Friday, April 07, 2017
NYSED Commissioner MaryEllen Elia's "Final Solution" Blunder.
You would think that a person in the top spot of education in New York State would be smart enough not to touch a "third rail" and electrocute herself. Well, New York State Education Department Commissioner, MaryEllen Elia did just that and she is now damaged her reputation and is in danger of losing her job because of it.
Commissioner MaryEllen Elia, who still thinks "junk Science" should be used to evaluate teachers and students and is against the "opt out" movement, had commented on the controversy that an Oswego high school teacher inappropriately gave to his high schoolstudents that asked them to take sides on the Nazi's "final solution", the extermination of the Jews. The project and the controversy hit social media big time and here is what our Commissioner first said, when asked to comment on the highly explosive issue:
“I think it’s certainly a question where you want students to think on both sides and analyze … which position a person is taking. That idea of being able to identify the perspective an article has or a writer has is a very important skill.”
That's right, in an assignment that crossed a line that should never have been crossed, the Commissioner, instead of condemning the assignment, thought it was an appropriate "critical thinking" skill for high schoolers to analyze. Unbelievable!
Well, as you can imagine, the shit hit the fan and many Jewish and parent organizations throughout the State complained about the assignment and her supportive response to the assignment. In fact one Parent Teacher Association, Hastings on the Hudson, has asked that Ms. Elia to either resign or be removed as Commissioner.
The Commissioner, under intense political pressure and continuous media inquires, retracted her original comment and said the following:
“Since first learning of the assignment, I’ve done my homework to determine the facts in this situation. I spoke with district officials about this serious matter. We agree the assignment should not have been given. The teacher apologized and the assignment will not be used in the future.”
The Commissioner's response was entirely inadequate and instead of apologizing for her insensitive and wrongheaded comment supporting the assignment, she simply said on further review, the assignment should not have been given. Maybe she needs to take a course on the Holocaust as a condition for continuing as Commissioner of the New York State Education Department. You can read the entire story Here.