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District 3 CEC member, Hunter College educator frontrunners for open Regents spots

A member of the Upper West Side’s Community Education Council and a Hunter College educator endorsed by leaders of the opt-out movement are the likely choices for two open seats on New York’s Board of Regents, sources said Wednesday.

Nan Mead, the CEC member, and Luis Reyes, who ‎serves as the director of education at Hunter’s Center for Puerto Rican Studies, are favored by Assembly Democrats after their conference on Wednesday, multiple sources said. Regents members are chosen by the legislature, a process largely driven by Assembly Democrats.

Mead, who works for an investment consulting firm, according to her LinkedIn profile, was elected to District 3’s Community Education Council in 2015. She also serves on the Chancellor’s Parent Advisory Council and on the parents association of P.S. 180 Hugo Newman in West Harlem.

Luis Reyes, who was a member of the city’s Board of Education in the 1990s, has been an adjunct education professor at a number of CUNY schools whose work has focused on bilingual education and Puerto Rican students. He was endorsed by the leaders of New York’s opt-out movement, and expressed his support for parents who decide that their children won’t take state exams in a survey submitted to the group.

He also says the Regents should create a working group to review the state tests, with a focus on how they affect students with disabilities and English learners. He also supports investigating alternative ways for students to earn a high school diploma.

Reyes would fill the at-large seat that will be left by outgoing Chancellor Merryl Tisch, while Mead would become Manhattan’s representative. That position was formerly filled by Charles Bendit, who announced his resignation in February. (Vice Chancellor Anthony Bottar of Syracuse is also stepping down next month.)

In recent years, the board has overseen a number of controversial education policies, such as the adoption of Common Core and a teacher evaluation system that uses state test scores as a factor. The new Regents will help shape how far the board transitions from those policies.

The legislature is scheduled to vote to fill the new seats on March 8.

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