News and Notes

January 2024

Dear Colleagues,

Commissioner Betty A. Rosa

Happy New Year! The New York State Education Department (NYSED) began 2024 with a reaffirmed commitment to fostering a culture of educational excellence across the state—with a spotlight on reading and writing. Literacy is the cornerstone of academic success and a foundational skill for 21st-century learners. In fact, being a proficient reader, writer, and communicator has an impact on a student’s entire education and their life beyond. The Department understands the critical role that literacy plays in shaping the future of individuals and communities.

This month, NYSED launched a P-20 literacy initiative to ensure that teachers are equipped with the knowledge and skills to provide effective instruction to all students that is culturally responsive, grounded in research, and aligned with evidence-based practices. The initiative kicked off with a statewide literacy conference on January 10 in collaboration with the BOCES and Big 5 school districts. The conference provided New York State teachers, administrators, and literacy leaders with an opportunity to strengthen their knowledge of evidence-based literacy practices in PK-12 education. It was a day filled with learning as educators from across the state came together to focus on research-based practices and the science of reading to support students’ learning and development.

During the conference, NYSED was pleased to release a new series of literacy briefs that focus on the science of reading. These briefs were produced by Dr. Nonie K. Lesaux, Professor of Education and Human Development at the Harvard Graduate School of Education, and Katie C. Carr, M.Ed. The new literacy briefs may be used to strengthen knowledge of evidence-based literacy practices in PK-12 education. The Department is also examining state requirements related to literacy instruction.


Working together, we can ensure all New York State students have equitable access to the high-quality resources they need to be successful in literacy and life.




Betty A. Rosa


NYSED Leadership Team Hosts Legislators for Conversation on Key Issues

Commissioner Rosa and her Leadership Team recently hosted New York State legislators at the State Education Building for a lively conversation about key issues, including the Board of Regents' budget and legislative priorities for the 2024-2025 school year.

CFO Christina Coughlin speaks with legislators at the State Education Building
Commissioner Rosa speaks with legislators at the State Education Building

2024 NYS Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Student Art & Essay Exhibition

Student submission to the 2024 NYS Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Student Art & Essay Exhibition from William Paca Middle School

Each year, the New York State Education Department honors Dr. King's memory by inviting schools to submit student art and essays that reflect Dr. King's teaching. Schools submitted original artwork illustrating Dr. King's Six Principles and Steps of Nonviolence or essays celebrating Dr. King's birthday.

We are happy to announce that the 2024 NYS Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Student Art & Essay Exhibition is now viewable online. Thank you to all of the students and instructors who submitted this year! 

Public Hearings on Mayoral Control of New York City Schools

Public Hearings - Mayoral Control of New York City Schools

The New York State Education Department (NYSED) is conducting a series of public hearings as part of the State’s comprehensive review of the overall effectiveness of mayoral control of New York City schools. In accordance with Chapter 364 of the Laws of 2022, members of the public—including students, parents, teachers, school administrators and staff, and individuals with experience and expertise in education policy and school governance—are welcome to provide feedback on their experiences, assessments, and/or review of the mayoral control system of New York City schools to help inform the State’s review.


Members of the public may participate by providing oral testimony at a public hearing, and/or by submitting written electronic testimony by 5 p.m. on January 31, 2024. The first public hearing took place on December 5 in the Bronx, the second on December 18 in Queens, the third on January 11 in Brooklyn, and the fourth on January 18 in Manhattan. The final hearing will take place on January 29 in Staten Island.


Visit NYSED's Mayoral Control website for more information.

Save the Date for the New York State School Safety Summit

School Safety Summit

NYSED's Second Annual School Safety Summit will take place on Wednesday, April 17th and Thursday, April 18th, 2024, at the Empire State Plaza Convention Center in Albany, NY. This will be a FREE, two-day, in-person event.

The summit will provide training, information, and resources on topics related to Emergency Response Plan development and implementation, and sessions designed to help create safe and supportive learning environments for the whole school community.  

Many New York-based technical assistance centers will be highlighted to connect participants with high-quality resources available to support school personnel in fostering safe schools.

School, district, and BOCES personnel involved in the development and implementation of school and district safety plans, including superintendents, principals, district chief emergency officers, and other key K-12 safety team staff are invited to attend. 

Capacity is limited. Attendance on both days is required. Register for the summit here.

Questions may be directed to

Solar Eclipse Resources for K-12 Classrooms

Eclipse Resources for K-12 Classrooms from PBS Learning Media

Get ready for the total solar eclipse on April 8, 2024! Local libraries and cultural institutions have many different eclipse-related and Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) events planned to engage students and adults in this rare phenomenon.

The State Library Youth Services Eclipse Resources page offers a variety of helpful resources such as virtual training sessions, downloadable booklets, games, and activities. Additionally, this page provides information on safe eclipse viewing practices and guidance on where to acquire approved eclipse glasses. 

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