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February 8, 2021
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JP O'Hare

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Board of Regents Unanimously Appoints Dr. Betty A. Rosa as Permanent Commissioner of Education

Commissioner Rosa is First Latina Woman to Serve as Commissioner

The Board of Regents unanimously appointed Dr. Betty A. Rosa as permanent Commissioner of Education and President of the University of the State of New York, the first Latina woman to serve in the position, the State Education Department announced today. The Commissioner leads the Department and assists the Board of Regents and Department in carrying out its mission to raise the knowledge, skill, and opportunity of all the people in New York.

“I’ve known Dr. Rosa for decades and her breadth of experience, expertise and ability to work with all people make her the best choice to serve as Commissioner,” Chancellor Lester W. Young, Jr. said. “As Chancellor, Dr. Rosa earned the tremendous respect of the Board of Regents through her steadfast commitment to all New York’s students and collegial approach to our work. Through her career as an exceptional educator, leader, and innovator, she garnered the reverence of the education community. I look forward to continue working with Dr. Rosa to further advance our goal to achieve equity in education for all New Yorkers.”

“After an exhaustive search process, Dr. Rosa emerged as the most qualified and distinguished candidate to serve as the permanent Commissioner of Education and President of the University of the State of New York,” Vice Chancellor T. Andrew Brown said. “In every facet of her extraordinary career, Dr. Rosa has never wavered from her role as an advocate for equity for students and educators. Dr. Rosa stepped up and provided stability to the Department while it faced great challenges as a result of the pandemic, and I am grateful to have partnered with her during this unprecedented time.”

“The Department has undergone several transitions and challenges in the past year and a half which have allowed me to work more closely with the tremendous staff of the Department,” Commissioner Rosa said. “In this time, we have come together with the Board to face these challenges head on and I am honored to be able to continue our important work to benefit New York’s children and adults. Now more than ever, we must address the equity gaps our state faces and I am eager to partner with the Board and the education community to further these efforts.”

The Board undertook a thorough search to identify candidates for the position, reviewing dozens of applications and conducting two rounds of interviews.

Dr. Rosa has served as Interim Commissioner since August 2020. She was elected by her Board of Regents colleagues as Chancellor in March 2016 and re-elected for a second term in 2019. Dr. Rosa was first elected to the Board of Regents for a five-year term in 2008, as the Regent for the Twelfth Judicial District (Bronx County), then re-elected for a second term in 2013 and a third term in 2018.

Dr. Rosa is a nationally recognized education leader and received an Ed. M. and Ed. D. in Administration, Planning and Social Policy from Harvard University. She also holds two other 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 and a B.A. in psychology from the City College of New York. She has more than 30 years of instructional and administrative experience with an expertise in inclusive education, cooperative teaching models, student achievement and policy implementation.

Dr. Rosa began her career in the NYC 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.

In 1998, Dr. Rosa was appointed to the position of Superintendent of Community School District 8 in the Bronx and later appointed 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 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.

The Commissioner oversees the work of more than 700 school districts with 2.6 million students; 7,000 libraries; 900 museums; and more than 50 professions encompassing nearly 900,000 licensees.