images of parents with their children
Dear Parents,

This week, NYSED posted 75 percent of questions from the 2018 Grades 3-8 English Language Arts (ELA) and Mathematics Assessments that count toward student scores. This is the third year in a row that we have released 75 percent of assessment questions. Educators and parents will once again be able to review their students' answers to constructed-response questions this year, giving them an even clearer picture of how well students are doing. 

We have heard time and again that New York educators value the information they get from the 3-8 assessments and the earlier, the better. That's why we are releasing as many of the questions from these assessments as possible. And, this year, the ELA and mathematics testing sessions were reduced to only two days each, resulting in substantially fewer questions than in recent years. I want to thank the hundreds of New York State educators who helped create and review these questions as part of our ongoing effort to deliver rigorous assessments that are responsive to the public's concerns.

Also this week, NYSED awarded $14 million in grants to 19 recipients (13 school districts and six colleges) to implement Smart Scholars Early College High School programs. These grants will support partnerships between public school districts and eligible higher education institutions to provide historically underrepresented and economically disadvantaged students with the opportunity and support to earn an average of 24 college credits by the time they graduate high school. Funding for this initiative was approved by the Governor and Legislature in the 2017-2018 State budget.

I applaud the Governor and the Legislature for funding this critically important program. By providing academic and social support, the Smart Scholars program enables participating students to complete the high school-college continuum in less time and improves their chances for success in high school, college, and thereafter.

I also want to remind you about our student data privacy public forums and the corresponding public comment period. We are in the middle of 14 public forums about student data privacy and security - we have already held eight meetings, and we have six more to go. The next meeting is tonight at 6:00 at DeWitt Clinton High School in the Bronx. Registration begins at 5:30. You can find the full schedule of public forums here. If you missed your region's public forum or cannot attend, you may submit written comments electronically through June 18 to

Thank you for reading and, as always, thank you for supporting our schools.


MaryEllen Elia