Regents 2008 Board Report
Regents 2008 Board Report: Message from the Chancellor
Robert M. Bennett, Chancellor
Our task is clear – we must prepare New Yorkers to reach ever higher levels of achievement so they can succeed in today’s fiercely competitive global environment. Guided by their parents and teachers, New York’s children are meeting this challenge. Year after year, our students are making steady and consistent progress – scores on the grade 3-8 tests continue to rise; the gaps in achievement are slowly starting to close; and more students than ever are graduating with Regents diplomas. The members of the State Legislature have been our partners in this drive to raise achievement for all and we thank them for their unwavering commitment to New York’s children.
But much more remains to be done. We must greatly accelerate the pace of our improvements. And we simply cannot allow the gaps in achievement that separate us on the basis of race, disability, poverty, and ability to speak and read English to persist. We will not advance as a society unless and until these gaps are eliminated once and for all.
And we must do all of this in the face of an unprecedented economic crisis. But we will do it. We are grateful for the generous support we have received from the Gates and Wallace Foundations to do work on organizational design, leadership, and a P-16 data system. The Board is intent on leading the way with regard to containing costs, both for the Department and school districts. We’ll do it by delivering services to districts in a more timely and efficient way and by enhancing the tools we provide to them. We’ll work with districts to show them how to achieve savings by making better use of their local BOCES. We’ll look to the guidance provided by the Suozzi and Lundine Commissions. And we will promote the use of best practices. Strategies like Response to Intervention (RtI), which saves money by preventing unnecessary special education referrals, must be widely used. In short, all options – including mergers, consolidations, and greater use of charter schools – must be on the table as we look to do more with less in these troubling economic times.
On behalf of the Board of Regents, I’d like to thank you for taking the time to look through our Report and learning more about the work we are doing and the challenges that lie ahead.