Cashin tells Chamber, ‘You lessened the struggles by providing jobs’
By Paula Katinas
Brooklyn Daily Eagle
Business owners have an important role to play in educating children, from providing jobs to parents to hiring student interns to helping stabilize communities, according to Dr. Kathleen Cashin, a member of the New York State Board of Regents, who told the Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce that she has seen first-hand the positive impact of commerce on kids.
Business owners in communities help families stay afloat which in turn assists children, said Cashin, who was the keynote speaker at a Chamber luncheon in Albany on Monday.
“You lessened the struggles by providing jobs,” Cashin said. “You are concerned about the schools. You are concerned about everybody’s child.”
A strong business sector is essential to education, according to Cashin, a former superintendent of District 23, who represents Brooklyn on the Board of Regents. “If you succeed, our communities will succeed and our children will succeed. If your business is vibrant and you’re helping your neighborhood, you’re helping the children,” she told an audience filled with business owners at the luncheon at the Hilton Hotel.
Cashin implored Chamber members to hire student interns and to “hold young workers accountable.”
Cashin, who described her job as a regent as an “onerous position,” said the board, which sets education policy for the state, fully realizes the impact of its decisions.
The goal is not to dictate policy but to find what is best for the students by keeping an open dialogue with communities, she said. “I believe policy should be from the bottom up, not the top down,” she said.
Cashin blasted the education system’s emphasis on standardized testing under Common Core and said that while she believes in testing as a way of determining where a child stands academically, “assessment should not be the focal point.”
Cashin said she strongly believes that “everybody doesn’t blossom at the same time” and that the educational system should take that into account.
With all of the focus on testing, “I hope we’re not neglecting our children’s social and emotional dimension,” she told the Chamber.
To meet the needs of today’s students, Cashin called for night high schools for those who work during the day.
Cashin was elected by a joint session of the state Legislature to the Board of Regents for a term effective April 1, 2011, representing the 2nd Judicial District in Brooklyn. She was also elected to a five-year term effective April 1, 2015.
Cashin has more than 35 years of experience as a teacher and school superintendent. She taught at Holy Innocents School and P.S. 299 and served as principal at P.S. 193. She was the superintendent of District 23 in Oceanhill-Brownsville, where her innovative programs helped raise students’ test scores. She later served as superintendent for Region 5 (Brooklyn-Queens).
In his introduction of her, Chamber President Carlo Scissura called Cashin “an educational visionary.”
Cashin was named "Distinguished Educator of the Year" by the New York City Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development and served as a member of the Deputy Chancellor for Teaching and Learning's Senior Team, a group responsible for introducing instructional changes across the city. She also served as CEO of the Knowledge Network Learning Support Organization.
Cashin has a bachelor’s degree in science from Brentwood College, a master’s degree in education from Brooklyn College and a professional diploma and Ph.D. from Fordham University. She is a former adjunct professor at Brooklyn College and currently serves as a clinical professor at Fordham University.
The luncheon served as the kickoff to a two-day trip to Albany by the Chamber. Members also held several meetings with lawmakers at the state Capitol, including Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie (D-Bronx).