The Journal News August 14, 2015 “East Ramapo’s future is a top priority for the state, Education Department Commissioner MaryEllen Elia told hundreds of frustrated parents at a meeting where a team of outside monitors was introduced to oversee the struggling district.“We hear you,” Elia told a packed audience Thursday at Rockland Community College. “We recognize the seriousness of the situation.”Community members expressed hope that Dennis Walcott, the former chancellor of New York City schools, will help turn the district around. He’s tasked with overseeing a team that will monitor operations and provide recommendations to ensure students have access to appropriate programs and services, and that the district is on a path to fiscal and programmatic stability. They also expressed concern that Walcott and his team — which includes Monica George-Fields and John W. Sipple — will be stymied by an uncooperative local Board of Education since they lack veto power. “I will be present on a regular basis and meet with community members,” Walcott told the crowd, which alternately cheered and booed the plan. Walcott and his team will provide a report of their actions and findings to Elia and the Board of Regents in December. He said he’ll make unannounced visits to schools and offices in East Ramapo to get a better idea of what’s going on. He also plans to reach out to parents of children who attend private schools. “We know when something stinks, when something’s not right,” Walcott pledged, to cheers. Read the full text of the coverage here.