Bronx leader Betty Rosa named new Regents Chancellor

Mar 21, 2016

Newly appointed Regents chancellor Betty Rosa, Vice Chancellor Andrew Brown and Education Commissioner Mary Ellen Elia meet with the media after the board elections.
Credit Photo provided Karen DeWitt

The New York State Board of Regents has selected Regent member Betty Rosa of the Bronx to serve as the next chancellor. 

Rosa was elected Monday morning by the 17-member Regents Board in a vote of 15-0. Two members abstained. The Board also approved Regent Andrew Brown, an attorney from Rochester, to serve as vice chancellor.Rosa replaces longtime Regents leader Merryl Tisch. Tisch decided not to seek another term on the board and will leave at the end of this month.

Chancellor Rosa held a news briefing following the Regents vote. She told reporters if  she were not on the Regents board, she would have her kids boycott the standardized tests. 

"It I was a parent, and I was not on the Board of Regent, I would opt out at this time," stated Rosa. 

Rosa noted the law gives the parents the right to opt out of the standardized tests. "These are choices. The law gives them these choices," said Rosa. "It is the obligation, because our commissioner has to follow the law, we as a Board of Regents also have to follow the law and that's the distinction."

Rosa was born in New York City, but spent the first ten years of her life in Puerto Rico. She is a former school principal and worked at the New York City Department of Education.   

The state's largest teachers union is congratulated Rosa and Brown on their appointments.   

“We congratulate Chancellor Rosa and Vice Chancellor Brown and hope today helps to build a more collaborative and positive working relationship with all the Regents,” Magee said. “There is a lot of hard work ahead. Yet we are optimistic that students, parents and educators will have a more meaningful voice in fixing New York standards; reducing the burden of standardized testing; and creating a fair and objective evaluation system.  New York’s public schools will be better off when the Regents completely achieve these goals and we urge them to press ‘fast forward’ on the process.”

In a recent WBFO News interview, western New York Regents Representative Catherine Collins told us she has worked "extremely well"' with Rosa. 

“We worked real well together. Some of the issues that she had brought to our attention were issues that should have been brought to our attention as newbies on the Board of Regents. So I’ve worked well with her and I don’t think that relationship is going to change," replied Collins.

In response to the Board of Regents' electing Betty Rosa as its new chancellor, the Alliance for Quality Education has released the following statement.

“We are pleased that the Board of Regents has elected Betty Rosa as its Chancellor. She is highly skilled and experienced educator who is respected by parents, students, teachers and policy makers alike," said Billy Easton, Executive Director for the Alliance for Quality Education. “Her knowledge and experience will allow her to proceed with substantial reforms that will include addressing the educational needs of all students and working to improve struggling schools throughout the state.

“She is a good listener and a reliable proponent of sorely needed solutions including essential parent engagement, expansion of community schools, and educational policies based on what works in classrooms rather than the test and punish model that has been in vogue around the country. AQE is confident that Chancellor Rosa will move the New York State schools forward in positive and meaningful ways.”

The leader of the United University Professions, which represents 35,000 academic and professional faculty across 29-state-operated campuses, also issued a statement on the election of Rosa. Frederick Kowal is president of the UUP.

"We welcome the selection of Betty Rosa as the new chancellor of the state Board of Regents and T. Andrew Brown as vice chancellor.  Chancellor Rosa has demonstrated a willingness to listen to student and faculty concerns about New York State's flawed teacher certification exams," said Kowal. "We are hopeful that she will respect the expertise of educators and the needs of diverse students who have the potential to be excellent, dedicated teachers.  Her election potentially heralds a new era of understanding and cooperation among the Regents, educators and students. She is a caring, dedicated leader who understands the importance of a quality public higher education. She is a solid choice to lead the Regents. We look forward to a long and productive relationship working with Chancellor Rosa and Vice Chancellor Brown.”