images of parents with their children
Dear Parents,
Earlier this week, the State Education Department released revised New York State P-12 English Language Arts and Mathematics Learning Standards that will be presented to the Board of Regents for discussion during their meeting next week. The new learning standards are the culmination of a nearly two-year process that resulted in substantive changes while maintaining rigor. Revision committees made up of more than 130 educators and parents were instrumental in the review process. The committees considered more than 4,100 public comments from a fall 2016 survey, as well as comments from experts, and incorporated this extensive feedback into the revised learning standards.
I want to thank all the parents, teachers, and other educators and experts who participated in this review process. Thanks to your efforts, we have developed a set of standards that will help prepare our children for success in the 21st Century. We will provide increased guidance for educators and teachers as they develop curricula and lesson plans to meet the needs of students in their classrooms.
A few of the significant changes to the ELA standards include to:
  • Add practices to foster lifelong readers and writers to ensure students become lifelong learners who can effectively communicate.
  • Merge the reading for information and reading for literature standards to reduce repetitive standards, streamline classroom instruction and curriculum development, and ensure a healthy balance of both types of reading across all grades.
  • Convene the New York State Early Learning Task Force to discuss concerns around the P-2 grades. The Task Force reviewed and provided feedback on the standards and is now working on recommendations to develop resources and guidance to implement the new standards for educators and parents. Instructional resources will include play as an instructional strategy.
Extensive changes were made to the Mathematics Learning Standards as well. Among the changes are to:
  • Move standards to different grade levels to improve the focus of major content and skills for each grade-level and course and to provide more time for students to develop deep levels of understanding of grade-level appropriate content.
  • Provide opportunity for students to explore standards. Exploring a standard allows students to be introduced to and learn a concept without the expectation of mastering the concept at that grade level.
  • Clarification of standards so that educators, students and parents more clearly understand the expectation.
You can read the revised learning standards and find more information about the review process, including a timeline, on our AIMHighNY website . There, you can also submit comments on the revised standards. We are accepting public comments through June 2.
This week, we also announced the public hearing schedule for New York's Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) plan. At the Board of Regents meeting on Monday, we will share our draft plan with the Board. Later in the week, we will hold our first public hearing on Long Island. A total of 13 public hearings will be held across the State. We will also accept written comments about the plan from May 9 to June 16. Here you will find the full public hearing schedule and more detail about our engagement efforts to date for our ESSA plan.
In addition to discussing learning standards and ESSA, I want to take this opportunity to tell you about the Governor's Empire State Excellence in Teaching Award and give you information about the Excelsior Scholarship.
Governor Cuomo is currently seeking nominations and applications for the Empire State Excellence in Teaching Award. This year, the Governor will recognize 60 teachers from across the state with the award. Awardees will receive a stipend of $5,000 for continued learning and professional development and have the opportunity to directly advise education policy makers. To apply for the award, or to nominate an exceptional teacher, visit . The deadline to nominate a teacher is May 11. Teacher applications are due May 18.
Last month, Governor Cuomo and the State Legislature enacted the Excelsior Scholarship, a free-tuition program for middle class families earning $125,000 or less. The program begins this fall and will be phased in over three years. To learn more, check out .
Thank you for taking the time to read about what's happening at State Ed. I appreciate all you do to support strong family and community involvement in our schools.
MaryEllen Elia