ALBANY — State education commissioner MaryEllen Elia said that her agency and Gov. Andrew Cuomo to be on the same page as the department and a Cuomo-created commission both push to review the Common Core standards and complete their reports before the governor's State of the State message in January.
“I don’t think that the work that’s being done by the governor’s commission excludes the work that’s being done by [the state education department], but clearly we need to work together,” Elia told POLITICO New York.
In another use of executive action to advance his education reform agenda, Cuomo earlier this month announced that his education commission also will do a comprehensive review of the implementation of the Common Core.
If I read that correctly, Elia's begging to not be thrown to the side as the "Common Core Review Party" gets under way.
And you can see why she's got that concern given this information:
The governor and the education commissioner have not discussed the matter in person, because they have yet to meet face to face, more than two months after Elia took over the department.
The commissioner and governor have spoken on the phone, Elia said.
“I’ve had multiple conversations with the governor. He’s been very busy, as have I," she said.
Oh, yeah, you're very busy and so is he, so you can't meet with him to discuss your joint plans on education because, well, you don't really have any joint plans because he's really running stuff even though nominally he has little power over education.
No wonder she's taken to begging Cuomo in public to be invited to the Common Core Review Party:
It’s a control issue, said former Bronx assemblyman Michael Benjamin, about Cuomo not meeting with Elia.
“The governor wants to do things on his own time table and kind of have her stew a bit before he meets her,” he said.
Unlike states where the education commissioner is appointed by the governor, New York's commissioner is appointed by the state Board of Regents, whose members are chosen by the Legislature.
“She is not his choice,” Gerald Benjamin, a professor of political science at SUNY New Paltz, said of Elia.
So here we are, just two and a half months into her NYSED tenure, and we're already seeing MaryEllen Elia having to fight to save herself from irrelevancy.
You know that over/under in Vegas on when Elia gets canned and/or decides to "spend time with her family"?
I think the odds are shifting a bit more toward "under."