November 27, 2020
RE: Dr. Betty Rosa for U.S. Secretary of Education
Dear President-elect Biden and Vice President-elect Harris,
We are New York State Allies For Public Education (NYSAPE), a NY education advocacy organization of over 60 grassroots organizations across NYS and the country. We write to give our strongest endorsement for the U.S. Secretary of Education to New York’s Interim Commissioner of Education, Dr. Betty Rosa.
NYSAPE has advocated fiercely to protect children’s social and emotional health from the harms of high stakes standardized testing. The outcomes speak for themselves; after almost two decades of experimentation and flawed metrics ruled “arbitrary and capricious” in NY courts, children of color and economically disadvantaged children continue to be persistently deprived of the basic resources needed for a healthy education. It has been issues such as these that have broken our country’s faith in our public education system.
Dr. Rosa is a proven leader who will turn this tide, and restore trust in our country’s education system, just as she has been demonstrating in New York. Dr. Rosa’s experience is vast and exemplary, beginning as a bilingual paraprofessional through roles as teacher, school principal, and then Superintendent for the Bronx’s District 8 to become a member and then Chancellor of New York State’s Board of Regents, and then on to her current role as Interim Commissioner of Education for the State of NY. And her deep background in special education would ensure that children with learning differences receive the opportunity to succeed just as their peers.
Besides her intellect, passion, and unparalleled record of accomplishment, Dr. Rosa is an inclusive leader who makes all feel valued and heard, even when their requests cannot be accommodated. As Interim Commissioner here in New York, Dr. Rosa has already rebuilt trust among communities that had long abandoned hope in previous leadership. With our country at a crossroads and divisions deeper than ever, Dr. Rosa’s ability to listen to and respect all stakeholders and bring divergent factions to consensus would be invaluable to the healing of our nation.
Dr. Rosa’s brilliance and dedication have earned her a myriad of honors and a number of graduate degrees, including a Doctorate from Harvard University. If chosen, Dr. Rosa would represent the first Latinx Secretary of Education, sending an inspiring and historic message to our country’s youth. And even with Dr. Rosa’s leadership titles held and professional accolades, it is perhaps when she recounts her experiences as a young student in NYC, endeavoring to learn English and excel in school, that best speaks to the many young students today facing comparable challenges.
In summary, we respectfully ask that you consider Dr. Betty Rosa as our next U.S. Secretary of Education. We know she will exceed your expectations and beyond.
Lisa Rudley, Executive Director
NYSAPE Steering Committee Members