Dear Colleagues,
The Board of Regents and New York State Education Department (NYSED) are kicking off 2020 with a series of regional meetings to discuss the review of New York State’s graduation measures. This week, NYSED announced dates and times for the first regional meetings being hosted 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 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.
This week, NYSED also released graduation rates for the 2015 cohort, those students who first entered 9th grade in New York’s public schools in 2015. The overall August graduation rate increased slightly to 83.4 percent, up 0.8 percentage points from 82.6 percent for the 2014 cohort. The 2015 cohort graduation rate is 7.3 percentage points higher than it was a decade earlier, when the 2006 cohort graduation rate was 76.1 percent.
Below are updates on:
regionalRegional Meetings to Discuss Review of NYS Graduation Measures

silhouette of students tossing graduation caps into the air

The Board of Regents and NYSED this week announced the first regional information meetings to be hosted 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 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. The draft Graduation Measures Review timeline has also been amended to allow more time for these meetings and to conduct the literature review.

The list of meetings is available on our dedicated Graduation Measures website. Dates are being added and modified, so please check back regularly for the latest information. If you cannot attend a meeting but would like to provide feedback, there is an online survey of our five guiding questions on our Graduation Measures website.
grad-rates2015 Cohort High School Graduation Rates

NYSED this week released graduation rates for the 2015 cohort, those students who first entered 9th grade in New York’s public schools in 2015. The overall August graduation rate increased slightly to 83.4 percent, up 0.8 percentage points from 82.6 percent for the 2014 cohort. The 2015 cohort graduation rate is 9 percentage points higher than it was a decade earlier, when the 2005 cohort graduation rate was 74.4 percent.
August Graduation Rates
This year’s graduation rate improved for black and Hispanic students, for students with disabilities, and for both current and “Ever” English language learners (ELLs). Each of the Big 5 City School Districts saw gains and all but Buffalo had growth in their graduation rates that exceeded statewide growth. The State’s charter schools experienced an increase of nearly three percentage points as compared with last year. The gap in graduation rates between black and Hispanic students and their white peers narrowed again this year. Despite overall gains, significant gaps in achievement persist.
For more specific data points and for school- and district-level graduation data, visit NYSED’s public data website. A  PowerPoint presentation with additional data is also available.
computerRegents Act to Conditionally Approve First Ever Learning Standards for Computer Science and Digital Fluency

students at computers
The Board of the Regents this week acted to conditionally approve New York State’s first ever Learning Standards for Computer Science and Digital Fluency. NYSED conducted a collaborative process over a fifteen-month period that included a group of statewide experts on computer science and educational technology to assist in creating computer science and digital fluency standards that best meet the needs of students across New York State. The conditional approval will allow additional time for NYSED to engage with early learning experts to ensure the K-2 standards are developmentally appropriate. The standards will be returned to the Board later this year for final adoption.
For additional information on the new standards, please see the Department’s Computer Science and Digital Fluency website.
nextgenTransition 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.

tomahawkState Museum Transfers Ownership of Cornplanter’s Pipe Tomahawk to Seneca Nation of Indians

tomahawk

The New York State Museum and the Seneca Nation recently announced that a pipe tomahawk originally given to the respected Seneca leader and diplomat Cornplanter by President George Washington has been officially returned to the Seneca Nation. The announcement took place at the Nation’s Onöhsagwe:de’ Cultural Center, where the pipe tomahawk has been on loan since March 2019.

The 18th-century pipe tomahawk was gifted to Cornplanter by President Washington at one of several meetings between United States and Iroquois Confederacy leaders in the years 1792 – 1794. The Cornplanter pipe tomahawk entered the New York State Museum’s collection in 1851 from Seneca diplomat Ely Parker. Sometime between 1947 and 1950 the object went missing from the Museum and for nearly 70 years was in the hands of private collectors. Thanks to the generosity of an anonymous donor, the pipe tomahawk was returned to the State Museum in June 2018. The pipe tomahawk was on display at the New York State Museum from July through December 2018. The tomahawk will now be on permanent display at the Onöhsagwe:de’ Cultural Center, which opened in 2018 on the Seneca Nation’s Allegany Territory.
governorStatement on Governor Cuomo’s State of the State Address

NYSED is encouraged by many of the education proposals in Governor Cuomo’s State of the State address, including expanding early college high school training programs; expanding apprenticeships; increasing the number of Pathways in Technology Early College High School (P-TECH) programs; expanding Universal Pre-Kindergarten; supporting afterschool programs; making college affordable for more middle class families; ensuring that every New Yorker is counted in the 2020 Census; increasing teacher diversity; expanding opportunity programs; and creating a mental health education and training competitive grant program for school districts.
The Board of Regents has long supported increasing state aid for all schools, especially for those that serve our most at-risk students. While we are pleased the Governor recognizes the need for increased support for our high-need schools, we must ensure all schools have the resources they need to provide a high-quality education for all New York students. Read the entire statement from Chancellor Rosa and me on the Governor’s State of the State address.
teachers97 NYS Teachers Earn Certification from National Board for Professional Teaching Standards

Ninety-seven teachers from across New York State have earned the prestigious national certification from the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards. To obtain a national certification, teachers must complete a performance-based, peer reviewed process that demonstrates their dedication and impact on student achievement. Congratulations to the teachers who received this high honor!
nomineesNYSED Announces Nominees for 2020 U.S. Presidential Scholars Program

high school students in graduation caps and gowns

The State Education Department recently nominated 25 New York State high school seniors for the U.S. Presidential Scholars Program. The Presidential Scholar recognition is one of the nation’s highest honors for high school students. Congratulations to all the nominees!