New York’s Board of Regents on Monday elected member Betty Rosa to lead the education policy-making body through the next round of changes to the state’s learning standards, testing program and teacher evaluations.
Rosa, a former Bronx superintendent, takes over as chancellor from Merryl Tisch, who is stepping down from the board after 20 years, the last seven as its leader.
Rosa’s election pleased Orthodox groups who had grown increasingly alarmed as Tisch stridently called for state interference in the Orthodox-led East Ramapo school board.
Teachers unions and activist groups also welcomed the transition. Their opposition to reforms implemented under Tisch has culminated in recent years with widespread boycotts of high-stakes English and math assessments tied to the Common Core learning standards.
A critic of many of the reforms, Rosa will oversee the board through an ongoing overhaul of the Common Core and testing policies, as well as its process for rating teachers.
Alliance for Quality Education Executive Director Billy Easton called Rosa “a good listener and a reliable proponent of sorely needed solutions including essential parent engagement, expansion of community schools and educational policies based on what works in classrooms rather than the test and punish model that has been in vogue around the country.”
The 17-member board elected Rosa by a vote of 15-0 with two abstentions. Rochester-area Regent T. Andrew Brown was unanimously elected vice chancellor.
Members of the Board of Regents are elected by the state Legislature.
The East Ramapo chronicle is heating up as the legislature enters its final two weeks of budget talks. The Assembly is expected to approve a five-year monitor of the board. The monitor will be able to veto spending and other decisions of the democratically elected panel.
The state Senate is unlikely to move on the measure. Both the majority leader, John Flanagan, and Senate Education Committee chairman Carl L. Marcellino has said they will not take up the proposal.
On Thursday, Rockland County’s legislature voted unanimously to support the appointment of a monitor with veto power. Legislator Aron Weider, as well as three other Democratic lawmakers, were absent that day.