Perdido 03

Perdido 03

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

What's The Over/Under On MaryEllen Elia As NYSED Commissioner?

The rundown on new NYSED Commissioner MaryEllen Elia so far:

Creating a fear-based workplace where subordinates felt "browbeaten" and bullied.

Accused of trying to cover up district complicity in the death of a 7 year old special needs child.

Was the target of parent protest for lack of district response after a second special needs child died at a Hillsborough school.

Oversaw a school district that has been accused of racial discrimination in its discipline policies and is target of federal complaint.

Oversaw a school busing and choice program that created a "reign of chaos" at McLane Middle School for ten years.

Was dubbed "MaryEllen EVILia" by some parents for pursuing district policies that harmed children with special needs.

Couldn't play nice with the school board and was ultimately whacked in a 4-3 vote in January.

And that's just what we've learned in the first 24 hours since she surfaced as the new NYSED commissioner.

You can bet we'll learn more in coming days, but for now that's quite a list of negatives.

Michael Fiorillo thinks that by appointing so divisive and flawed a personage as MaryEllen Elia, reformers are signaling that the first string reform team isn't interested in tangling with LI and suburban NY parents over ed deform policies, the Endless Testing regime and the like:

Though Weingrew are to be criticized for their usual lapdog behavior, this woman's appointment is an oncoming train wreck for the so-called reformers, and will bite them in the ass. It suggests that they're having trouble getting A-List so-called reformers to take on Long Island and Westchester parents.

May this woman leave with her barbed tail between her legs...

There are certainly a whole host of red flags around this appointment.

Elia's inability to work well with the Hillsborough board, her rep for micromanaging, her rep for retaliation against perceived enemies, her rep for creating a toxic, FEAR-based workplace culture where subordinates were too afraid to tell her the truth, her refusal to come clean on the tragic death of the 7 year old child, the animosity she engendered from some parents (especially those with children of special needs), and her refusal to change course on district policies unless forced to suggest she isn't long for the New York State Education Department.

We'll see - maybe she'll read the political landscape and understand that a thin skin, harsh treatment of subordinates, dismissal of parent concerns and micromanaging the state isn't going to work at this point in time.

But I'm skeptical about that and will certainly be watching for her first screw-up.

Given her track record, it shouldn't be too long.


  1. The big 100 days in office, she will never reach it. My $$ is on the "under" 100 days.

  2. How golden is her parachute?

  3. I hope she does not allow herself to get humiliated like King John did--it was always sad when King said something only to be called aside by the witch and then have to correct himself. It is likely she will only have to deal with Tuschie for less than a year--but that alone would make her likely to hit the wall in a short time period.

  4. Another Cathie Black moment.

  5. A few points: 1) There is no doubt to the fact that she was hired to go to war with suburban parents of NYS over testing. 2) This is not the 1990's and is now the internet age. Every piece of mud surrounding her will surface and bite her hard. 3) Most importantly, she was TERMINATED from her las job as superintendent. This fact alone should prove that she does not have the sand to run the public schools of New York State. I give her one and half years tops. She left with 4 million dollars from her last job and she will not want to deal with the headaches that goes with this new gig.

    1. I agree that she was hired to get back at the parents. Parents if you are reading this, NYC DOE standard procedure when you complain they go after you. They do it sarcastically. Act like they are cooperating with you then they let you have it. In this case they are saying, oh here is a new chancellor. By the way she has mental issues, hope you don't mind.

  6. Elia is the new Black .

  7. My guess is she is gone within 6 months...this is a woman with an alligator skin who was purposely brought in to deal with suburban parents also. But her abrasive attitude and belligerent personality, and all of the baggage she brings to New York will be what sinks New York's latest reptile.

    While Black's head was in the clouds because she was too big for the people of New York, and John King's head was up something else because he was actually shell-shocked that parents knew better than him regarding thei children, Elia is going to actually galvanize the opt-out movement even further...

    She had already stated SH wants to clear the miscommunication with the parents regarding the testing flurry, this should already signal the disconnect between her and the parents of New York...her first shot over the bow is a disguised rose, but in less than six months, it will be the thorny stems she will be holding.

    She will not be able to play, for as long as Gates is willing to pay.
    Elia will last a while, flashing her phony smile...
    But after six months, be willing to call it a day,
    And head quickly...for the reformer turnstile.

    Parents 1, Education Destroyers 0

  8. How in the world can this woman be allowed to assume the position of SED commissioner with what has come out about her in the past 24 hours? The offer needs to be rescinded. The Board of Regents is once again making total fools of themselves.

    Speaking of making fools of themselves, Karen Magee and Randi Weingarten did a pretty good job of doing just that yesterday with their ludicrous praise of Elia.

    I also want to know why my dues are paying the bloated salary and benefits of NYSUT mouthpiece Carl Korn, who weighed in on Twitter with a series of inane comments.