Special Reports

New York State Allies for Public Education Calls For Education Commissioner's Removal [VIDEO]


New York State Allies for Public Education, a group made up of parents, teachers, superintendents and other school leaders has requested the board of regents to replace Education Commissioner MaryEllen Elia. The group has a list of issues to support their complaint.

One is they didn't like the commissioner's response to Carl Paladino, the Buffalo City School Board Member who made racist comments about the Obamas. The group was also upset with Commissioner Elia's changes that implemented untimed test taking which meant many kids were taking tests all day long. Eileen Graham, a concerned parent, said Elia was not having a positive impact on the students.

She added that is why they want her to resign because they want leadership that will talk to their students. To take the information that students give them and put it in context so that the results would show on graduation rates she added.

Elia frequently makes visits to Rochester City School District, which was one of the worst performing districts in the state. She has not met with the parents during the said visits and Graham said they are still trying to understand Commissioner Elia's vision for the districts, communities and New York State.

WHEC reported, spokeswoman Emily DeSantis sent the group an email with a statement in response to the group's campaign. It said that during Commissioner MaryEllen Elia's term she made strides to improve the quality of education for all students in the state. She has been an educator for 47 years. The statement said that Commissioner Elia is focused solely on doing what's right for New York's three million school children working with the Board of Regents, parents and educators.

It also stated that the commissioner made a profound difference in working to improve New York's learning standards, student assessments and teacher evaluations, which happened to be major issues when she became commissioner.

The New York State Allies for Public Education has sent more than 240 letters to the Board of Regents calling for Elia's removal. The commissioner does not have intentions of stepping down.


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