forward to continuing to work with the returning Regents on statewide education policy, to ensure our students are prepared to enter the workforce."

    "It is important for the state at this critical juncture to have the experience of these returning Regents," said Nolan (D-Queens). "They are dedicated to upholding the goals and mission of the Board of Regents, which includes providing early childhood education through adult education for all New Yorkers."

    "The Board of Regents has been instrumental in making New York State a leader in education," said Glick (D-Manhattan). "I am pleased that we have such talented individuals committed to the well-being and advancement of students across the state."


    The Board of Regents was established in 1784 and is the oldest, continuous state education entity in the United States. The Regents are responsible for the general oversight of all educational activities within the state, presiding over the State University of New York and the state Education Department.