CONTACT: David Albert
MaryEllen Elia took over as commissioner of education during a tumultuous time in New York’s public schools. She helped heal wounds resulting from the hurried implementation of the state’s annual teacher and principal performance review process (APPR) and Common Core learning standards.
Elia will leave behind a legacy of accomplishment. She started a constructive dialog around divisive issues such as APPR, Common Core and opt outs. She conducted a listening tour, traveling around the state seeking feedback from stakeholders. She also deserves credit for taking the lead in implementing the state’s plan to comply with the Every Student Succeeds Act.
We’ve had our disagreements with the commissioner over issues of local control, but we’ve always had a candid and respectful dialog on issues facing boards of education. Elia navigated a demanding job in what has become an increasingly political climate.
We wish Commissioner Elia well in her future endeavors and look forward to working with her successor to achieve our collective goal of making New York's public schools the envy of the world.