December 13, 2021
Dear Parents and Families,
Commissioner Rosa
Last week, we were pleased to announce that the New York State Education Department (NYSED), the State Library, and The John R. Oishei Foundation launched the New York State Digital Equity Portal in partnership with Community Tech NY and Cornell University’s New York State School of Industrial and Labor Relations. The first-of-its-kind portal provides an online data mapping tool for communities across the state seeking data on New Yorkers’ ability to access the internet in order to advance digital equity.
The development of the portal draws on existing digital equity work, including NYSED’s “Achieving Digital Equity in New York State: An Outline for Collaborative Change,” and feedback from digital equity advocates across the state to create a resource that is clear, comprehensive, and user-friendly.
The Digital Equity Portal reveals barriers to internet access, and this information will help communities develop digital equity strategies based on an understanding of digital equity needs, gaps, and priorities. Our hope is that the information will guide the decision making and planning of coalitions, organizations, and funders.
We also recently announced that NYSED is seeking public comment on a proposed waiver request to the U.S. Department of Education related to state accountability requirements under the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) and Title I School Improvement Funding. The full text of the proposed waiver is posted on NYSED’s ESSA webpage, as is information on how to submit a public comment through an online submission form. The submission form can be translated into languages other than English. Public comments will be accepted through Wednesday, December 15. We encourage you to submit your feedback.
In addition, we continue to invite public comment on what it means to obtain a high school diploma in New York State and what that diploma should signify to ensure educational excellence and equity for all students. You can participate in the discussion via ThoughtExchange, or register for an upcoming virtual meeting in your region. Please visit our dedicated Graduation Measures website for a full list of upcoming meetings, registration details, and additional information on the Graduation Measures Review initiative.
Thank you for your continued involvement in your children’s education and for your commitment to high-quality education for all students in New York State.


Betty A. Rosa