The View From Here

January 22, 2018


An old Chinese blessing says, “May you live in interesting times.”  Well, we are certainly blessed by those standards.  Those interesting times also bring uncertainty.  On both the state and federal levels, there is great uncertainty about what the future will mean to education. 


In New York, Governor Cuomo has recently unveiled his budget, and it is part of a “new normal.”  National and state politics have shifted their focus, and the budgetary needs of schools, particularly public schools, are not high on priority lists on either level.


With that in mind, schools and school leaders need to step back and reimagine their organizations.  What are the areas that need to be addressed, and what services need to be provided are questions of critical importance.  Similarly, what areas need to be reduced or eliminated must be examined.  This is often a very painful process, but a necessary one.


CASDA is in a similar situation.  As a technical service agency designed to provide researched-based assistance to public and private schools, we change and grow (or contract) based upon the needs of the schools we serve.  More interestingly, we need to stay a step ahead of the needs of schools, and anticipate what those needs are, even before they are known to the districts themselves.  It is exciting and a real challenge for all of us at CASDA.  We need to, and are already positioning ourselves to be prepared for your needs.  Rest assured, that is a regular conversation here, and one that we are working daily to fulfill.


Our primary goal is to provide effective and productive support for our districts.  As an arm of the University at Albany, we also ensure that the assistance we offer will also always be based upon theoretically-based research.  Our Executive Committee consists of representatives from public and private schools, secular and religious school, K-12 education as well as faculty from the School of Education at UAlbany.  That should come as a relief to our member schools.  You can always ensure that our work with you will not be as a result of a google search, or a magazine article someone happened upon.  Our work is based upon the research of the best and brightest, and provided to you by means of a talented, veteran faculty who have many years of practice in the field.  We currently have close to 50 faculty working at CASDA, and they come from an amazingly wide variety of backgrounds and experiences.


Why am I sharing this with all of you?  Simply put, you can rest assured that when you call CASDA for assistance, we can provide what you need on almost any topic imaginable, and our talented faculty are prepared to give you the services that will take you and your schools forward as we complete the second decade of the 21st Century.


Jim Hoffman

Interim Executive Director


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