New York Education Officials Examine Access and Equity during COVID-19 at City & State Webinar Sponsored by Berkeley College

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday, May 27, 2020
Contact: Kelly Depsee
Director, Communications and External Relations
973-200-1099
KME@BerkeleyCollege.edu
NEW YORK EDUCATION OFFICIALS EXAMINE ACCESS AND EQUITY
DURING COVID-19 AT CITY & STATE WEBINAR
SPONSORED BY BERKELEY COLLEGE 

“We are asking our faculty to teach in a completely different way, and for our students to learn in a very different way. We are looking at a more adaptive and responsive environment. The fluidity that now needs to be in the classroom … is a totally different exercise for education at all levels.”
– Marsha Pollard, PhD, Provost of Berkeley College

City State Berkeley

Photo Caption: City & State New York hosted “New York’s Education System in the Coronavirus Pandemic” on May 26, 2020. Panelists included (L to R) Betty Rosa, Chancellor, New York State Board of Regents; Marsha Pollard, PhD, Provost of Berkeley College; New York City Council Member Mark Treyger, Chair, Education Committee; and Senator John C. Liu, Chairperson, Committee on New York City Education. 

Join the Conversation: @BerkeleyCollege @CityAndStateNY @LiuNewYork @MarkTreyger718 @NYSEDC @JCColtin #NewsBerkeley 

Berkeley College Provost Marsha Pollard, PhD, contributed to the dialogue on the impact of the coronavirus pandemic on New York’s education system during a webinar hosted by City & State New York on May 26, 2020. The event, sponsored by Berkeley College, brought together education leaders and lawmakers before an audience of more than 600 attendees. 

Panelists for “New York’s Education System in the Coronavirus Pandemic” included Betty Rosa, Chancellor, New York State Board of Regents; New York City Council Member Mark Treyger, Chair, Education Committee; Senator John C. Liu, Chairperson, Committee on New York City Education, and Pollard, and was moderated by Jeff Coltin, Senior Reporter, City & State New York

Rosa and Treyger said they were still unsure if schools will open this fall, but said they would take direction from health experts to ensure the safety of all students. 

“I think that many parents and families would like their children to get a sense of normalcy as soon as possible, but I think they would also agree that we have to hear more from health experts about what that looks like,” Treyger said. 

Rosa also addressed issues with remote learning, such as areas of New York where appropriate infrastructure is not in place, and students who do not have appropriate technology to participate in the virtual classroom. She also said that educators only had a short time to be trained in distance learning. 

“It’s one thing to take attendance. It’s another thing to ensure that the attendance has a quality behind it that allows children to continue learning,” Rosa said. “Our emphasis, our focus, is on teaching and learning.” While the virtual classroom “has been part of the fabric of teaching and learning” in some wealthier communities, Rosa said students from disadvantaged areas have been greatly affected by the transition. 

Pollard said that since March, Berkeley College has provided approximately 675 laptop computers to students at no charge to help them successfully continue their education. She said about 54 percent of Berkeley College students have taken at least one online course, so the College was more prepared than most to make the switch to the virtual classroom. Despite this, hundreds of courses had to be transitioned to an online format so learning could continue, uninterrupted. 

“We are asking our faculty to teach in a completely different way, and for our students to learn in a very different way,” Pollard said. “We are looking at a more adaptive and responsive environment. The fluidity that now needs to be in the classroom … is a totally different exercise for education at all levels.” 

Liu addressed proposed budget cuts to the New York school system, and what those cuts could mean for education. “Our main focus is to try not to have the governor cut school aid,” Liu said. “That will be a dismantling of significant parts of our school system in the state of New York.” 

Speaking as a former public school teacher, Treyger said a return to normalcy in New York is highly dependent on the situation surrounding the school system. 

“If New York advances painful cuts to our school system … I don’t believe we can safely reopen schools the way we should,” he said. 

He added, “There is no reopening of the New York economy without a safe reopening of New York schools. The school system, the economy and public health are interconnected.” 

Watch the Webinar: Click here to watch the “New York’s Education System in the Coronavirus Pandemic” webinar, hosted by City & State New York.

Marsha Pollard Berkeley 

Photo Caption: Marsha Pollard, PhD, Provost of Berkeley College, discusses making the transition to the virtual classroom during “New York’s Education System in the Coronavirus Pandemic,” a webinar hosted by City & State New York on May 26, 2020. 

About Berkeley College

Berkeley College, founded in 1931, is a career-focused institution accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education that offers students Master’s, Bachelor’s, and Associate’s degree and Certificate programs in more than 20 career fields. The College has campuses in Midtown Manhattan and White Plains, NY, as well as in Newark, Paramus, Woodbridge and Woodland Park, NJ, with more than 5,700 students enrolled. In addition, Berkeley College Online® serves a global population. U.S. News & World Report has named Berkeley College among the Best Colleges for Online Bachelor’s Programs and among the Best Online Bachelor’s Programs for Veterans, for seven consecutive years. The website address is www.BerkeleyCollege.edu 

The mission of Berkeley College is to empower students to achieve lifelong success in dynamic careers.

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