It doesn’t augur well for excellence when the new chancellor of the state Board of Regents all but encourages parents to opt out of state assessments. It doesn’t even augur well for orderliness.
Betty A. Rosa stopped just short of advocating educational disorder, but it doesn’t take a high school graduate to understand what she means when she said to reporters: “If I was a parent, and I was not on the Board of Regents, I would opt out at this time, yes.”
Rosa, who may or may not be a shill for the state teachers unions, was the unanimous choice of the Regents to succeed former Chancellor Merryl H. Tisch. The difference could hardly be more stark. Tisch was a passionate advocate for high standards and the tests that are necessary to measure them. Rosa professes to be interested in “equity and social justice,” which are important concepts, to be sure, but empty ones if they don’t help children of all descriptions to succeed in an ever-more competitive world.Buffalo, way northwest on the shores of Lake Erie, about 400 miles from the epicenter of New York State opt-out activity, is an important voice in the fracas over standardized testing and accountability. While many Long Island and Westchester residents have access to great schools, Buffalo Public Schools has a high school graduation rate of 56% and only 12% of graduates are ready for college and/or careers. Attempts by administrators and school board members to lengthen school days and give more autonomy to principals -- both well-regarded strategies in raising student achievement -- have been stymied by the teacher union.
Here the Buffalo News hopes that "there will be more to [Rosa's] chancellorship than endorsing resistance." Someone should listen.