What are the critical educational issues and priorities facing New York today?
The budget issue right now is huge. A serious consequence of reduced funding for our state is the potential of eliminating some tests. Recent reductions in state support and the old reliance on federal carryover funds have created a structural imbalance between our resources and the course of the New York State Testing Program, so there is a possibility that some of these tests will be eliminated. It’s very serious for schools and very serious for the state. We may have to reduce the Regents tests or the number of times we give them. A second critical issue is to continue moving forward in closing the gaps in student achievement and building capacity in schools and school districts to improve student performance. Because especially during a budgetary crisis, students in the gap, they get fewer services. Hopefully, that won’t happen, but with reduced services, it’s always the students who are most at risk that are becoming more at risk. Third, we have to really think about preparing stu