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Chancellor Tisch Now Refuses Open Public Dialogue With Parents After Agreeing On November 6, 2013, parent-leader and founding member of NYS Allies for Public Education, Eric Mihelbergel, sent a certified letter to Board of Regents Chancellor, Merryl Tisch, requesting a meeting with her, himself, “and fellow parent-leaders, in a public setting, for an open and transparent discussion and dialogue about what is best for our children.” The letter is available here: http://blog.timesunion.com/capitol/archives/198997/parents-seek-meeting-with-regents-over-tests/ Topics were to include high-stakes testing, data sharing, and Common Core. On Nov 12 at 9:58am Chancellor Tisch called Mr. Mihelbergel in response to the letter. Tisch agreed to a meeting with Mr. Mihelbergel and 9 other parent-leaders for the specific purpose of an open and transparent dialogue in a public setting. On Nov 12 at 9:58am the two spoke again to begin arranging details for the meeting. A public setting in Albany was agreed upon, and Chancellor Tisch offered to include Regents Bottar and Bennett in the meeting as well. Mr. Mihelbergel followed-up with Tisch’s assistant to begin coordinating possible dates. After a couple communications, Tisch’s office failed to moved forward or respond for several weeks. Finally on Dec 5 at 9:38am Tisch’s office made a return phone call. Tisch was still willing to meet, but now she would not meet in a public setting of any kind, including video recording made available to the public. Mr. Mihelbergel once again asked for Tisch to reconsider and asked that she respond in early January after the holidays. No reply has been made. When asked how he felt about this Mr. Mihelbergel replied, “We are in the middle of an education crisis in NYS that has never been seen in history, and the Chancellor of the Board of Regents refuses to meet with key parent-leaders in a public setting about key issues that are harming kids. What are they trying to hide? Parents are willing to work with the Chancellor of the Board of Regents, but, just like Commissioner King, the Board of Regents is not willing to work with us now either.” King has held public forums across the state, but has not shown any willingness to act on parent concerns. Chancellor Tisch is following in King’s path. On October 15, 2013 NYS Allies for Public Education called for the immediate resignation of Education Commissioner John King as he “refuses to hear the concerns of parents while simultaneously carrying out educational policies that affect thousands of children.” Here is their press release from October: http://www.nysape.org/nysape-calls-for-resignation-of-john-king.html Since then, over 50 teacher union have joined the call for John King’s resignation: http://www.nysape.org/support-call-for-commissioner-john-kingsresignation.html Now, over three months later the Board of Regents refuses to have open public dialogue with key parent-leaders about the most controversial educational reforms ever to exist in NYS. “If Chancellor Tisch thinks she is entitled to ignore a majority of unhappy parents with severe concerns for their children, then maybe she is not the right leader for the Board of Regents and our children,” said Eric Mihelbergel. Mr. Mihelbergel has two young daughters and lives outside of Buffalo, NY. ###