Merryl Tisch Back for NYS Policy Proposal on Charter School Teacher Certification!

Dear Commons Community,

My colleague, David Bloomfield, alerted me to an article in Politico stating that former New York State Regent Chancellor Merryl Tisch is back and involved in a controversial policy that would allow charter schools to certify their own teachers.   As reported by Politico::

“Merryl Tisch, the former chancellor of the state Board of Regents, isn’t done with state education policymaking just yet.

Tisch, who championed higher learning standards and ushered in the controversial Common Core during her tenure, is now taking part in the debate over the certification of charter school teachers as a member of the SUNY Charter Schools Committee.

She once again will find herself at the center of a contentious issue, as the committee is scheduled to vote on a proposal on Wednesday that would allow charter schools to create their own in-house teacher certification programs.

“She still wants to be a player in New York,” said David Bloomfield, an educational leadership professor at Brooklyn College and at the CUNY Graduate Center. “It’s interesting that the route that she’s taking and is being welcomed into is the charter school world.”

Tisch declined to comment on her appointment and the charter regulations.

She stepped down from her role as head of the Regents in March 2016 after 20 years on the state’s education policymaking board.

Last June, the state Senate appointed her to the SUNY board of trustees. Her first SUNY board meeting was in September, after which she was selected to serve on the Charter Schools, Academic Affairs, Finance and Administration, and Community Colleges committees, according to SUNY.

Tisch has supported charter schools in the past, touting school choice and the need for increased access to quality education, as well as healthy competition for public schools.

It’s unclear how she will vote on the teacher certification proposal. Her successor, Regents Chancellor Betty Rosa, has strongly opposed the measure.

If approved, the new rules would have a significant impact on SUNY-authorized charter schools, particularly the powerful charter school networks in New York City, which have had difficulty hiring certified teachers. The new rules apply only to charters authorized by SUNY, rather than by the Board of Regents. Among those affected is Success Academy, the city’s largest charter school network, whose founder, Eva Moskowitz, has pushed for changes to the existing certification for years.”

It will be most interesting to see how this vote goes today.  We join with our colleagues in teacher education programs throughout New York State in hoping that it fails.  


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