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Letter from Commissioner King
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 commissionerNews and Notes from Commissioner King
Dear Colleagues,

One year after Hurricane Sandy's devastation, the amazing work of so many great teachers and principals has helped tens of thousands of students regain a sense of normalcy and safety. Thanks to all of you who have given so much to our students.

Over the last three years, educators have been hard at work learning about the Common Core State Standards and working to bring them into the classroom. While there have been countless successes and I have been very encouraged by the work happening in the dozens of classrooms in schools across the state I have visited this school year, we know that this work is challenging.

Last week while visiting the P-Tech School in Brooklyn, President Obama recognized New York's hard work by stating, "I also want to congratulate Governor Cuomo and all of you in New York for having the courage to raise your standards for teaching and learning to make sure that more students graduate from high school ready for college and a career. It's not easy. But it's the right thing to do; it's going to prepare more young people for today's economy; and we should keep at it."

The New York State Board of Regents adopted the Common Core State Standards in 2010 to benefit every New York student. We believe in the promise of the Common Core. But as with all large scale change initiatives, there must be continuing dialogue and adjustments at the state and local level as this important work moves forward. For example, in the "Teaching is the Core" letter sent to superintendents and principals last week, I describe a comprehensive initiative launched by the Board of Regents to better ensure that the amount of testing in New York State is the minimum necessary to inform effective decision making. Teaching must be the core of our work and we cannot allow rote test preparation to crowd out engaging instruction that builds students' critical thinking and problem solving skills and cultivates their knowledge of the world.

We all know that all children deserve the best educational opportunities and I know that we will work together to provide those opportunities and to ensure our students graduate prepared for success in higher education and the 21st century economy.

We look forward to listening, learning, and succeeding together.

John B. King, Jr.
Follow me on Twitter @JohnKingNYSED
 parentsIntroducing Parents to the Common Core
When Joelle Lamica walked into her daughter's Algebra classroom on Open House night, she didn't expect to be scared. "I had to admit my heart fell to my feet and I wondered if I should head out the door," she later said with a laugh.

Instead of the usual presentation about the syllabus, homework, and class rules, Lamica and other parents at Chateaugay High School in Northern New York were given a unique challenge. Math teacher Art Trombley asked them to use paper and pencil to complete one of the same exercises he had given his students, using new, more rigorous Common Core standards.
cteOn the Farm: Career & Technical Education
The Agri-Business Academy in the Genesee Valley is a one-year program where high school seniors earn 12 SUNY college credits. Watch the video to find out more about this Career & Technical Education Program.

Video - On the Farm: CTE
stleStrengthening Teacher and Leader Effectiveness (STLE) Grant Program
Last week, the New York State Education Department (NYSED) announced the grant recipients for round two of the Strengthening Teacher and Leader Effectiveness (STLE) Grant Program. NYSED also announced the release of a Request for Proposals for a third round of the STLE Program. Read more from our news release
The map below provides a visual representation of the locations of STLE 1 and 2 grantees across the state (more than 100 districts). Click the image of the map to download a list of grantees to match the dots on the map.
STLE map
engagenyRecent EngageNY.org Updates
General Updates
See below for October 2013 curriculum module updates