February 2020
Black History Month
Dear Colleagues,
The New York State Board of Regents and the New York State Education Department (NYSED) are commemorating Black History Month in several ways, including through reflections by members of the Board of Regents at the February 2020 Regents meeting. In addition, Board members remembered the late Regent Judith Johnson and viewed a portion of the video from their February 2019 meeting in which Regent Johnson reflected on the meaning of Black History Month. Board members who spoke about Black History Month and remembered Regent Johnson included Chancellor Betty A. Rosa, Vice Chancellor T. Andrew Brown, Regent Catherine Collins, Regent Josephine Victoria Finn, Regent Nan Eileen Mead, Regent Wade S. Norwood, and Regent Lester W. Young, Jr. This week’s February 2020 meeting was streamed live, and is available to be viewed on the Board of Regents website.
Beginning this week, President Abraham Lincoln’s handwritten draft of the Preliminary Emancipation Proclamation is on exhibit at the New York State Museum. President Lincoln issued the Preliminary Emancipation Proclamation during the Civil War on September 22, 1862 ordering that in 100 days the federal government would deem all slaves free in states still rebelling against the Union. The iconic document, in the collections of the New York State Library since 1865, has been recently re-encased in a state-of-the-art, custom-designed encasement. This exhibition, which is open through March 1, 2020, offers visitors the opportunity to learn more about this groundbreaking document that changed the fate of the nation. The exhibition is dedicated in honor of the late Regent Judith Johnson.
Earlier this week, the Board of Regents gathered to celebrate the opening of the Preliminary Emancipation Proclamation exhibition at the New York State Museum. Regent Catherine Collins emceed the event and invited guests to share their memories of Regent Johnson’s life and work as a tireless advocate for education and children. In attendance were the Board of Regents, NYSED staff, and members of the State Legislature, including Senator Shelley Mayer, Assemblymember Cathy Nolan, Assemblymember J. Gary Pretlow, Assemblymember Ellen Jaffee, and Assemblymember Taylor Darling.

Additional Black History Month events are also planned at museums and historical societies across New York, and the State Museum’s website will be updated often to keep the public informed of these events.

My History My Future

NYSED, together with The Education Trust-New York, is highlighting New York State My Brother’s Keeper (MBK) students throughout the month on our social media channels, including Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn. The #MyHistoryMyFuture campaign features inspiring quotes from MBK students who are sharing their dreams for the future.

Below are updates on:
0Additional Regional Information Meetings to Discuss Review of NYS Graduation Measures

students in graduation caps and gowns with diplomas
The Board of Regents and New York State Education Department (NYSED) recently announced additional regional information meetings across the state to gather feedback on what a state diploma should signify to ensure educational excellence and equity for every student in New York State. The dozens of meetings are an integral part of Phase I in the Board and Department’s review of graduation measures and will offer opportunities for stakeholders and members of the public to share input.
Visit our website to find the full list of regional meetings and registration information. Meetings will include the opportunity for attendees to break into small groups to discuss and provide feedback on five guiding questions. For those who cannot attend, there is a survey on our dedicated Graduation Measures website to provide feedback.
1Significant Growth in Number of Schools Offering and Students Earning Seal of Biliteracy

Seal of Biliteracy
The New York State Seal of Biliteracy (NYSSB) program saw significant growth over the last four years, including an increase in the number of schools offering the Seal and the number of students earning it.
The NYSSB Report identifies future goals for growth and strategies to achieve these goals. It also provides information on how the NYSSB compares to other such programs throughout the country.
3Update on Review of Public Comment on Proposed Regulations for Substantially Equivalent Instruction for Nonpublic School Students

This week, NYSED provided an update on its review of public comment on proposed regulations for substantially equivalent instruction for nonpublic school students in New York State. In June, the Department presented proposed regulations relating to the substantial equivalency requirement to the Board of Regents which were published in the State Register and presented for public comment. From July 3, 2019 to September 3, 2019 the Department received over 140,000 comments on the proposed regulations. Department staff have been working to review and assess these extensive comments in the months since.
The Department will continue to review and assess the public comments received. Given the wealth of comments and varying views expressed, the Department will re-engage stakeholders for further discussion on the next steps toward the common goal of ensuring all children receive the instruction to which they are entitled.
4Board of Regents Appoints Assistant Commissioner for the Office of Curriculum and Instruction and Early Learning

The Board of Regents this week appointed Marybeth Casey as the Assistant Commissioner for the Office of Curriculum and Instruction and Early Learning, effective immediately.
Ms. Casey brings to the Assistant Commissioner position nearly 14 years of service at the State Education Department, most recently as the Director of the Office of Curriculum Services where she is responsible for the oversight and administration of the office and the Office of Career and Technical Education (CTE). In this role, she has led major projects including various phases of the revision, adoption and rollout of learning standards including the Next Generation ELA and Mathematics standards, the NYS P-12 Science Standards, the NYS P-12 Arts Standards, the NYS P-12 Physical Education Standards and the NYS K-12 Computer Science and Digital Fluency Standards.
Prior to joining the Department, Ms. Casey was a classroom teacher at Averill Park, Bennington and Troy City School Districts. She earned a Master of Science, Education from Sage Graduate School and her Bachelor of Science, Economics from the State University of New York at Albany.
5NYSED Now Accepting Applications for Summer Food Service Program Sites

kids eating lunch outside

NYSED is accepting applications for the 2020 Summer Food Service Program. Eligible programs include public or nonpublic nonprofit school food authorities; all local, county, municipal, or state governmental entities; Indian tribal territories, migrant programs; nonprofit agencies; faith-based organizations and camps interested and eligible in sponsoring a Summer Food Service Program.

Approximately 400,000 free meals are served daily to New York State children through the USDA’s Summer Food Service Program, which will operate this summer throughout New York State from June 15 through September 7, 2020. Find information on how to become a food site here.
6Statement on Governor Cuomo’s Executive Budget Proposal

Governor Cuomo recently advanced the 2020-21 Executive Budget proposal, and we commend the Governor’s commitment to expanding Pre-Kindergarten programs, Community Schools, STEM programs, Opportunity Programs, and public after school care. We also look forward to reviewing the details of the Executive Budget and the proposed changes to the Foundation Aid formula. While we agree that additional funding for high-need districts should be a priority, we need to ensure all districts have adequate resources to provide every child in New York State with a high-quality education. Read the entire statement from Chancellor Rosa and Interim Commissioner Tahoe on the Governor’s Executive Budget proposal.
7Transition to the NYS Next Generation Learning Standards

Next Generation Learning Standards
The Board of Regents and NYSED seek to ensure all students have equitable access to high-quality education opportunities, including effective instruction aligned to the New York State Next Generation Learning Standards in English Language Arts (ELA) and Mathematics. Full implementation of the new standards will begin during the 2020-2021 school year for prekindergarten through grade 8.

NYSED’s Next Generation Learning Standards Roadmap is designed to assist educators’ transition to fully implement the new standards. Find an editable version of the Roadmap and other resources on our Curriculum & Instruction website.

8Two Geology and Paleontology Themed Programs at the New York State Museum

Rock and Fossil Fun Fair and the Gem_ Mineral and Fossil Show and Sale

If you will be in or near the Capital Region during winter break, please consider visiting the New York State Museum. The Museum will host two geology and paleontology-themed programs: The Rock and Fossil Fun Fair on February 15 and 16 and the Gem, Mineral and Fossil Show and Sale on February 22 and 23. Learn more about these events and other School Vacation Week activities on the Museum’s website.