I am sure you have already heard that the New York State Education Department (NYSED) has proposed regulations for “substantially equivalent” instruction in non-public schools. These proposed regulations would delegate direct oversight of each of the four Catholic Schools of Broome County to the local public school superintendents in their district. The local public school superintendents will be asked to determine whether or not the CSBC are offering a “sound educational experience.” The new regulations would authorize the superintendents and their school boards to assess our curriculum and give them authority to oversee our schools and essentially determine whether or not our schools would be able to operate.
As you know, the CSBC is comprised of three elementary and a Junior/Senior high school: All Saints in Endicott, St. James in Johnson City, and St. John the Evangelist and Seton Catholic Central, both in Binghamton. These schools have always operated as private, independent Catholic schools. Our curriculum has always been equal or superior to that which is dictated by the NYSED. Our independence from the public schools provides us the opportunity to make changes to our curriculum as we see fit. Our assessment program is tailored to our program and has served us well. If these changes were to pass, test scores, report cards, our teacher’s lesson plans and more would all be subject to review by the public school system. They should not have the authority to oversee and/or make changes to our academic programs. The Catholic School Administrators Association of New York State (CSAANYS) have been pursuing this matter and appealing this regulation. We are asking our parents and alumni to assist the CSAANYS and voice their objection to this new regulation. Please consider sending an email to the Board of Regents objecting this new regulation. We need a significant number of emails sent by SEPTEMBER 1, 2019. Please email your letter to our local Board of Regents representative, Susan Mittler, at Regent.Mittler@nysed.gov, and copy the Board of Regents members-at-large, Lester Young, Regent.Young@nysed.gov, Wade Norwood, Regent.Norwood@nysed.gov, Luis Reyes, Regent.Reyes@nysed.gov, and James Cottrell, Regent.Cottrell@nysed.gov.
With your help, hopefully the Board of Regents will hear what we have to say and the regulations will not go into effect.
Elizabeth Carter, PhD
President of the Broome County Catholic Schools