he state Board of Regents, which oversees public schools in the state among its duties, has a lot on its plate at the moment. There is the problem of the crippled state finances and their impact on local schools. There is the arrival of a new education secretary, Arne Duncan, who not only is handing out stimulus money but is looking for national school reform.
And then there is the regents’ task of choosing a commissioner to replace Richard Mills, who is leaving the job this summer, a leader who changed the conversation about public school performance by championing consistent, measurable standards in academic fundamentals.
The value of a measuring process based almost entirely on standardized tests was often questioned, but test scores did show with great clarity the disparity between urban and suburban schools.