New York State Education Department_ Knowledge_ Skill_ Opportunity
News and Notes
Dear Colleagues,

You may have heard that after nearly seven years serving the New York State Education Department, I will be departing for another opportunity. My last day in the office will be Friday, November 15.

The time I've spent at NYSED has presented me with the chance to work alongside and learn from some of the finest people I've ever met - individuals whose commitment to bettering the lives of others is unwavering. I've seen firsthand the tireless effort members of the Board of Regents and colleagues have made to ensure New York State residents have equitable opportunities to access education, the arts, cultural institutions, vocational services, and the professions.

With that professional opportunity, there were challenges in trying to find balance between my personal and professional life. I've come to appreciate that when I started my partnership with you my children were 4, 4 and 7. They are now 10, 10 and 13. As they move into their next phases of childhood it is important that I rebalance my time with my husband and children.

I'd like to thank you for your tireless efforts in your schools and communities to ensure that students receive a high-quality education. I know New York State is filled with educators who exude knowledge, passion, and commitment to helping students succeed and thrive. Thank you for your continued dedication to the students of New York State.

The Board of Regents last week appointed Shannon Tahoe as Acting Commissioner of Education effective November 16 and announced additional appointments to leadership positions. The appointees will assist the Board of Regents and Department in carrying out its mission to raise the knowledge, skill and opportunity of all the people in New York.

Finally, it is with deep regret that I inform you of the passing of Judith Johnson, a member of the New York State Board of Regents. In a career that spanned decades, above all else, Judith was dedicated to the pursuit of educational equity and excellence for all children.

Judith's leadership was legendary at the local, state and national levels. In 2008 she received the NYS School Superintendent of the Year award, making her the first African American to receive that honor. Immediately upon her appointment to the Board of Regents in 2015, she continued her unrelenting advocacy for state policies aimed at lifting up all students. Her legacy of caring and compassion will live on.

Below are updates on:
Thank you for your support and for your unwavering commitment to the children of New York.


Beth Berlin
Interim Commissioner
GraduationBoard of Regents and NYSED Launch Phase I of Review of New York State Graduation Measures

high school students in graduation caps and gowns
The Board of Regents and NYSED launched the first phase in the review of graduation measures in New York State. The ultimate goal of the review is to reaffirm what it means to obtain a diploma in New York State and what that diploma should signify to ensure educational excellence and equity for all students.
The information gathering phase includes partnering with Achieve to conduct a review of the relevant research and practices in other states and countries. In addition, the Regents and Department will hold regional meetings starting in January to help gather feedback on five guiding questions to help inform the work of a Blue Ribbon Commission to be formed next year. The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation will provide a $100,000 grant to support the Department's Phase I activities.

The three phases of the graduation measures review include:
  • Phase I: Information Gathering & Learning (November 2019 - March 2020)
  • Phase II: Blue Ribbon Commission (May 2020 - Summer 2021)
  • Phase III: Regents Discussion (Fall 2021)
Our  Graduation Measures web page provides information about the review process and a link to  subscribe for updates. Keep checking back; we will continue to add more details. The specific dates and locations of the Regional Work Group meetings, which will begin in January 2020, will be added as they become available.
diAll 14 Schools in Receivership Make Demonstrable Improvement

All 14 Receivership schools initially identified in July 2015 as part of the first cohort of Receivership schools made Demonstrable Improvement in the 2018-19 school year. These schools showed progress on performance indicators jointly selected by NYSED and the districts in which the schools are located. As a result, these schools will continue to operate under their Superintendent Receiver during the 2019-20 school year.

PerkinsNYSED Proposes Perkins V State Plan to Strengthen Career and Technical Education

students and teachers in a cooking class_ at a table in a classroom_ performing auto repair_ and doing construction work
NYSED proposed a
draft four-year Perkins V State Plan in accordance with the Strengthening Career and Technical Education for the 21st Century Act (Perkins V). The plan is aligned with New York's Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) plan and addresses New York's priorities to increase access to high-quality Career and Technical Education (CTE) programs, support at-risk students and improve career development for all secondary and postsecondary students. The Department will hold three public forums and accept public comment in December and January. Comments will be taken via email as well.
tenureProbationary Period for Certain Tenured Employees in School Districts

A new amendment to New York State Education Law, in relation to the probationary period for certain tenured employees in school districts, will go into effect on June 1, 2020. The amendment shortens the probationary period of a principal, administrator, supervisor, or other member of the supervisory staff who has been appointed tenure in another district within the State from four years to three years. This shortened probationary period does not apply to individuals who have been dismissed from their position in the past. The law only applies to those individuals beginning their probationary periods on or after June 1, 2020.
HistoryState Museum, Library and Archives Celebrate New York State History Month

The New York State Museum, New York State Library and New York State Archives will celebrate New York State History Month with a variety of free public programs for children, families and adults. Learn how you can research your family's genealogy at the State Library and State Archives, take a tour of the Museum exhibit, and attend lunch time talks and learn something new about NY's history from Museum historians.
ReadingMore Than 2.5 Million Children Participated in State Library's 2019 Summer Reading Program
Summer Reading at New York Libraries logo

More than 2.5 million students and children statewide participated in the State Library's 2019 summer reading program , an increase of approximately 134,000 participants over last year's program. In addition, students read over 114,000 e-books and logged over 1.6 million minutes of reading on the myON by Renaissance e-book platform, which offered free access to thousands of enhanced digital books to children and their families this summer.  

Congratulations to all students on their summer reading achievement! Thanks to the librarians and teachers for encouraging their students to participate in a summer reading program at their local public library.
PAEMST Presidential Awards for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching

Six New York State mathematics and science teachers are state-level fin alists for the 2019 Presidential Awards for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching (PAEMST) at the secondary level, grades 7-12. In addition, the White House announced the 2017 and 2018 PAEMST awardees from each state, including four from New York, on October 15, 2019. The PAEMST, one of the most prestigious honors in the nation for teachers, recognizes exemplary teaching and leadership in science and mathematics education.

The 2019 finalists are  Christina Pawlowski and Derek Pope from  Commack High School in Commack; Jennifer Privitera from Thomas C. Giordano Middle School 45 in the Bronx; 
Amy Hysick from Cicero-North Syracuse High School in North Syracuse; Kelly Jakab-Muller from Riverside High School in Yonkers; and  Cathleen Woods from Cattaraugus-Allegany BOCES Center at Ellicottville. Congratulations to the awardees and finalists!
Disability NYSED Recognizes 74 Employers of Individuals with Disabilities

Congratulations to the 2019 _NDEAM winners_
honored 74 businesses from across the state that do an outstanding job of employing individuals with disabilities as part of its celebration of National Disability Employment Awareness Month (NDEAM).

The Department's Office of Adult Career and Continuing Education Services (ACCES), in collaboration of several partner organizations, honored the 74 businesses at award ceremonies throughout the state during the month of October. In addition to the award ceremonies, Disability Mentoring Day (DMD) events, panel discussions, and career fairs were held. This year's NDEAM theme was "The Right Talent, Right Now."

Congratulations to the 2019 NDEAM statewide winners, Sam's Club of Fishkill; A+ Towel & Linen Supply of Farmingdale; Grandaisy Bakery of NYC; Lone Maple Farm of Binghamton; and Buffalo Grave Tenders of Getzville!
ArchivesNew York State Archives Announces 2019 Annual Archives Award Winners

2019 Annual Archives Awards
In celebration of American Archives Month in October, the New York State Archives announced the winners of the
2019 Annual Archives Awards , which recognize the outstanding archives and records management work of individuals and organizations in New York State.

Congratulations to the winners who work every day to ensure our state's records are managed and preserved for future research and use.
Computer Draft New York State Computer Science and Digital Fluency Learning Standards

student working at computer
Technology knowledge and skills are vital for full participation in 21st Century life, work, and citizenship. NYSED has engaged with work groups of stakeholders, including teachers, administrators, parents, and business/industry professionals, to develop computer science standards that will prepare all NYS students to live and work in our dynamic, technology-driven world. To ensure that the draft standards reflect the values of all New York State educators and stakeholders, NYSED has released the  Draft New York State Computer Science and Digital Fluency Standards for stakeholder feedback. 

Feedback will be accepted through  Friday, November 15, 2019.
P3P-3 Professional Learning Opportunity

teacher with young students in circle on classroom floor
NYSED is offering a professional learning opportunity to P-3 administrators, teachers, and instructional coaches on December 5 in Troy, NY. The sessions will provide practical educational strategies that teachers can use in their classrooms the next day.

Participants will earn CTLE professional learning credits for attending the sessions. Register here for this P-3 professional learning opportunity.
CommunityCommunity Schools Webinar

Practical Use of Implementation Science to Meet Your Community School_s Goals_ event flyer
Wondering how to build capacity for Social Emotional Learning, restorative practices, or other school district and agency initiatives? Need practical and easy-to-use tools to enhance your community school approach? Looking to better align and integrate your current programs and services?

Register for this free community schools webinar with Caryn Ward, PhD, to learn how effective and active implementation strategies can be used to enhance your community schools approach through the use of case examples and data stories.

Caryn Ward, PhD, is Director, State Implementation & Scaling Up Center of Evidence Based Practices (SISEP); Associate Director, Education & Measurement National Implementation Research Network at UNC Chapel Hill.
HINES2Hines and Sanford Families' Recognition Award
artKids' Art Contest: "Superbug Superheroes"

The New York State Department of Health has announced its Kids' Art Contest: "Superbug Superheroes," which is intended to educate elementary age children about antibiotic resistance and appropriate antibiotic usage.

Antibiotic resistance happens when the drugs we use to kill germs lose their effectiveness because of overuse and misuse of the medications. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) says that each year, at least 2 million people in the U.S. get infected with antibiotic-resistant bacteria and at least 23,000 die as a result.

The contest is open to New York State students in grades 3, 4, and 5. The deadline for submission of entries is December 1, 2019 by 5 PM. Find more information for teachers and parents on the New York State Department of Health website. If you have any questions, please send an email to [email protected].