Regent Johnson Forum – Brewster

I had the pleasure of attending an education forum which featured a presentation with Regent Johnson.   It was in my home school district, and attendance was dismal.    This was the fourth forum that I have attended where Regent Johnson was a featured speaker.  Attendance was light, with only about 30 people in the audience.

Below is a summary of my notes so the writing will be rough.  I will try to refine and edit later.

“What can we do to help?”

Not be quiet, voices are heard, and we are listening; We would not be here today if it was not for Opt Out parents.  This is a lesson in civil disobedience.

Apology – for disruptive changes, key decision makers were left out; now 9 out of 17 Regents are former superintendents and, for the first time, the majority are women.

Shaming teachers has been an embarrassment for this state.

NCLB was a ‘Theory of Action’ and bi-partisan.  The theme was right, the implementation is where the law became so flawed.

Graduation rates increased but the achievement gap also increased.

In the US, 6 out of 10 children live in poverty.  And we do not fund our schools adequately.

A good accountability system is a cycle of continuous improvement.

Title 1 started with LBJ;  should be reauthorized every seven years, ESSA came after 10 years.

This is the only country where students do not speak two languages; hence the decision to bring back the LOTE Regents; so that diplomas can have a seal of bi-literacy.

Learning is complex; assessments should be complex as well.

Professional capacity building – ‘Moral Panic’ – lay blame on public school teachers.

Room for improvement in teacher preparation; takes three to four years to build professional confidence, and move from the script.  Evaluation system should focus on creating great teachers.

In 5 years enrollment in NYS teaching programs dropped to 400,000 from 600,000/700,000 while babyboomers are retiring.

It now costs $2,500 for teacher certification tests, and if you fail, you pay again.

AimHighNY – is a Data Dashboard.

Multiple measures for assessment; teamwork as an integral part of education.

New to ESSA -School Quality Review

Regent Johnon Co-chair of Research-based work group – new initiatives need evidence that it works or evidence that it is promising that it will work.

  1. Standardized tests are too narrow
  2. How do you retain teachers?  Had to pass a resolution to allow uncertified teachers to teach for 90 days because schools cannot find anyone.
  3. Pay Up – IDEA has never paid up to the 40% as stated; most has been 20%.  Cuomo withholding CFE money; redefine poverty as there are regional/geographic differences

Learning standards – Regent Johnson is a supporter of the concept of higher learning standards (me: this is a departure from her earlier statements that she supports Common Core) but what exactly is that?

Hammond-Darling vs Dewey – Regent Johnson – we need to blend both theories.


How do you envision pathways for special education for diploma?  Superintendents determination allowed 328 students to graduate and there is more to come.  “I envision that there will be performance based tests”

Regent Johnson – assessments will happen though out the year. (me – this sounds like CBE and I think she needs to see more research on what CBE is theory of action vs reality of implementation).

We will see a major shift in 2019.

Tax Cap: Legislative body & Cuomo on the other side.  Districts are approaching bankruptcy; losing programs (ie district in Rockland that will have to cut K next year but will have UPK funding).  BOR/NYSED seldom win the money fights.

Completely revising the teacher evaluation system.

Will be addressing the opening the Consortium model schools this year.

There is no research on the efficacy of testing 3rd grade – Regent Johnson supports assessments that inform practice.

Never use the word remediation.

Do the survey on

And, the federal government is pushing the 95% punishment, so there is a question asking what the punishment should be.






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