In Florida, she was known as a blunt, forceful whirl of energy, at times holding staff meetings at 6 a.m. “She’s one of the smartest, hardest-working people I know, but she doesn’t suffer fools gladly,” said Candy Olson, a former school-board member in Hillsborough County. “She knew everything going on in the district but that doesn’t leave a lot of time to reflect…. Sometimes she gets going and doesn’t always listen to all the other voices.”
Doretha Edgecomb, a school-board member and former principal, called her a bold visionary but said sometimes it would help her to slow down, “making sure those around her also understand the depth of her vision.”
Since her appointment, Elia has used language that makes her sound "collaborative":
In an interview in Albany this week, Ms. Elia talked in careful, measured tones. She said the debut of higher academic standards, harder tests and new evaluations at the same time created extra tension, in New York and nationally. “Whenever there is something new, there is a stress level,” she said. “I hope I can be a facilitator to establish more collaborative relationships between all the parties.”
But there are enough warning signs from her Hillsborough tenure that she's going to be an autocrat as NYSED commissioner, imposing her vision on the state, critics be damned.
You can see more negatives here, here, here , here and here.