Jessica Bakeman at Capital NY reports a political price was just paid by two (now former) long-time members of the Board of Regents:
ALBANY—The two long-serving members of the state Board of Regents ousted by lawmakers on Tuesday were brave soldiers for the Common Core standards and other recent education reform efforts, board chancellor Merryl Tisch said.
And ultimately, she said, Robert Bennett and James Dawson, each of whom have served more than two decades, were casualties of recent battles over the controversial policies.
“Do I see these replacements as a reaction to what people are hearing in their home districts? Absolutely,” Tisch told reporters after members of the Assembly and Senate deliberated in a joint session for five hours on seven of the board’s 17 seats. “A lot is frustration. A lot is misinformation. But … these are remarkably courageous public servants who really stood on a front line and took a lot of incoming, a lot of incoming. [They] put themselves in public space a lot. [They] put themselves in harm’s way a lot.
Ultimately, the Assembly Democrats, who control the process, booted Bennett and Dawson while re-electing three others, two of whom are among the loudest critics of the board’s policies. Lawmakers also chose four new members, all women with experience in public education. Three are minorities.
Even though lawmakers were more vocally critical of the board last year, they made a much stronger statement on Tuesday, replacing two members who had served for more than two decades and electing four new members.
Bennett, former chancellor of the board who has served since 1995, and Dawson, a geology professor at SUNY Plattsburgh who has served since 1993, got word in the days before Tuesday's election that they would not be reappointed.
Make no mistake, the members of the Board of Regents have seen themselves as untouchable previous to last year, though with one Regent replaced last year and two more whacked this year, they should no longer view themselves that way.
A political price has been paid for shilling for deform and the potential exists for more functionaries to pay that price.
With Sheldon Silver under indictment for corruption and stripped of his speaker role, Regents Chancellor Tisch no longer has a protector in power to help her maintain her position.
She's next on the list to go.