Former Superintendent, Principal, and Teacher Will Lead Efforts to Provide Equity and Access for English Language Learners in New York City Schools
NEW YORK – Chancellor Carmen Fariña today announced the appointment of former superintendent Milady Baez to the newly created position of Senior Executive Director of the Department of English Language Learners and Student Support, a critical role in which Baez will lead New York City’s efforts to close the achievement gap between our native English speakers and English learners. Baez brings years of experience and expertise as an educator and pioneer of New York City’s Dual Language programs to this position.
As Senior Executive Director, Baez will report directly to the Chancellor and execute the Chancellor’s priorities as they apply to the diverse range of linguistic learners. She will focus on enhancing and expanding professional development for principals and teachers, increasing parental involvement and engagement, and developing individualized and targeted solutions to meet the unique needs of different students. These support efforts will promote academic achievement and development among English Language Learners. She will also oversee the DOE’s effort to address the education needs of unaccompanied child minors arriving in New York City.
Baez served New York City students as a Department of Education employee for 31 years, including three as the Local Instructional Superintendent in Region 4 in Queens, where she supervised twelve K-12 schools and served as the Liaison for Dual Language and Bilingual Programs for all schools in the region. Previously, she was principal for six years at P.S. 149 in Queens and assistant principal for nine years at P.S. 314 in Brooklyn. At both schools, Baez established and directed highly acclaimed Dual Language programs. The Project Bravo Dual Language Program Baez implemented at P.S. 149 has become a model in New York City and for schools across the country.
“Nobody has a better track record of serving New York City’s English Language Learners than Milady,” said Schools Chancellor Carmen Fariña. “Today is a great day for our school system, and we expect she will bring the enthusiasm, energy, and results that marked her time as a superintendent, principal, and teacher to students across our city. Milady’s commitment to every child’s learning and her leadership abilities will be a true boon to our Department and the diversity of learners across the City as we seek to ensure high-quality education for all our students.”
“From the start of my career, I’ve focused on ensuring educational equity and opportunity for English Language Learners, and I believe that this role will allow me to leverage my experience and passion to serve students of linguistic diversity and English learners across New York City,” said Milady Baez, Senior Executive Director of the Department of English Language Learners and Student Support. “The appointment is a great honor and brings a great challenge as to how we are going to promote equity for all English Language Learners with highly qualified teachers, resources and materials, and the use of technology. There is a big job ahead of us, and we need to bring together all stakeholders to help us in this endeavor.”
“I applaud Chancellor Fariña for taking this innovative and critical step to help thousands of New York’s students,” said Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito. “New Yorkers come from all over the world and speak dozens of languages, so language access is critical for school children as they begin their education.”
“I am thrilled that Chancellor Fariña has appointed Milady Baez to this important position,” said Assemblywoman Catherine Nolan, Chair of the Assembly's Education Committee. "I know she will work as hard for the children of this city as she did for children in my district during her time as superintendent in Queens. Her passion for and knowledge of bilingual and ELL education will be a great asset for New York City's students and their families.”
“English Language Learners need all the support they can get and I know Milady Baez will do just that,” said NYC Council Education Committee Chairperson Daniel Dromm. “I am pleased to see my fellow Queens colleague appointed to provide that support. Ms. Baez has a proven track record that makes her a great fit for this newly created position.”
“For over a generation, English Language Learners have not been given the full support they need to successfully learn English and achieve in all subjects,” stated José Calderón, President of the Hispanic Federation. “Today’s senior level appointment of Milady Baez and the establishment of a new, broader Department of ELLs signals a new day for some of our most vulnerable youngsters. The Hispanic Federation is committed to working with the DOE to expand the number of transitional bilingual and dual language programs, while ensuring ELLs are at the center of academic opportunity across the city.”
“We are thrilled with the Chancellor's decision to create this new position reporting directly to her and focusing exclusively on supporting our city's emerging bilingual learners and their families and those who educate them,” said Claire Sylvan, Executive Director of Internationals Network for Public Schools. “Milady has deep experience working with English Language Learners and a deep knowledge of what schools need to be able to build on the diverse strengths that these young people bring to our schools and our city. Milady's dedication to and experience in developing bilingualism and bi-literacy are longstanding, as is her advocacy for policies that are designed appropriately to develop and support our bilingual students and their teachers.”
“We congratulate the Department of Education on the creation of the Department of English Language Learners and Student Support, and Milady Baez on her appointment as the Senior Executive Director,” said Steven Choi, Executive Director of the New York Immigration Coalition. “We believe the establishment of the Department and the elevation of a representative for ELLs to the Chancellor's Executive Team reflects a strong commitment from Chancellor Carmen Fariña to support ELLs, and we look forward to working with the DOE to strengthen the City's work to highlight ELLs’ enormous potential and ensure that schools are properly equipped to support them.”
Since her official retirement from the Department of Education in 2006, Baez has worked as an Educational Consultant, leading professional development for teachers of English Language Learners at the Metro NYU Center, and advising the Department’s Office of English Language Learners from 2006-2009. During her time at P.S. 149 and P.S. 314, she was known and recognized for her engagement of parents and families of different cultures, and implemented the first Dual Language Academy and Chinese Bilingual Program at P.S. 314. Prior to her promotion to assistant principal at P.S. 314, Baez was a staff developer and bilingual teacher at the elementary-school level for 13 years.
Baez, a native speaker of Spanish, also speaks French. Her educational leadership has been honored with various awards, including recognitions from the New York State Assembly, the DOE, the Federation of Parents Club, as well as the Principal Leadership Award from Business and Industry for the Arts in Education. Baez is the co-founder and Executive Director of the Association of Dominican-American Supervisors and Administrators, which was established to promote excellent leadership qualities among its members.