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Letter: Leaders are committed to improving education

Leaders are committed to improving education

As a math teacher at Akron High School and a Ph.D. student in curriculum, instruction and the science of learning, I recently had the great pleasure of attending a TeachNY session at the University at Buffalo. I was part of a small group of Ph.D. students who spoke with State Education Commissioner MaryEllen Elia and SUNY Chancellor Nancy Zimpher about what brought us to education, our current concerns and what we believe can be done to improve the state of education from prekindergarten to post-secondary.

We talked about the current classroom environment for teachers and shared our ideas for improving the future of teacher education in an open and frank discussion with New York’s top two education leaders.

The commissioner and chancellor made this a true listening campaign. Both were attentive to our concerns and asked follow-up questions based on what we shared. It was apparent that they were looking for authentic feedback and were not only willing but eager to hear what we had to say and act upon it.

After the group conversation, I approached Elia to thank her for the opportunity. She again showed true concern and asked about something I had brought up during the meeting. This small gesture proved to me that the commissioner is genuinely looking for ways to improve education in New York State.

The TeachNY campaign has shown me that educational leadership in Albany is fighting for what’s best for both the students and teachers. I was invigorated by this experience, and have shared my enthusiasm with my colleagues. I look forward to the positive changes yet to come.

Jeri Diletti

Grand Island

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