City & State’s Webinar Series: New York’s Education System in the Coronavirus Pandemic

Event Description

With New York at the epicenter of the coronavirus pandemic, New York schools shut their buildings down on March 16th for five weeks and began remote learning programs.  Since then, some teachers have done live video presentations, group meetings, assigned homework and offered private services.  Schools were then closed for the year and then not officially closed for the year.  How will remote education affect our kids’ learning abilities, social development and mental health?  What services can we provide to this entire generation of young minds?

Betty Rosa, Chancellor
New York State Board of Regents
Dr. Rosa was first elected as the Regent for the Twelfth Judicial District (Bronx County) to a five-year term (April 1, 2008 – March 31, 2013), re-elected (April 1, 2013 – March 31, 2018) and re-elected for a third term (April 1, 2018 – March 31, 2023). In March 2016, Dr. Rosa was elected by her Board of Regents colleagues as Chancellor for the term April 1, 2016 through March 2019, and, in March 2019 was re-elected by her Board of Regents colleagues as Chancellor for a second term April 1, 2019 through March 2022. Born in New York City but raised for the first ten years of her life in Puerto Rico, Dr. Rosa attended public elementary and junior high schools in the Bronx (Districts 9 and 10) before graduating from St. Helena's High School, now Monsignor Scanlon High School, in the Throggs Neck section of the Bronx. She received a B.A. in psychology from the City College of New York and holds two Master of Science in Education degrees, one in Administration and Supervision and the other in Bilingual Education from the City College of New York and Lehman College respectively. She also received an Ed. M. and Ed. D. in Administration, Planning and Social Policy from Harvard University. Dr. Rosa worked in the N.Y.C. Department of Education as a bilingual paraprofessional, teacher and reading coordinator, served as an assistant principal and principal in special education, introduced an integrated linguistic model in developing a multilingual and multicultural school for general and special education populations, was principal of I.S. 218, a full-service community school in partnership with the Children’s Aid Society in District 6, and developed and implemented the Office of Conflict Resolution for the NYC Division of Special Education. She has taught graduate level education courses including Education of Culturally and Linguistically Diverse Exceptional Children, Due Process: Law and the Handicapped, and Applied and Action Research for Doctoral Students, has served on dissertation committees, and is an executive coach for doctoral students. Chancellor Rudy Crew appointed Dr. Rosa to the position of Superintendent of Community School District 8 in the Bronx. District 8 consisted of approximately 25,000 students and 30 schools encompassing neighborhoods of the South Bronx including Soundview and Hunts Point and the northeast section of the Bronx known as Throggs Neck. Chancellor Harold Levy later appointed Dr. Rosa to serve as the Senior Superintendent of the Bronx. One of the schools Dr. Rosa founded as superintendent, M.S. 101 (Maritime Academy for Science and Technology) became the top ranked middle school in the City of New York based on New York State examination results. She was elected to a four-year term to the Alumni Council of Harvard University's Graduate School of Education and also appointed to a three-year term to the Principal/Site Administrator Advisory Committee of the American Association of School Administrators. Dr. Rosa also served as a consulting member of the Educational Research Development Institute and is currently a member of the New York Team of the National Education Policy Center’s Schools of Opportunity project. Dr. Rosa is the President of B.D.J. & J. Associates LLC, a company she founded in 2005. The company serves in a consulting capacity to large urban school districts throughout the country and to companies in the educational services field. A new division provides business development assistance in sports, recreation, and camps for profit and not-for-profit enterprises and organizations. Since 2015, Dr. Rosa has been honored with the Champions of Education Leadership Award from the Alliance for Quality Education, Woman of the Year Award from the New York League of Puerto Rican Women, Heimlich Community Service Award from the Ben Franklin Reform Democratic Club, Transformative Education Leadership Award from the International Chartership High School, Education Leadership Award from the National Puerto Rican Day Parade, Leadership in Education Award from the Association of Dominican-American Supervisors and Administrators, Women of Distinction Award from the Bronx Chamber of Commerce, and the Latina of the Year Award from the New York State Assembly and Senate’s Puerto Rican/Hispanic Task Force.
Council Member Mark Treyger, Chair,
Education Committee
Mark Treyger, the second child of Ukrainian Jewish immigrants Naum and Tatyana and the first member of his family born in the United States, is the Council Member for the 47th District, representing the Southern Brooklyn neighborhoods of Bensonhurst, Coney Island, Gravesend, and Sea Gate. A fluent speaker of the Russian language and a graduate of Edward R. Murrow High School and Brooklyn College (B.A. in Political Science, M.A. in Social Studies Education, and M.S. in School Leadership), Treyger spent eight years teaching World History, Government, and Economics at New Utrecht High School. While teaching, Treyger took an active role in the United Federation of Teachers, serving as a union delegate, staff developer, and member of the school Leadership Team. With a love for public service, Treyger began interning for Assemblyman William Colton in 2001. In 2003, at the age of 21, Treyger became the youngest president ever of the United Progressive Democratic Club (UPDC) in Bensonhurst. In 2013, Treyger won a competitive Democratic Primary, and then received 71% of the vote in the general election to become the Council Member of the 47th District. Upon his election, he worked with then City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito on the creation of a new committee, Recovery and Resiliency, which he chaired during the 2014-17 session, helping to oversee the city’s recovery efforts responding to the aftermath of Superstorm Sandy. Since his election to the Council, Treyger has led the fight to make our city more resilient and environmentally conscious in the face of climate change and extreme weather threats, helping to secure federal funding to rebuild public housing and hospitals after Sandy. He also successfully advocated for the expansion of transportation options throughout the outer boroughs, investment in the maintenance and preservation of public housing, and the upgrading and enhancing of the city’s schools. In 2018, Treyger was appointed by Speaker Corey Johnson to serve as Chair of the Committee on Education. He has proudly championed many causes to provide better educational opportunities for all students in New York City. He also serves as a member of the City Council’s Budget Negotiation Team, selected by Speaker Johnson, Co-Chair of the City Council’s Brooklyn Delegation and is a senior member of the City Council’s Jewish Caucus.
Senator John C. Liu
Chairperson, Committee on NYC Education
John C. Liu is a New York State Senator representing a broad area of northeast Queens. He is chairperson of the Senate’s committee on New York City Education and also serves on the committees of Finance, Education, Transportation, Alcoholism and Substance Abuse and Rules. John was Comptroller of the City of New York (2010-2013) and a New York City Councilmember (2002-2009). In 2013, John was a candidate for Mayor of New York City, in lieu of running for re-election as Comptroller. Currently, John teaches municipal finance and public policy in Masters programs at the City University of New York (CUNY) and Columbia University. The 43rd Comptroller of New York City, John Liu established an impressive record as the chief financial officer for 8.4 million residents and overseeing municipal government with an annual budget of $70 billion. John saved taxpayers $5 billion through rigorous audits of City agencies, detailed scrutiny of contracts with private companies, and refinancing of $20 billion of outstanding City bond debt. During his four-year term of office, he achieved an enviable total investment return, increasing the City’s pension asset portfolio to $150 billion. John created the nationally acclaimed online application “” providing unprecedented transparency in government spending. He facilitated economic development and new job creation with acceleration of City capital projects, capturing low interest rates in the bond markets. Always emphasizing that “it’s not just about numbers, it’s about people,” John Liu championed fairness and equality. An early and staunch opponent of stop-and-frisk tactics, John highlighted the risks to communities and taxpayers alike due to damaged police-community relations. John presented daily-updated M/WBE Report Cards for City agencies to monitor and encourage greater government contracting opportunities for minority entrepreneurs. John also proposed sound economic policies to create real economic growth and narrow the ever-widening wealth gap, protected wage standards and recouped back wages and fines on behalf of cheated workers from contractors who just don’t want to play by the rules, and exposed the billions of dollars in publicly-subsidized corporate welfare doled out by the City that failed to deliver on promised new jobs and fair housing. He published numerous reports analyzing and issuing recommendations on a wide range of public priorities, including education and the need to take students beyond high school, affordable housing and family support, retirement security and protection of pension benefits, and the fiscal and social benefits of legalizing marijuana. As a member of the New York City Council, John Liu represented his hometown of Flushing and northeast Queens. He secured millions of dollars in additional funding for schools, libraries, parks, senior citizen centers, and youth programs. John served as chairperson of the Council’s Transportation Committee overseeing operations of the Metropolitan Transportation Authority, Department of Transportation, and Taxi and Limousine Commission, and enacted legislation boosting efficiency and efficacy of key City agencies. John also served on the committees on Education, Consumer Affairs, Contracts, Oversight & Investigation, Land Use, Lower Manhattan Redevelopment and Health. John’s significant accomplishments as a legislator included exposing financial irregularities at the MTA, enacting legislation like the Equal Access Bill mandating on-demand language services in health and human services agencies, the School Zone Engine Idling Bill limiting engine idling near schools, and the Dignity for All Schools Act requiring the Department of Education to track bullying and harassment in schools. John used his office to fight hate and bigotry, and in too many instances denounced violence against immigrant workers such as restaurant delivery workers. John’s battles with radio shock-jocks and their corporate sponsors successfully brought an end to extreme racist and misogynist broadcasts in the New York market. Hailed as a “Trailblazer” and “Pioneer," John Liu’s historic elections – as the first Asian American to win legislative office in New York and then the first to win citywide office – were milestones for Asian Americans in New York and across the nation. Although he wishes Asian Americans had been elected long before, John is honored to be the first and embraces the opportunity to broaden representation and public service. Prior to being elected to office, John worked in the private sector for 14 years as a professional actuary, most recently as a manager at PricewaterhouseCoopers. John has drawn upon his real world fiscal expertise to root out waste and mismanagement in government. John Liu immigrated from Taiwan at the age of five. He was educated in New York public schools, including Hunter College High School, Bronx High School of Science, and Binghamton University, attaining his degree in Mathematical Physics. John lives in Flushing with his wife Jenny and their son Joey.
Marsha Pollard, Provost
Berkeley College
Marsha A. Pollard, Ph.D., was named Provost of Berkeley College in December 2018. Dr. Pollard has over two decades of experience in academic affairs administration, strategic planning, and policy development at top-ranked national universities. Dr. Pollard heads Berkeley College’s Academic Continuity Planning during the Coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic. She led the successful transition of academic operations from onsite to online for the winter and spring 2020 semesters. Her leadership is instrumental in developing a robust remote learning environment for Berkeley’s students. This includes providing adaptable and responsive learning environments, and offering an array of student support services and resources virtually. Under Dr. Pollard’s leadership, college readiness initiatives are at the forefront in terms of institutional priorities, with Dr. Pollard opening the Psychology of Adjustment course to high school seniors in the spring 2020 semester to help them prepare for their college experience and earn college credits. Dr. Pollard’s career spans positions at Stony Brook University in Stony Brook, NY and New York University in Manhattan, NY. At Stony Brook, Dr. Pollard worked to develop better early intervention systems for at-risk students, more integrated advisement systems, and improved student retention and graduation rates. Also during that time, Dr. Pollard served as the academic affairs liaison to The State University of New York system office and the New York State Department of Education. Throughout her career, she has established educational, community, and business partnerships with a focus on expanding workforce-relevant academic programs that create career pathways for students. While at New York University (NYU) in Manhattan, NY, Dr. Pollard managed operations at the School of Social Work. She led the development of certificate programs at the NYU School of Professional Studies (formerly the School of Continuing and Professional Studies) in fields such as law, technology, and finance. Dr. Pollard holds a Ph.D. in Higher Education Administration from New York University; an M.Ed. in Higher Education Administration, Planning, and Social Policy from Harvard University; and a B.A. in Sociology from the University of Florida.
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