At its September 19 meeting, the board of education adopted their 2016-17 goals, which can be reviewed on our website at http://www.lancasterschools.org/boardgoals.
This week, I will be focusing on one of these goals: updating the community on the present state of the New York State Education Department reform agenda (i.e. standards, assessments, the Annual Professional Performance Review, and Lanncaster Central School District student achievement results) related to some recent developments at the NYS Education Department.
Commissioner of Education, MaryEllen Elia released a report last week citing significant changes to the New York State Standards in English language arts and mathematics. According to a statement released by the education department, “The new draft standards build upon Commissioner Elia’s past year of traveling more than 35,000 miles across New York State, engaging with parents, teachers and the public about the state’s learning standards and assessments.” You may recall that in March, Lancaster was one of three Western New York school districts to host a meeting with Commissioner Elia as she visited several of our classrooms and spoke with educators and parents on these topics.
The State Education Department was not the only state agency involved in calling for a review of the standards. In 2015, the state legislature enacted a requirement that the standards be reassessed with stakeholder input. A task force was instituted by Governor Andrew Cuomo to review the standards and provide input in drafting the recommended changes. Following Commissioner Elia’s travels throughout the state, several committees engaged more than 130 educators and parents who helped recommend changes to more than half of the standards, as well as assisted in drafting new standards for release to the field. Additionally, guidance is being developed specific to revised standards for English language learners (ELL) and students with disabilities.
Links on the NYSED website, www.nysed.gov/aimhighny, provide access to the draft ELA and math standards, but more importantly, this portal provides an opportunity for parents and educators to make comments and suggestions, through November 4, 2016. Additionally, we’ve posted survey links on our website, on each of the schools’ websites, and via our social media accounts. Public comments will be reviewed by NYSED with final revisions to the standards to be presented to the Board of Regents for consideration in early 2017.
As always, we will do our best to keep you informed as this process unfolds. We encourage you to visit www.nysed.gov/aimhighny to review the draft standards and give input by November 4.
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