General Bankstreet News

Elizabeth Dickey Appointed to NYS Education Commission

Posted by Nick Gray on May 17, 2012

NY Governor sealOn April 30, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo appointed Bank Street President Elizabeth Dickey to serve on the state’s new Education Reform Commission. The Commission, established by executive order, is charged with reviewing and recommending improvements to the state’s education system.

In noting the importance of the Commission’s work, President Dickey stated,

It is an honor and privilege to represent Bank Street in these crucial education policy discussions.  I look forward to participating on the Governor's Education Reform Commission and believe that the work of the commission will help inform serious discussion in the state of New York regarding teacher assessment and the future of progressive education.

Along with President Dickey, the Commission’s twenty participants include former Citigroup Chairman (and Bank Street Trustees’ Dinner emcee) Dick Parsons; Randi Weingarten, president of the American Federation of Teachers; and several leaders of colleges and education organizations.

In announcing the Commission, Governor Cuomo noted,

It is essential that we give New York students the knowledge and the tools to compete and to thrive in this highly competitive global economy. [The Commission] brings together educators, business, labor, non-profit leaders, and proven innovators to take a close look at our state's schools and come up with a blueprint for their future success.

The appointment comes at a challenging moment in state and national education policy making—particularly regarding the consequences of legally mandated standards-based teacher evaluations. The Governor recently expressed concerns about striking “an intelligent balance between the teacher’s right to privacy and the parent’s right to know and the public’s right to know.” In addition to its mandate to consider what such a balance might look like, the Commission will also recommend ways to promote teacher retention, improve support for high-needs communities, increase family engagement, and to effectively introduce technology into classrooms.

President Dickey’s participation on the Commission demonstrates Bank Street’s continuing legacy as a leading voice for progressive education in the policy arena. In recent months, the College hosted City Council Speaker Christine Quinn for a panel on finding alternatives to school closings; published an online journal exploring the politics of the teacher accountability movement; and presented a well-attended forum discussing the ramifications of New York’s new teacher and leader evaluation law.

In an announcement to the Bank Street community, Board Chair Tony Asnes described President Dickey’s appointment as a significant milestone in the College’s strategic plan:

One of the goals set out as a Strategic Priority for the College—and often referred to as enhancing Bank Street's place in the world—is to expand access to policy makers and serve as a resource on the educational policies and practices that we believe promote learning and equity. We welcome the opportunity for Elizabeth to bring our values and perspectives to the work of this new commission.

The Education Reform Commission is scheduled to present its initial findings and recommendations to Governor Cuomo in December 2012.

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