MaryEllen Elia, New York’s Education Commissioner, has announced that she will step down next month. This comes after her four year tenure has seen changes in testing requirements, teacher evaluations and learning expectations for students in each grade.
Her plan to leave appears to have come as a surprise to some of the Board of Regents. The Board of Regents, which sets the tone and policies which the Commissioner oversees, is in the process of revising high-school graduation requirements. Ms. Elia told reporters that “this is a good time for someone to come in” to help with that process.
The Commissioner has a salary of $304,000 and is responsible for overseeing more than 700 school districts with more than 3.2 million students as well as museums, universities and professional licensing. This includes the Rochester school district. The Board of Regents thanked Commissioner Elia for her “tireless and unwavering service”. The Board will pick an interim Commissioner while they begin the process of searching for a permanent successor which could take at least six months.
Ms. Elia, whose resignation goes into effect August 31st, is planning to begin a job with a national firm whose focus is helping districts improve troubled schools. She has said she will give more specifics about her new job after she leaves office.