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Bronx prez: NY's former ed commissioner should be grilled

In the wake of new evidence that New York State’s standardized tests have become easier to pass, education officials and state legislators have focused on moving on and improving the exams. But Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. would like to revisit the past.

In a letter to Senator Suzi Oppenheimer, who chairs the State Senate’s education committee, Diaz demanded that Oppenheimer call State Education Commissioner Richard Mills in to testify at hearings about the exams. Mills oversaw the State Education Department for 14 years and retired in 2009.

“Many of the issues occurred under his watch and he has a responsibility to answer the many questions that these recent results have raised,” Diaz wrote.

Oppenheimer has already said she plans to hold hearings in Manhattan that will focus on the now-lowered passing rates and re-calibrated proficiency standards, but she told the New York Post that she doesn’t want to drag Mills to the witness stand.

“‘I see no value in it,” she said. “He did what was best back then.”

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