New York’s Board of Regents has chosen a downstate dean with a reputation as a reformer to take over the state Education Department.
The board today elected Dr. David Milton Steiner as education commissioner, citing his commitment to boosting student achievement by improving the quality of teachers.
Steiner has spent the last four years as dean of the Hunter College School of Education at the City University of New York, where he is credited with raising attendance in the Manhattan college’s teacher preparation program for public school teachers and principals.
“I have dedicated my career to advancing the idea that with a strong core curriculum and rigorous teacher preparation and support we can help students in every school district achieve and succeed,” Steiner said.
Widely published on issues of education reform, teacher preparation and curriculum development, he set a goal of transforming the state Education Department “into a hub of innovation and best practices to boost student achievement.”
The Princeton, N.J., native succeeds Richard Mills, who announced his resignation in January and left the post July 1. There are 2.6 million students in New York’s public schools.
Before Hunter College, Steiner spent a year as director of arts education at the National Endowment for the Arts, where he designed a program to train teachers to present major works of art in the classroom and helped develop an online jazz curriculum.
He taught at Boston University’s School of Education from 1999-2004, serving as chairman of the Department of Education Policy his final two years.
“David Steiner has pushed the envelope, challenged orthodoxy and developed rigorous evidence-based approaches that help prepare and support teachers in a diverse range of settings to lead their students to remarkable gains in achievement,” Regents Chancellor Merryl Tisch said.
Steiner will be paid $250,000 when he assumes his new post Oct. 1. Carole Huxley, a retired deputy commissioner of cultural education, will remain as interim director until then.
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