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Message from Dr. Robert J. Reidy, Jr.

 

Dear Colleagues:

The Council has recently published a document entitled, Public Education Matters:  Leadership, Leverage and Learning.  It presents our vision, as New York’s school superintendents, for reclaiming the promise of our public schools. 

The report was developed by a committee of superintendents from across the state, chaired by Jere Hochman, superintendent of the Bedford Central School District in Westchester County.

In this report, we seek to remind ourselves and all our fellow New Yorkers of enduring core beliefs about the purposes we share for our public schools and lessons learned over decades of striving to help more children succeed.  If we apply those beliefs and lessons to controversies today and tomorrow, we will light a path toward a better future for our students and our schools.

The following excerpt from our Envisioning statement addresses the question, "Why now?":

Unprecedented levels of discord currently exist in New York State over the direction of education reform. School leaders and policy makers are being confronted with a level of questioning and criticism of state policies governing instruction and assessment at a level unparalleled in recent memory.

The goal of the Regents’ Reform Agenda – improve learning for all students in New York State - has strong support in the education community. In October 2013, the New York State Education Conference Board (ECB)[1] reaffirmed this support in a document titled, Common Ground for the Common Core: Let’s Get it Right – Move the Common Core Back on Track.

Although the goal has been embraced by many educators, the rushed and problematic implementation of the reform has contributed significantly to the emotional tide of discontent sweeping New York State.

Superintendents bring urgency to the implementation of educational reform every day, in every corner of the state. However, we know that urgency does not absolve us from approaching the challenge in a systemic way. Quick fixes, which only address today’s issues, will not last; whereas systems developed from research with a focus on identifying the root cause of problems will.

This call to action emphasizes a systemic approach, the removal of artificial barriers to success, and presents a vision for public education every child deserves.

We must reclaim our obligation to every child, to society, and to the future.

The New York State Council of School Superintendents has led the development of this document and stands ready to support the superintendents of the state in embracing its challenge.

Sincerely,

Robert J. Reidy, Jr.,Ph.D.
Executive Director


[1] ECB Member Groups include: Conference of Big 5 School Districts, NYS Association of School Business Officials, NYS Congress of Parents and Teachers, Inc., NYS Council of School Superintendents, NYS United Teachers, School Administrators Association of NYS.