Perdido 03

Perdido 03

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Rob Astorino Says Its Time To Make The Board Of Regents Accountable To Voters

The Times-Union reports that GOP gubernatorial candidate Rob Astorino released a 15 point education plan yesterday, with Astorino's call for replacing the Common Core in New York coming at the top of the plan list.

But I found this part most interesting:

Astorino's plan also includes changing the process for selecting the leaders of the the state's educational system. He'd like to see the 13-member Board of Regents elected by voters in each region; the current board is elected by a majority vote of the Legislature, a system that hands power to the numerically dominant Assembly Democratic conference — a body that would be unlikely to approve the change.

Astorino would hand selection of the state education commissioner to the governor, with the final approval of the Board of Regents. The board currently selects the commissioner.

Currently NYSED Commissioner John King and Regents Chancellor Merryl Tisch believe they are unaccountable to the public, which is why they continue to pursue an education reform agenda that is becoming more and more unpopular with both parents of school-age children and the public at large.

I think it is time to make the members of the Board of Regents accountable to the voters.

It's not as if the appointment process for Regents members is working.

The last member appointed knew little about the Common Core and other education issues but was fast-tracked through the legislature when Assembly leaders decided one member of the Board of Regents had to be sacrificed to assuage anger over the state's education reform agenda.

After news outlets reported the new Regents member was a "spiritual weight loss entrepreneur" with a website full of spelling errors touting her abilities, several Assembly members were heard to exclaim "What did we do? What did we do?"

Indeed, what did they do?

They followed the Assembly leadership who told them to vote "yes" on a candidate for the Board of Regents they knew nothing about.

It's time to change this corrupt Regents appointment process.

I would leave the appointment of the commissioner to the Board of Regents rather than hand that power to the governor.

But I agree with Astorino that it is time to make the members of the Board of Regents accountable to the voters of this state.

You'd see a vastly different reform process if Merryl Tisch knew she had a re-election to run and John King knew his low approval ratings meant he was going to be out of a job soon.

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