FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE November 14, 2011
For More Information Contact:
Tom Dunn, Jonathan Burman or Jane Briggs
COMMISSIONER KING APPOINTS GREENBERG
AS SPECIAL INVESTIGATOR
Pro Bono Work Includes Review of SED Investigations of
Alleged Test Integrity Violations
State Education Commissioner John B. King, Jr. today announced Henry M. "Hank" Greenberg will conduct a complete review of the State Education Department’s (SED) processes and procedures for receiving, reviewing and investigating reports of alleged improprieties involving the State’s student assessments, including the Regents examinations. Greenberg, who will provide his services pro bono, was appointed by Commissioner King to the position of Special Investigator.
"New York State administers more than five million student exams every year," Commissioner King said. "The results of those tests help us determine how well students are learning, and how much more they need to learn. We cannot let those results be tainted by abuse and impropriety.
"Hank Greenberg brings the expertise, experience and skill necessary to make sure SED is handling every allegation effectively and efficiently. The overwhelming majority of educators in New York State are giving tests honestly. The actions of a few should not taint the reputation of the many. We know we can do a better job responding to these allegations. Hank Greenberg will help us get better."
Commissioner King said Greenberg would have complete, unfettered access to SED assessment records, including records of alleged test integrity violations and how those allegations were tracked and resolved. Greenberg will examine reports of alleged irregularities in the administration and scoring of State assessments, and examine the intake, review, referral investigation and response to those allegations. Based on the findings of his review, Greenberg will make recommendations to the Commissioner and Board of Regents to improve SED policies and procedures.
Greenberg has a long history of public service and extensive experience in both civil and criminal investigations. Prior to re-joining Greenberg Traurig LLP in January 2011, Greenberg served as Counsel to the New York State Attorney General under Andrew Cuomo. He has also served as Assistant United States Attorney, Chief Counsel for the New York State Department of Health, and Law Clerk to Judge Judith Kaye of the New York State Court of Appeals.
Commissioner King said the Board of Regents is committed to protecting the integrity of State assessments. He noted that SED’s State budget request includes funding for several test integrity measures, including erasure analysis and data forensics. The Board also acted to prohibit teachers from scoring their own exams beginning in 2012-13. Earlier this year, the Regents approved a series of actions aimed at reinforcing the integrity of New York’s testing system. The Board’s actions will enhance security at every stage of the testing process: before the exams are given; during their administration; and when they are being scored. The actions approved by the Regents will be implemented in three stages: 1) addressing the immediate changes that can be made to the current system; 2) revamping and reforming the system as part of the educational reform process; and 3) planning for the testing system of the future (including a transition to computer based testing).
Follow the Commissioner on Twitter: @JohnKingNYSED
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New York State Board of Regents
The State Education Department / The University of the State of New York / Albany, NY 12234
Office of Communications / (518) 474-1201