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News and Notes
Dear Colleagues,

I hope your year is off to a great start. Thank you for all you continue to do to help our students learn.


MaryEllen Elia
essaState Education Department Announces New School Accountability Determinations

New York State's Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) plan emphasizes fostering equity in education for New York's students; expands measures for school support and accountability and student success; and requires school-level improvement plans for the lowest performing schools overall, as well as schools with the lowest performance for certain student populations.

This week, the New York State Education Department (NYSED) announced district and school accountability determinations as required by ESSA. State Education Commissioner MaryEllen Elia identified 106 school districts as Target Districts, 245 schools for Comprehensive Support and Improvement and 125 schools for Targeted Support and Improvement. In addition, NYSED identified 26 schools to be newly placed into receivership and 37 schools to be removed from receivership at the end of the 2018-19 school year, including two schools scheduled to close. This will leave 43 schools in receivership at the end of the 2018-19 school year.

New York State undertook a substantial and comprehensive public engagement process to develop the school accountability indicators contained in the state's ESSA plan. To support these efforts, NYSED established an ESSA Think Tank with representatives from more than 100 organizations, including district leaders, teachers, parents, community members and students, and consulted with national education experts to determine accountability indicators for New York's public schools. 

For the first time this year, based on data for the 2017-18 school year, every district, public school and charter school earns a score of 1 to 4, where 1 is the lowest and 4 is the highest, for each ESSA accountability indicator.

Accountability indicators include:
  • student achievement in English language arts, mathematics, science and social studies; 
  • student growth in language arts and math; 
  • 4-, 5-, and 6-year graduation rates; 
  • student readiness for college, career, and participation in civic life; 
  • acquisition of English proficiency by English language learners; and 
  • chronic absenteeism.
statementStatement from Chancellor Rosa and Commissioner Elia on Executive Budget Proposal

Achieving equity in education is the Board of Regents and the Department's top priority. Through the state's Every Student Succeeds Act plan, we created a road map to ensure all students receive access to a high-quality education. State investments to implement equity initiatives are critical in realizing this mutual goal. While the Governor's equity formula is no doubt well intended, it must be implemented in a manner that will focus on improving equity and supporting all students in our neediest school districts. An investment in education is fundamentally necessary for both the strength of our workforce and the future of New York's children.

However, we are extremely alarmed with the recommended funding level for New York State's schools. The proposed $338 million Foundation Aid increase falls far short of what schools need to achieve equity, or even keep pace with inflation and demographic changes.

piiNYSED Proposes Regulations to Strengthen the Security of Personally Identifiable Information for Students and School Personnel

This week, NYSED proposed regulatory changes to increase information security measures to safeguard the Personally Identifiable Information (PII) of students and certain school personnel. The proposed amendments outline requirements for educational agencies and their third-party contractors to ensure the security and privacy of such protected information and were developed in consultation with stakeholders and the public. A 60-day public comment period will be held on the regulations and will begin on or around January 30.
essa1Updated Resources for Every Student Succeeds Act Implementation

Updated resources are now available for schools and districts as they implement New York's Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) plan. The resources include a more user-friendly website that serves as a one-stop-shop of information for educators, parents, and others. The new ESSA website features guidance documents with a frequently asked questions component and informational videos on what ESSA requires and how it creates more opportunities for student success. 
Additional resources will be added and amended as they are completed.
psNYSED Announces Nominees for 2019 U.S. Presidential Scholars Program
NYSED recently nominated 25 New York State high school seniors for the U.S. Presidential Scholars Program. The Presidential Scholar recognition is one of the nation's highest honors for high school students. Every year, one young man and one young woman from each state are named as Presidential Scholars.

The White House Commission on Presidential Scholars selects honored scholars annually based on their academic success, artistic excellence, essays, school evaluations and transcripts, as well as evidence of community service, leadership, and demonstrated commitment to high ideals.

Semifinalists will be notified in mid-April and Scholars will be notified in May. Congratulations and good luck to the nominees!
totyTeacher of the Year Nominations Due February 1
There's still time to nominate an outstanding teacher to be our next Teacher of the Year! A strong Teacher of the Year nominee is a skilled professional who has demonstrated excellence in the classroom and in the community and who has a superior ability to inspire learning in students of all backgrounds and competencies.

Applications for the   2020 New York State Teacher of the Year   are due February 1, 2019.
saeScholarships for Academic Excellence
School administrators: Just a reminder to submit your nomination packets for the Scholarships for Academic Excellence! The deadline is February 15, 2019.

Pending the appropriation of State funds by the New York State Legislature, 8,000 scholarships will be awarded for students graduating in 2019. Of the 8,000 scholarships, 2,000 scholarships will have a value of $1,500 each and 6,000 scholarships will have a value of $500 each.

Questions may be directed to the Scholarships Unit at (518) 474-3719 or [email protected].