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Membership of the New NY Education Reform Commission

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Senior Advisor, Providence Equity Partners, LLC
Chair of the New NY Education Commission

 

Richard (Dick) Parsons

Parsons was CEO of Time Warner from 2003-2008. He is credited for stabilizing the company after the merger with AOL and streamlining some of the media conglomerate's business practices. In its January 2005 report on America's Best CEOs, Institutional Investor names Parsons the top CEO in the entertainment industry. Parsons is the retired chairman of Citigroup, where he served from 2009-2012. He is currently a senior advisor to Providence Equity Partners.

 

Parsons got his start in New York politics as an assistant counsel and then first assistant counsel to Governor Nelson Rockefeller (1971-74), served as his Counsel when he was appointed Vice President, and then went on to work for President Gerald Ford. He is a moderate Republican who served as co-Chair (along with former NY Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan) of President George W. Bush's Social Security task force, and is also on President Obama's Council on Jobs and Competitiveness.

 

Parsons is a Brooklyn native and public school graduate. He is the current incumbent of the King Chair in Public Policy at Howard University, where he served as a trustee for more than 20 years, and is a member of the board of Teach for America.

 

Parsons has served on a number of boards and commissions, including chair emeritus of The New York City Partnership and Mayor's Commission on Economic Opportunity in New York. He currently serves as chairman of the Apollo Theater Foundation, co-chairman of the Advisory Council of the National Museum of African American History and Culture, and is on the boards of the Museum of Modern Art, the American Museum of Natural History and the Jazz Foundation of America.

 

Parsons is also a parent and grandparent of NYC public school students and a former school board member.

 


President, American Federation of Teachers, AFL-CIO

 

Randi Weingarten

Randi Weingarten is president of the 1.5 million-member American Federation of Teachers, AFL-CIO, which represents teachers; paraprofessionals and school-related personnel; higher education faculty and staff; nurses and other healthcare professionals; local, state and federal employees; and early childhood educators. With her leadership, the union has pursued an agenda that reforms education by holding everyone accountable, revamping how teachers are evaluated, and ensuring that children have access to broad and deep curriculum as well as wraparound services. Of particular note is the AFTs leadership in the "Reconnecting McDowell" partnership, the unprecedented public-private partnership to enhance educational opportunity for children in the McDowell County, West Virginia public schools in Central Appalachia, while addressing the underlying problems caused by severe and chronic poverty and economic decline.

 

Ms. Weingarten served for 12 years as president of the United Federation of Teachers, AFT Local 2, representing approximately 200,000 nonsupervisory educators in the New York City public school system, as well as home child care providers and other workers in health, law and education.

 

Ms. Weingarten also served on Governor Pataki's 2004 State Commission on Education Reform (a.k.a. the "Zarb Commission").

 

Ms. Weingarten holds degrees from Cornell University's School of Industrial and Labor Relations and the Cardozo School of Law. Born in 1957 and raised in Rockland County, New York, Weingarten now resides on Long Island and in Washington, D.C.

 


Founder & CEO, Harlem Children's Zone

 

Geoffrey Canada

In his 20-plus years as President and CEO of Harlem Children's Zone, Inc. (HCZ), Geoffrey Canada has become nationally recognized for his pioneering work helping children and families in Harlem and as a passionate advocate for education reform.

 

The HCZ provides comprehensive services to children and their families with the goal of ending the cycle of poverty by preparing and sending these children to college. The United States Department of Education created a $60 million competitive grant challenge for communities to recreate Canada's Promise Neighborhoods. Canada and his education reform agenda starred in Waiting for "SUPERMAN."

 

Despite his upbringing in troubled surroundings in the South Bronx, Mr. Canada was able to succeed academically, receiving a B.A. from Bowdoin College and a master's degree in education from the Harvard School of Education. After graduating from Harvard, Mr. Canada decided to work to help children who, like himself, were disadvantaged by their lives in poor, embattled neighborhoods. Mr. Canada is a former teacher and principal.

 

Mr. Canada is a parent of four children who attended public schools.

 


Retired Superintendent Onondaga-Cortland-Madison BOCES

 

Jessica Cohen

Dr. Jessica Cohen serves as OCM BOCES' District Superintendent and Chief Executive Officer, working closely with component districts as a liaison to and agent of the New York State Commissioner of Education.

 

Starting out as a school psychologist, Cohen has worked in education for 40 years. Before OCM BOCES, she was the assistant superintendent for instruction for the Delaware-Chenango-Madison-Otsego Board of Cooperative Educational Services since 1992.

 

Upon retirement this summer, Cohen, 64, will have held the position for nine years. As BOCES superintendent, Cohen also serves as a liaison between the state Education Department and local school districts. Cohen lives in DeWitt with her husband.

 


President & CEO, NYC Leadership Academy

 

Irma Zardoya

Irma Zardoya is the President and CEO of the NYC Leadership Academy, a national independent non-profit organization that works with states, school districts, universities and other organizations to develop effective leadership programs, with a focus on preparing and supporting principals to lead high-need schools. Born and raised in the Bronx, Ms. Zardoya has been an innovative agent for change on behalf of New York City public school students. Prior to joining the Leadership Academy, she worked with the New York City Department of Education (NYCDOE) in the citywide roll-out of the accountability tools and the establishment of collaborative inquiry teacher teams in every school.

 

From 2003 to 2006, Ms. Zardoya served as Superintendent of the former Region One in the Bronx, where she oversaw a portfolio of 134 schools. Prior, Ms. Zardoya served as Community School District 10 Superintendent for nine years and also as Deputy Superintendent of Community School District One on the Lower East Side, where she was instrumental in the development of "schools of choice," an initiative that supported small learner centered nurturing environments for students. She was principal of Community School 211, The Bilingual School, for nine years and, before that, the Executive Assistant to the Superintendent of Community School District 12. Ms. Zardoya began her career as a bilingual professional assistant and taught for seven years.

 

Ms. Zardoya was a member of the advisory group that developed the Principals' Institute at Bank Street College in the late 1980's which addressed the need to recruit and develop minorities and women to become principals in the New York City educational system. She has also taught as an adjunct professor at Bank Street College and Long Island University. She earned her M.S. degree from City College in Supervision and Administration and a B.S. degree from Thomas More College, Fordham University. Ms. Zardoya also participated in the Superintendent's Leadership Institute at Harvard University's Kennedy School for Government, which was sponsored by The Wallace Foundation.

 

Ms. Zardoya is a parent and grandparent.

 


Lake Placid School Board Member & Lake Placid Community Alliance for Responsible Excellence in Education (C.A.R.E.E)

 

Patricia Gallagher

Patricia Gallagher was born in Wilmington, NY and attended Lake Placid Elementary and Lake Placid High School. She graduated from Alfred State University of New York Nursing School in 1986. She received her RNFA from Delaware Community College in 1995 and her BS in Nursing from Regents College in New York in 2001. Patti and her husband, Chris, have 3 children who attend Lake Placid public schools.

 

Patti has been an emergency room nurse, a traveling nurse, labor and delivery nurse. Since 1993, she has worked full-time as an Orthopedic CRNFA for Lake Placid Sports Medicine Center. She has been involved in the FRIENDS parent-teacher organization at the Lake Placid Elementary School, a CAREE member and assists with the medical tent for the Lake Placid Ironman event.

 

Patti was elected to the Lake Placid School Board in May 2012. She became actively involved in her school district, because it became clear that the perspective of the parents with children currently enrolled in school was needed.

 


President, Bank Street College of Education

 

Elizabeth Dickey

Appointed in 2008, Elizabeth D. Dickey is Bank Street's sixth president. She received her B.A. in Art History from Lake Forest College in 1967, and her M.Ed. and Ed.D. from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst where she studied educational psychology. In addition, she held a two-year postdoctoral fellowship in the Yale University Medical School Department of Psychiatry from 1978-80 where she worked with Dan Levinson on his Adult Development Research Project.

 

Prior to her appointment at Bank Street, President Dickey was at The New School for seventeen years. Initially Dean of The New School/General Studies, she then served as Provost for several years before taking a faculty appointment at Milano in The New School for Urban Policy. There she resumed her research activities related to adult development. Prior to her time at The New School, President Dickey held faculty and administrative posts at Antioch College.

 


Former CEO & Chairman, Citigroup

 

Sanford I. Weill

Sanford "Sandy" I. Weill was born and raised in Brooklyn, New York and married his wife Joan shortly after graduating from Cornell University in 1955. Weill has had a successful career in buying, improving, and selling large companies.

 

In 1960, Weill and three partners started a small brokerage: Carter, Berlind, Potoma & Weill. Over the next 20 years, Weill built the brokerage into the financial powerhouse Shearson, the second largest company in the securities industry. He sold Shearson to American Express in 1981, became President of American Express and turned around their failing insurance operation, Fireman's Fund.

 

In 1993, he regained control of Shearson and bought Travelers Group. In April 1998, Travelers Group merged with Citicorp, the parent company of Citibank, to create Citigroup, Inc.

 

At first, Weill served as Co-Chairman and Co-CEO with John Reed, but in 2000 Weill became the sole Chairman and CEO of Citigroup. Under Weill's leadership, Citigroup achieved unprecedented growth, earning $13 billion in 2001. Weill stepped aside as CEO in 2003 and retired from the Chairmanship in 2006.

 

Sandy and Joan Weill live in Greenwich, Connecticut. Weill is very well known for his active philanthropy.

 


President, Say Yes to Education

 

Mary Anne Schmitt-Carey

Mary Anne Schmitt-Carey is President of Say Yes to Education, Inc. (Say Yes), a national non-profit foundation committed to changing the lives of inner-city youth through the promise of post-secondary education and the delivery of comprehensive support services. Additionally, Say Yes to Education works with local government officials and stakeholders to leverage funding and offer wrap-around services to students and families in order to improve educational outcomes and college attainment. Ms. Schmitt-Carey is responsible for helping Syracuse reallocate resources to support their reform strategy.

 

Ms. Schmitt-Carey joined Say Yes from New American Schools (NAS), where she was the President, and the American Institutes for Research (AIR) in Washington, DC. Prior to joining NAS, Schmitt-Carey worked for the U.S. Department of Education as Director of the Goals 2000 Community Project, where she created and managed a support network for local communities seeking to improve education.

 

Ms. Schmitt-Carey earned her MBA degree from The Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania in May 2001 and graduated magna cum laude from SUNY Albany in May 1987, earning a BA degree in Political Science and English.

 

Ms. Schmitt-Carey is a parent.

 


Founder & Chair Emerita, PENCIL

 

Lisa Belzberg

Lisa Belzberg is the Founder and Chair Emerita of the non-profit organization PENCIL (Public Education Needs Civic Involvement in Learning). She has worked for political campaign consultant David Garth, as a producer of The Charlie Rose Show, as a Principal at Leeds Equity Partners, and is an Adjunct Professor at Teacher's College/Columbia University. Dr. Belzberg is a Member of the Board of Directors of Barnard/Columbia Center for Urban Policy, the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee, the Dean's Council/NYU Steinhardt School of Education, OneFamily Fund, and ActionCanada.

 

In 1999, Dr. Belzberg was presented with the John Stanford Education Heroes Award from the U.S. Department of Education for her "extraordinary work in helping children learn." Belzberg has a Ph.D. from the Steinhardt School of Education at New York University, a Masters in Economics and Public Policy from the London School of Economics and a B.A. degree with honors from Barnard College.

 

Ms. Belzberg is a parent of 6 children.

 


Co-Founder & Executive Director, Campaign for Educational Equity
Professor of Law & Educational Practice, Teachers College, Columbia University

 

Michael Rebell

Michael A. Rebell is an experienced litigator, administrator, researcher, and scholar in the field of education law. He is the executive director of the Campaign for Educational Equity and Professor of Law and Educational Practice at Teachers College, Columbia University. The Campaign seeks to promote equity and excellence in education and to overcome the gap in educational access and achievement between advantaged and disadvantaged students throughout the United States. He is also a member of the national Equity and Excellence Commission that is preparing a report that will be presented to the Secretary of Education and the Congress.

 

Previously, Mr. Rebell was the co-founder, executive director and counsel for the Campaign for Fiscal Equity. In CFE v. State of New York, the Court of Appeals, New York State's highest court, declared that all children are entitled under the state Constitution to the "opportunity for a sound basic education" and it ordered the State of New York to reform its education finance system to meet these constitutional requirements. Mr. Rebell has also litigated numerous major class action lawsuits, including Jose P. v. Mills, which involved a plaintiff class of 160,000 students with disabilities. He also served as a court-appointed special master in the Boston special education case, Allen v. Parks.

 

Mr. Rebell is the author or co-author of five books, and dozens of articles on issues of law and education. In addition to his research and litigation activities, Mr. Rebell is a frequent lecturer and consultant on education law. He is also currently adjunct Professor of Law at Columbia Law School and previously was a Visiting Professor at Harvard Law School, and for many years, a Visiting Lecturer at the Yale Law School. Mr. Rebell is a graduate of Harvard College and Yale Law School.

 

Mr. Rebell is a public school parent.

 


President & Executive Director, Education Resource Strategies

 

Karen Hawley Miles

Karen Hawley Miles is the president and executive director of Education Resource Strategies, Inc., a non-profit organization dedicated to helping urban school systems organize talent, time and money to create great schools at scale. Dr. Miles has worked intensively with Syracuse and other large urban school systems across the nation to analyze and improve their funding systems, school level resource use, and human capital and professional development systems.

 

Dr. Miles has taught school leaders at Harvard University, in school districts, for New Leaders for New Schools, and the Broad Institute for School Boards. She has a B.A. in Economics and Political Science from Yale University and a Doctorate in Education from Harvard University, specializing in school organization, change and finance.

 

Dr. Miles is the parent of two twin boys who were educated in the public education system.

 


Founder & CEO, Hispanic Information and Telecommunications Network, Inc.

 

José Luis Rodríguez

José Luis Rodríguez is Founder and Chief Executive Officer of the Hispanic Information and Telecommunications Network, Inc. (HITN), which was established in 1983 as a non-profit organization with the purpose of advancing the educational, cultural, and socio-economic aspirations of the Hispanic community.

 

Mr. Rodríguez's vision to create a national television network was realized in 1987, with the launch of HITN-TV: the first and only Latino-controlled, non-commercial, "PBS-like" Spanish-language network in the US, with service that reaches more than 40 million households nationwide with carriage on both Satellite and Cable.

 

HITN-TV's award-winning programming - including En Forma con Carlos Pina, Dialogo de Costa a Costa, and La Vida Privata de las Plantas - reflects Mr. Rodríguez's continuing commitment to education. Many HITN programs were developed with youth and education in mind and include distance learning strategies.

 

Mr. Rodríguez's lifelong advocacy of education as a way for Hispanic to succeed in and contribute to the world made HITN's participation in One Economy's Connect to Compete initiative a foregone conclusion, giving HITN the opportunity to assist in building a foundation of digital empowerment for lower income families on a national level.

 

Mr. Rodríguez received a Bachelor's Degree from the University of Puerto Rico in Business Administration, then moved to New York City to pursue graduate work in School Administration and Supervision at Teachers College of Columbia University. With over 25 years of experience in education, he has served as a teacher, a United Federation of Teachers delegate (elected citywide), a National Education Association representative, a daycare center director, a guidance counselor, an assistant principal, and - at age 25 - the youngest principal in New York City's public school history.

 

Mr. Rodríguez is a parent and grandparent of public school students.

 


Associate Partner, Bellwether Education Partners

 

Sara Mead

Sara Mead is an associate partner with Bellwether Education Partners, a non-profit organization working to improve educational outcomes for low-income students. She has written extensively on education issues including federal and states education policy, charter schools, teacher effectiveness, and early childhood education. Her work has been featured in numerous media outlets including The Washington Post, The New York Times, and USA Today, and she has appeared on CBS and ABC News and on NPR.

 

Before joining Bellwether, Ms. Mead directed the New America Foundation's Early Education Initiative. She has also worked for Education Sector, the Progressive Policy Institute, and the U.S. Department of Education. Ms. Mead serves on the District of Columbia Public Charter School Board, which authorizes charter schools in the District of Columbia and holds them accountable for results, and on the board of Democrats for Education Reform.

 


Former Chairman & President, Duquesne Capital

 

Stanley Druckenmiller

Stanley Druckenmiller is the former Chairman and President of Duquesne Capital, which he founded in 1981. He closed the hedge fund in August 2010 because he felt unable to deliver high returns to his clients. Mr. Drunckenmiller was the lead portfolio manager at George Soros's Quantum Fund from 1988-2000.

 

In 2009, Mr, Druckenmiller was the most charitable man in America, giving $705 million to foundations that support medical research, education, and anti-poverty work. Mr. Druckenmiller is Chairman of the Board of Harlem Children's Zone, which was founded by his fellow Bowdoin College alumnus Geoffrey Canada. In 2006, Druckenmiller gave $25 million to the organization. Mr. Druckenmiller and his wife are also principal sponsors of the New York City AIDS walk.

 


Vice Chancellor of Community Colleges, CUNY, retiring

 

Eduardo Martí

Eduardo Martí is an experienced educator who has led several community colleges with distinction for more than 25 years. Dr. Martí is retiring as Vice Chancellor for Community Colleges at CUNY, a position he has held since 2000. Previously, Dr. Martí was the President of Queensborough Community College, as well as President of SUNY's Corning Community College, and for eight years, as President of SUNY's Tompkins Cortland Community College.

 

An advocate for community college education, high standards and traditional values of education, Dr. Martí serves on the Board of Trustees of Teachers College at Columbia University, as well as the Community College Research Center Advisory Board of Teachers College at Columbia University. Additionally, he serves as Chair of the Board for the Hispanic Educational Telecommunications System (HETS), a member of the Board of Governors of the Council for Aid to Education, and of The College Board's Advisory Board on Community Colleges. Having serves on the Board of the American Association of Community Colleges (AACC) and was a member of the Middle States Commission on Higher Education in October 2010.

 

Dr. Martí holds a Bachelor of Arts, Master of Science, and Ph.D. degrees in biology from New York University.

 

Dr. Martí is a parent and grandparent of public school students.

 


Professor of Education & Economics, Harvard Graduate School of Education

 

Thomas Kane

Thomas Kane is Professor of Education and Economics at the Harvard Graduate School of Education. Over the past three years, he has directed the Measures of Effective Teaching project for the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the largest study of instructional practice ever undertaken. His research has influenced thinking on a range of topics in K-12 and higher education, including: measuring teacher effectiveness, to school accountability, to college financial aid, to charter schools, to race-conscious college admissions and the economic payoff to a community college education. Mr. Kane has been a faculty member at Harvard's Kennedy School of Government and UCLA's School of Public Affairs as well as serving as a senior economist in President Clinton's Council of Economic Advisers. He has held visiting fellowships at the Brookings Institution and the Hoover Institution at Stanford University.

 

Mr. Kane is a public school parent.

 


Executive Director, Rochester Parent Power Project

 

Carrie Remis

Carrie Remis began her career in education in 1994 as an advocate for New York State's community college system, representing both the college presidents and boards of trustees. She later served on the administration of the University of Rochester's Eastman School of Music and the Margaret Warner Graduate School of Education and Human Development. As Director of Admissions and Enrollment Management at the Warner School, she led the overhaul of the teacher and administrator recruitment program in response to sweeping changes to New York State's teacher credentialing system enacted by former Commissioner Richard Mills.

 

It was as a parent leader in the Rochester City School District that Ms. Remis became concerned about inequities within the public school system and the limited opportunities for meaningful community participation to address these systemic problems. In 2006 she co-founded the Rochester Fund for Educational Accountability, a volunteer organization of professionals who provided pro bono advocacy and policy guidance for Rochester's low-income families encountering barriers to their participation. She frequently consults on Title I, shared decision-making and transparency to Rochester's faith community, grassroots organizations and parent groups working for educational justice.

 

In 2007, Ms. Remis joined the administration of the former Nazareth Schools, an independent K-12 Catholic school system with a long tradition of excellence and diversity. As Director of Enrollment Management, she became convinced of the transformative power of school choice in the lives of students living in poverty. The Parent Power Project is in large part inspired by her work with Nazareth families seeking transfers from failing city schools.

 

Ms. Remis is a former member of the Democrat and Chronicle's Board of Contributors and frequent contributor of articles on education reform. She serves on the National School Choice Week Coalition, the Rochester Student Lobbyist Association and the New York Campaign for Achievement Now advisory board.

 

Ms. Remis and her husband Tom have a daughter in a public high school in the Greater Rochester region.

 


CEO, New Leaders for New Schools

 

Jean Desravines

Jean Desravines serves as the chief executive officer of New Leaders, a national non-profit organization dedicated to ensuring high academic achievement for all children, especially students in poverty and students of color, by developing transformational school leaders and advancing the policies and practices that allow great leaders to succeed. In February 2011. Prior to his appointment as CEO, Mr. Desravines served as chief officer for cities and policy at New Leaders for five years. Jean has more than 15 years of professional leadership experience working with parents and communities on education issues and community development, with a primary focus on improving outcomes for children in underserved communities.

 

Before joining New Leaders, Mr. Desravines served as senior counselor to the chancellor of New York City's public school system. He has also served as the executive director for the Office of Parent and Community Engagement, chief of staff to the senior counselor for Education Policy, and director for community relations at the New York City Department of Education, as well as director of organizational development and community programming for the Faith Center for Community Development, Inc.

 

Mr. Desravines earned a Bachelor of Arts in history from St. Francis College and a master's degree in Public Administration from New York University, where he was the recipient of the Dean's Scholarship - the school's most prestigious scholarship.

 

Mr. Desravines and his wife Melissa reside in Long Island and have two children.

 


Executive Director & Co-Founder, Innosight Institute

 

Michael Horn

Michael Horn is the co-founder and executive director of the Innosight Institute, a non-profit think tank devoted to applying the theories of disruptive innovation to solve problems in the social sector. He has written widely about the emergence of digital learning and how to blend technology with traditional classroom instruction. Mr. Horn has testified at many state legislative sessions and is a frequent keynote speaker at education conferences and planning sessions around the country.

 

In addition, he serves on a variety of boards, including as an executive editor of Education Next, a journal of opinion and research about education policy, and as a board member of Fidelis, a technology company that provides an end-to-end education solution for the military-to-civilian career transition. Mr. Horn is also an advisory board member for the Shared Learning Collaborative, a joint initiative funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and the Carnegie Foundation, as well as on the Education Innovation Advisory Board at Arizona State University.

 

Mr. Horn holds an MBA from the Harvard Business School and a BA in history from Yale University.

 


Chancellor, State University of New York

 

Chancellor Nancy Zimpher

In June 2009, Nancy L. Zimpher became the 12th Chancellor of the State University of New York, the nation's largest comprehensive system of higher education. Since that time, she has led the university in creating and launching a systemwide strategic plan called The Power of SUNY, with the central goal of harnessing SUNY's potential to drive economic revitalization and create a better future for every community throughout New York.

 

Dr. Zimpher is active in numerous state and national education organizations, and is a leader in the areas of teacher preparation, urban education, and university-community engagement.

 

Prior to coming to SUNY, Dr. Zimpher served as president of the University of Cincinnati, chancellor of the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, and executive dean of the Professional Colleges and dean of the College of Education at The Ohio State University.

 

Chancellor Zimpher is the parent of three children, all of whom were educated in the public school system.

 


Chancellor, City University of New York

 

Chancellor Matthew Goldstein

Dr. Goldstein has served in senior academic and administrative positions for more than 30 years, including president of Baruch College, president of the Research Foundation, acting vice chancellor for academic affairs of CUNY and president of Adelphi University. He has held faculty positions at several colleges and universities and has written extensively in mathematics and statistics.

 

Under Dr. Goldstein's leadership, CUNY is experiencing a widely lauded transformation. The University has raised academic standards, improved student performance, increased enrollment, built its faculty corps, created new colleges and schools, and expanded its research capacity.

 

Currently, Dr. Goldstein is a member of the Board of Trustees of the JP Morgan Funds, the Museum of Jewish Heritage, the Business-Higher Education Forum, as well as a director of the Lincoln Center Institute for the Arts in Education, ex officio. By appointment of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo, he is co-chair of the New York City Regional Economic Development Council. He previously served as chair of the 2010 New York City Charter Revision Commission at the appointment of Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg.

 

Dr. Goldstein earned his doctorate from the University of Connecticut in mathematical statistics, and a bachelor's degree with high honors in statistics and mathematics from CUNY's City College.

 

Chancellor Goldstein has two children who were educated in the public school system.

 


Commissioner, New York State Department of Education and
President, University of the State of New York

 

Dr. John B. King, Jr.

Dr. John B. King, Jr. was appointed by the Board of Regents to serve as Commissioner of Education and President of the University of the State of New York (USNY) on May 16, 2011. USNY is comprised of more than 7,000 public and independent elementary and secondary schools; 270 public, independent and proprietary colleges and universities; 7,000 libraries; 900 museums; 25 public broadcasting facilities; 3,000 historical repositories; 436 proprietary schools; 48 professions encompassing more than 761,000 licensees plus 240,000 certified educators; and services for children and adults with disabilities.

 

Dr. King previously served as Senior Deputy Commissioner for P-12 Education at the New York State Education Department. In that role, Dr. King was responsible for ensuring quality and accountability for New York State's education system, which serves 3.1 million students. Dr. King coordinated the development of New York State's successful Race to the Top application, which earned the second highest point total of the winning states in Round 2 and secured $696.6 million to support the P-12 education reform agenda of the Board of Regents: (1) making New York State's educational standards and assessments more rigorous and better aligned to college and career readiness; (2) developing a comprehensive P-20 data system and instructional reporting system that provides accurate, actionable, and interconnected data to support improved decision making at all levels of education; (3) improving the preparation, evaluation, professional development, and support of teachers and school leaders; and (4) working with districts and partner organizations to turn around the state's lowest performing schools.

 

Dr. King brings to his role extensive experience leading urban public schools that are closing the achievement gap and preparing students to enter, succeed in, and graduate from college. Prior to his appointment as Senior Deputy Commissioner, Dr. King served as a Managing Director with Uncommon Schools, a non-profit charter management organization that operates some of the highest performing urban public schools in New York, New Jersey and Massachusetts. Prior to joining Uncommon Schools, Dr. King was Co-Director and Principal of Roxbury Preparatory Charter School. Under his leadership, Roxbury Prep's students attained the highest state exam scores of any urban middle school in Massachusetts, closed the racial achievement gap, and outperformed students from not only the Boston district schools but also the city's affluent suburbs. Prior to founding Roxbury Prep, Dr. King taught high school history in San Juan, Puerto Rico and Boston, Massachusetts.

 

Dr. King earned a B.A. in Government from Harvard University, an M.A. in the Teaching of Social Studies from Teachers College, Columbia University, a J.D. from Yale Law School, and an Ed.D. in Educational Administrative Practice from Teachers College, Columbia University. In February 2011, Dr. King was appointed by U.S. Secretary Arne Duncan to serve on the U.S. Department of Education's Equity and Excellence Commission. In addition, Dr. King has served on the board of New Leaders for New schools and is a 2008 Aspen Institute-New Schools Entrepreneurial Leaders for Public Education Fellow.

 


Chair, Senate Education Committee

 

Senator John Flanagan

Senator John J. Flanagan represents the Second Senate District, which includes the entire Town of Smithtown and portions of both the Town of Brookhaven and the Town of Huntington. He was first elected to represent this portion of Suffolk County in 2002.

 

Senator Flanagan is currently the Chairman of the Senate Standing Committee on Education. He has been a constant voice for educational quality in New York State with a long history of fighting to ensure that all regions get their fair share of State Aid to reduce class size and to protect property taxpayers.

 

To enhance safety in all schools he represents, Senator Flanagan has supported the Safe Schools Against Violence in Education Act (Project SAVE) and worked to permanently extend the Child Safety Zone law which gives otherwise ineligible children access to bus service. And to help provide all students with the ability to succeed, he has also expanded funding for pre-kindergarten programs, made college more affordable by maintaining funding for New York State's tuition assistance program and also has been supportive of the college savings programs that allow for tax-free savings and increased deductions for future college tuition payments.

 

Senator Flanagan resides in East Northport with his wife, the former Lisa Perez of Maryland. Together, they have raised three children including a daughter who recently graduated from college, a son who is currently attending college and a younger son who is a student in the Northport-East Northport School District.

 


Chair, Assembly Education Committee

 

Assembly Member Cathy Nolan

Catherine Nolan represents the 37th Assembly District in Queens County, which includes the historic New York City neighborhoods of Sunnyside, Ridgewood, Long Island City, Queensbridge, Ravenswood, Astoria, Woodside, Maspeth, Dutch Kills and Blissville. She was first elected to the Assembly in 1984.

 

A resident of the district for most of her life, she is a graduate of St. Aloysius R.C. School and Grover Cleveland High School. Assemblywoman Nolan graduated from New York University cum laude with a B.A. degree in Political Science.

 

Speaker Sheldon Silver appointed Assemblywoman Nolan to Chair the Assembly's Committee on Education in 2006. She has spearheaded efforts to achieve class size reduction, universal pre-k, middle school initiatives, improve high school graduation rates and other measures that will ultimately mean success for the more than three million school children in New York State. As a parent of a public school student, Assemblywoman Nolan brings a parent's perspective to ongoing education debates.