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New mayoral appointees join the Panel for Educational Policy

Three mayoral appointees of the Panel for Educational Policy said their goodbyes on Wednesday at an otherwise uneventful monthly meeting. Tino Hernandez, the panel chair, briefly thanked Jeff Kay, Eduardo Martí and Joan Correale for serving on the PEP at a meeting that lasted just an hour.

Milton Williams, Rosemarie Maldonado, and Jeanette Moy are replacing them on the panel, which is tasked with approving school closures, co-locations, contracts, and other school initiatives. Moy and Maldonado have worked in City Hall, but none of them appear to have close ties to the K through 12 education sector—save Maldonado, who sent her children to public school.

Since the PEP was established in 2002 with the advent of mayoral control, it has voted to approve every one of the city’s policies, even when borough president appointees to the panel, who are in the minority, oppose them. The mayoral appointees have faced criticism from educators and advocates for consistently favoring city plans, even though they seem to have little choice. In 2004 Bloomberg removed panel appointees who were planning to vote against a proposal requiring students to pass the state exams before being promoted.

City officials did not respond to questions about the reasons for the changes. One clue might be the results of a March meeting, during which contracts related to the City University of New York could not be voted on because too many mayoral appointees with ties to CUNY had to recuse themselves from voting. Martí and Correale both work for CUNY.

Jeanette Moy is the vice president of strategic planning for the Brooklyn Library, a position she has held since December 2011, according to her Linkedin profile, after years of working for City Hall. She has served as a deputy chief of staff to Mayor Michael Bloomberg, and a senior policy advisor with the city’s Office of Operations Customer Service Group. She has at least one direct connection to city schools: she’s an alumna of Stuyvesant High School. Moy declined to comment on her appointment.

Milton Williams, Jr. is a city attorney with the firm of Vladeck, Waldman, Elias & Engelhard who specializes in employment, entertainment and sports law. He has also worked for Time, Inc. and served as an Assistant U.S. Attorney in the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York, and an Assistant District Attorney in the New York County District Attorney’s Office. Williams was not available to comment this afternoon. He is an appointee to the city’s Board of Correction.

Rosemarie Maldonado is the counsel to Jeremy Travis, the president of John Jay College of Criminal Justice, and she also serves on the Board of Correction. She worked with Bloomberg as the deputy executive director of the mayor’s Commissioner on Hispanic Concerns, and with former Mayor Edward Koch, when she was a deputy to Travis and he was an advisor to Koch.

In an announcement posted on John Jay’s website, Maldonado said she considers the appointment “a distinct honor.”

“I know as a New York City parent that some of the most difficult decisions we make are those that affect the education of our children,” she said in the statement.

Travis said she will draw on her experience at John Jay, “observing the connections between higher education and the K-12 system.”

“The Panel for Educational Policy will benefit from her wisdom, her clear thinking, and her concern for student success as well as her experiences as a parent of children who have attended the City’s public schools,” he said in the statement.