Children with disabilities have many struggles to deal with. Public officials should do their best to remove the obstacles these children confront, not add to them.

This is a statement written by Bianca Tanis, a parent of a child with disabilities.

Here is an excerpt:

“As of Tuesday, 2/11, Members of the NYS Assembly completed interviews of both new and incumbent candidates for the 4 positions that are up for re-appointment on the NYS Board of Regents. In light of the failure of the Board of Regents to heed parent concerns, coupled with a Regents Task Force Report that is at best misinformed and at worst duplicitous, the legislature must elect new leadership to the Board. When the legislators vote to decide who will fill these 4 spots on March 11th, parents and educators will be watching.

“Parents of students with disabilities have been vocally opposed to not only the flawed implementation of the CCLS, but also the deep flaws within the standards themselves and the ways in which they promote poor instructional practice for special education students. One of the Regents up for reappointment is Christine Cea, the Regent from Staten Island who calls herself the “voice of disabilities.” You can watch her interview with members of the Assembly Education Committee here.

“There is little doubt that as a parent of a child with a disability and a researcher for the New York State Institute for Basic Research in Developmental Disabilities , Regent Cea has the best intentions. However, after watching her interview, it is difficult to believe that she is the most qualified person to represent the educational needs of students with disabilities in New York.

“Regent Cea side stepped questions and gave vague, general answers. When asked where in her opinion, special education is going and what direction it should take, Ms. Cea offered the less than insightful response, “We are seeing great strides in getting people independent and doing more and more.” When asked what she hopes to accomplish in her next term if elected, Regent Cea responded, “I moved very comfortably into the spot of being the disability voice and I just hope to do more…I hope to take this transition piece (transition to the CC) and make it into something special.” Special?

“Perhaps most disturbing was Regent Cea’s complete and utter lack of understanding of the ways in which the CCLS are impacting students with disabilities in the classroom.”

Tanis then reprints the interview.