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New York - NYSED Commissioner Maryellen Elia Unexpectedly Announces Resignation

Published on: July 15, 2019 01:39 PM
Last updated on: July 15, 2019 02:29 PM
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FILE - State Education Department Commissioner MaryEllen Elia. | AP Photo/Mike GrollFILE - State Education Department Commissioner MaryEllen Elia. | AP Photo/Mike Groll

New York - Less than two weeks after re-releasing regulations that would have given New York State control over the number of hours of secular studies taught at private schools statewide, as well as mandating curriculum requirements, Department of Education Commissioner MaryEllen Elia has unexpectedly resigned.

Politico reported Anna Gronewold announced the news on Twitter, saying that Elia had submitted her letter of resignation today, catching the Board of Regents by surprise and quoting Chancellor Betty Rosa as saying “obviously this is an issue that has caught us all off guard.”

Chalkbeat New York tweeted that Elia was resigning for personal reasons, with more details to follow later this afternoon.

Elia’s latest effort to exercise state control over private schools statewide sparked a flurry of activity.  By state law, the guidelines mandated by Elia are subject to a public comment period.

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A campaign launched by PEARLS giving yeshiva parents to voice their opposition to the plan resulted in 4,862 letters of protest, representing 14,100 yeshiva students, in just over one week.

Letters went out last week from Torah Vodaath Rosh Hayeshiva Rabbi Yisroel Reisman urging the school’s parents, grandparents, friends and alumni to take part in the letter writing campaign. Rabbi Reisman and Mir Rosh Yeshiva Rabbi Elya Brudny met with Commissioner Elia last year hoping to demonstrate that the vast majority of yeshivas were providing students with a substantially equivalent education to that offered in the public schools, as required by state law. 

The two penned a letter to the editor that appeared in the Wall Street Journal (https://on.wsj.com/2Gd0mPO) last December warning that New York’s yeshivas would not allow the state to make any curriculum changes that would in any way interfere with their emphasis on offering a Torah-true education.

Non-Jewish private schools have also refused to accept the commissioner’s recommendations.  The New York Post (https://nyp.st/2G8YCaj) reported that the head of the Upper Trinity School in Manhattan asked parents to express their displeasure with the proposed regulation. 

Amanda Uhry, president of the Manhattan Private School Advisors firm said that private school parents were angered by Elia’s latest power play noting, “I don’t think parents want to send their kids to schools that are private and that they are paying $55,000 a year so the state can tell them what to do.”

Earlier attempts by Elia in November to regulate private schools without allowing for the state-mandated 60 day public comment fell short, with New York State Supreme Court Judge Christina Ryba ruling that the first set of guidelines proposed by the commissioner had not been implemented in accordance with state law, as previously reported on VIN News (http://bit.ly/2Gapw1h).

The public comment period on the new regulations was due to end on September 2nd, after which they would have been subject to the approval of the New York State Board of Regents.

Elia’s resignation is expected to take effect at the end of August.

A copy of Elia’s two page resignation letter published by Politico (https://politi.co/2YVknSf) gave no specific reason for her abrupt announcement, trumpeting only her achievements during her tenure as commissioner.

While the letter addressed successes in the troubled Rochester school district, it made no mention of any efforts aimed at the state’s nonpublic school community.

“As a former teacher, administrator, and superintendent, I have devoted my entire 45-year career to putting children on a path to success both in school and beyond, and I am enormously grateful for the opportunity to lead the school system here in New York State,” wrote Elia. “Going forward, I hope to translate the experiences I’ve gained from one of the largest, most complex education systems in the country into lessons to help improve classrooms, schools, and districts for students in every state.”



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Read Comments (22)  —  Post Yours »

1

 Jul 15, 2019 at 02:59 PM Anonymous Says:

HASHEM never sleeps ... HE always watches over Yisroel

2

 Jul 15, 2019 at 03:09 PM Hurray Says:

Reply to #1  
Anonymous Says:

HASHEM never sleeps ... HE always watches over Yisroel

You read my mind. He has many ways to achieve the results He wants!

3

 Jul 15, 2019 at 03:14 PM judith Says:

She will be replaced

4

 Jul 15, 2019 at 03:25 PM Bobov45 Says:

The celebratory attitude among handicapped graduates reminds me of this tale.
One summer, several years ago, a few boys were swimming in a pool. The were doing all sorts of dangerous things in the water. The lifeguard took notice and stopped them. He said he’s responsible and he won’t allow that to happen in his pool. The kids complained about this lifeguard that’s spoiling their fun times so the parents put pressure on the lifeguard to resign.
The lifeguard resigned.
Shortly thereafter, a kid dove into the shallow water, cracked open his head and lived the rest of his life as a cripple.

He was very excited when the lifeguard resigned.
It didn’t take long for the responsible people in the room to realize they fought a battle, actually won a battle which led to the paralysis of their child.

Chevra, if you’re not a Rebish kind sitting under a tree in the Catskills, there’s no benefit in the system as it currently is. Change can save the next generation but when our politicians are puppets to those in control, change won’t happen, and the kids will continue to suffer.

5

 Jul 15, 2019 at 03:36 PM PureSatmar Says:

Good riddance
כן יאבדו כל אויביך השם

6

 Jul 15, 2019 at 03:44 PM lipa101 Says:

דידן נצח

7

 Jul 15, 2019 at 03:44 PM amerikaner Says:

baruch shepturani

8

 Jul 15, 2019 at 04:19 PM Educated Archy Says:

The danger of the dems. they destroyed yiddiens parnasa in NYC and are destroying mosdos too.

9

 Jul 15, 2019 at 03:15 PM Maven Says:

Great news B'H. But we still need to be on the alert.

These Chevra Mechalel Shabbos Treif eaters Moster and his ilks are not sleeping. They will do anything and everything to transform Klal Yisroel into full fledged Goyim.

10

 Jul 15, 2019 at 05:34 PM commonsense99 Says:

Reply to #4  
Bobov45 Says:

The celebratory attitude among handicapped graduates reminds me of this tale.
One summer, several years ago, a few boys were swimming in a pool. The were doing all sorts of dangerous things in the water. The lifeguard took notice and stopped them. He said he’s responsible and he won’t allow that to happen in his pool. The kids complained about this lifeguard that’s spoiling their fun times so the parents put pressure on the lifeguard to resign.
The lifeguard resigned.
Shortly thereafter, a kid dove into the shallow water, cracked open his head and lived the rest of his life as a cripple.

He was very excited when the lifeguard resigned.
It didn’t take long for the responsible people in the room to realize they fought a battle, actually won a battle which led to the paralysis of their child.

Chevra, if you’re not a Rebish kind sitting under a tree in the Catskills, there’s no benefit in the system as it currently is. Change can save the next generation but when our politicians are puppets to those in control, change won’t happen, and the kids will continue to suffer.

Let me tell you a different tale, kids were in the pool swimming and mind their own business and kid who didn't know how to swim complained to the lifeguard that the kids were having to much fun so the life guard say he will only allow 15 minutes of swimming a day, That my friend is more like the analogy that is happening now at SED.
PS I happen to be a rebbish kint and I found your juvenile comment very offensive. just so happens myself and all my married kids are gainfully employed unlike Moster

11

 Jul 15, 2019 at 08:03 PM BPYid Says:

I know Nick personally from previous years in Yeshiva and he is still the same.
He has a weak personality with alot of fears. He has few or no close friends and doesn't get along with people. If you look on the photos of his protests you will also see what I mean.
He will never be Matzliach.
Our organizations are very powerful and smart the way they handle this situation and the outcome will make us better and stronger.

12

 Jul 15, 2019 at 08:16 PM Ptcha Says:

זאל זי שטינקן פון קאפ

13

 Jul 15, 2019 at 09:33 PM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #4  
Bobov45 Says:

The celebratory attitude among handicapped graduates reminds me of this tale.
One summer, several years ago, a few boys were swimming in a pool. The were doing all sorts of dangerous things in the water. The lifeguard took notice and stopped them. He said he’s responsible and he won’t allow that to happen in his pool. The kids complained about this lifeguard that’s spoiling their fun times so the parents put pressure on the lifeguard to resign.
The lifeguard resigned.
Shortly thereafter, a kid dove into the shallow water, cracked open his head and lived the rest of his life as a cripple.

He was very excited when the lifeguard resigned.
It didn’t take long for the responsible people in the room to realize they fought a battle, actually won a battle which led to the paralysis of their child.

Chevra, if you’re not a Rebish kind sitting under a tree in the Catskills, there’s no benefit in the system as it currently is. Change can save the next generation but when our politicians are puppets to those in control, change won’t happen, and the kids will continue to suffer.

Dont compare apples and oranges! Oh my!

14

 Jul 15, 2019 at 09:34 PM Frumsanity Says:

Reply to #4  
Bobov45 Says:

The celebratory attitude among handicapped graduates reminds me of this tale.
One summer, several years ago, a few boys were swimming in a pool. The were doing all sorts of dangerous things in the water. The lifeguard took notice and stopped them. He said he’s responsible and he won’t allow that to happen in his pool. The kids complained about this lifeguard that’s spoiling their fun times so the parents put pressure on the lifeguard to resign.
The lifeguard resigned.
Shortly thereafter, a kid dove into the shallow water, cracked open his head and lived the rest of his life as a cripple.

He was very excited when the lifeguard resigned.
It didn’t take long for the responsible people in the room to realize they fought a battle, actually won a battle which led to the paralysis of their child.

Chevra, if you’re not a Rebish kind sitting under a tree in the Catskills, there’s no benefit in the system as it currently is. Change can save the next generation but when our politicians are puppets to those in control, change won’t happen, and the kids will continue to suffer.

Guess our rabanim didn't think of your brilliant insight neither did all frum ehrlicha yidden. Guess the products coming out of yeshivos myself included aren't making it... guess what you're flat out wrong

15

 Jul 15, 2019 at 10:49 PM ercsd Says:

New Square is rated the poorest municipality in NY State and KJ is second. I guess those stats speak volumes.

16

 Jul 16, 2019 at 01:16 AM LionofZion Says:

I would like to see 14,000 Yeshiva students write letters addressing their secular education. I believe it would be a sad indictment of the Yeshiva education system. Before we became so Frum that education was Assur it was uncommon there were no Minyanim in jail.

17

 Jul 16, 2019 at 08:44 AM AuthenticSatmar Says:

Reply to #4  
Bobov45 Says:

The celebratory attitude among handicapped graduates reminds me of this tale.
One summer, several years ago, a few boys were swimming in a pool. The were doing all sorts of dangerous things in the water. The lifeguard took notice and stopped them. He said he’s responsible and he won’t allow that to happen in his pool. The kids complained about this lifeguard that’s spoiling their fun times so the parents put pressure on the lifeguard to resign.
The lifeguard resigned.
Shortly thereafter, a kid dove into the shallow water, cracked open his head and lived the rest of his life as a cripple.

He was very excited when the lifeguard resigned.
It didn’t take long for the responsible people in the room to realize they fought a battle, actually won a battle which led to the paralysis of their child.

Chevra, if you’re not a Rebish kind sitting under a tree in the Catskills, there’s no benefit in the system as it currently is. Change can save the next generation but when our politicians are puppets to those in control, change won’t happen, and the kids will continue to suffer.

If the system they want to impose was so successful why are the stats among NYC public schools so poor. Let them first prove that their system is superior before forcing others to follow it.

18

 Jul 16, 2019 at 10:59 AM commonsense99 Says:

Reply to #16  
LionofZion Says:

I would like to see 14,000 Yeshiva students write letters addressing their secular education. I believe it would be a sad indictment of the Yeshiva education system. Before we became so Frum that education was Assur it was uncommon there were no Minyanim in jail.

I worked for the City of New York, My boss graduated from NYC schools and CCNY, the man was a total illiterate who could not write a proper sentence, he would ask me the yeshiva grad with the yarmulke and beard to write all our policy and procedures manuals

19

 Jul 16, 2019 at 11:16 AM PaulinSaudi Says:

So this means the private schools can go back to not teaching English?

20

 Jul 16, 2019 at 11:23 AM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #15  
ercsd Says:

New Square is rated the poorest municipality in NY State and KJ is second. I guess those stats speak volumes.

for a man who claims to be educated you must have been sleeping during math class, when the government complies statistic they include all residents, 60% of the population in both New Square an KJ are under the age on 18 therefore have zero earning power if you eliminate this statistical anomaly your household per capita income jumps drastically.

21

 Jul 16, 2019 at 11:43 AM ercsd Says:

Reply to #18  
commonsense99 Says:

I worked for the City of New York, My boss graduated from NYC schools and CCNY, the man was a total illiterate who could not write a proper sentence, he would ask me the yeshiva grad with the yarmulke and beard to write all our policy and procedures manuals

I worked for the City of New York for 16 years. I went through the public school system and graduated from Brooklyn College. I am literate and wrote hundreds of letters during my time working for the City. A lot of the kids I graduated with went on to successful and prosperous careers. One example doesn't exactly prove much. We are talking about the state of private schools in 2019. I would like to see the kids at yeshivas in New Square and KJ take standardized reading and math tests and see how they score.

22

 Jul 16, 2019 at 12:23 PM commonsense99 Says:

Reply to #21  
ercsd Says:

I worked for the City of New York for 16 years. I went through the public school system and graduated from Brooklyn College. I am literate and wrote hundreds of letters during my time working for the City. A lot of the kids I graduated with went on to successful and prosperous careers. One example doesn't exactly prove much. We are talking about the state of private schools in 2019. I would like to see the kids at yeshivas in New Square and KJ take standardized reading and math tests and see how they score.

I agree with you that we are talking about education in 2019 and a NYC public school HS diploma is not worth the paper its printed on unless you graduated from Bronx School of Science, Stuyvesant or Brooklyn Tech, most of the NYC grad have a sixth grade level in reading and math

23

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