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March 19, 2024

Dear Parents and Families,

Commissioner Betty A. Rosa

As we celebrate Women's History Month, it's important to take a moment to reflect on the significant roles that women have played in shaping New York State's history. From suffragettes fighting for the right to vote to trailblazers breaking barriers in government, business, and the arts, women have made invaluable contributions to our state. This month and all year, let's honor their legacy and continue to work toward a more equitable future for all.


The New York State Education Department (NYSED) is commemorating Women’s History Month through a series of special programs, events, educational resources, and exhibits to honor and celebrate the diverse achievements of women, both past and present. From engaging in-person experiences to helpful online resources, the public is invited to learn about the pivotal role women have played in shaping our State heritage. Learn more about these significant contributions by exploring the educational resources and programs available from the State Museum, the State Library, the State Archives, and PBS Learning Media.


We are grateful for the incredible women of New York who have paved the way for progress and change. Now, through the #MyHistoryMyFuture social media campaign, we aim to amplify the voices of young people as they share reflections on the impacts of history and its relevance to their generation. We encourage students to not only reflect on the past but to be proud of where they come from and take action to make their schools, communities, and the world a better place for future generations. 


This month, we invite students to participate in the #MyHistoryMyFuture social media campaign using the State Museum's rich resources to reflect on Women's History Month. Here are some ideas:


  • Take the virtual gallery tour of the State Museum’s “Votes for Women” exhibition and consider how the women’s suffrage movement contributed to today's equal rights advocacy. Then, invite students to share their reflections on social media using the hashtag #MyHistoryMyFuture.
  • Use this educator guide to help students learn about the New York State women’s rights movement and empower them to use their voices to advocate for their own causes. Then, invite students to share their reflections on social media using the hashtag #MyHistoryMyFuture.
  • Explore the many additional Women's History Month resources from the State Museum and learn about the important role women have played in New York State History. Then, invite students to share their reflections on social media using the hashtag #MyHistoryMyFuture.


I hope you will use these extraordinary resources to help celebrate Women's History Month with your students at home.

Beginning on April 8, 2024, the Grades 3-8 English Language Arts (ELA) and Mathematics Tests and Grades 5 & 8 Science Tests will be administered to students across New York State. These annual tests for students in grades 3-8 are required by the federal Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) of 2015. The tests are designed to measure how well students are mastering the learning standards that guide classroom instruction and are a valuable tool used to help ensure students have the support needed to succeed. The tests can also help identify any learning needs a student may have. The annual tests are one measure used to assess student learning and is one tool of many used by educators to ensure students are getting the services and supports they need to prepare for career, college, and civic readiness. 


NYSED will continue our statewide implementation of computer-based testing (CBT) for the Grades 3–8 ELA, Math, and Science Tests this year. In Spring 2024, all students in grades 5 and 8 will take the ELA, math, and science tests via CBT. Other grade levels may also participate in CBT, but paper-based testing will still be available. The CBT transition will continue in 2025 and 2026, with two grades being added each year until all grades 3-8 tests are administered by computer in 2026. The Question Sampler is available publicly online and offers an opportunity for students, parents, guardians, and educators to become familiar with CBT.  


In late spring, NYSED will provide school principals and teachers with instructional reports showing how students in their classroom performed on each question on the test. We will also release at least 75% of the questions that count toward students’ scores. As soon as they are available, Score Reports will be provided to schools to be shared with parents. These reports will feature information about what students should know and be able to do for their grade level and will show how each child scored in specific skill and concept areas. Following a comprehensive data quality control check, the Department will release the aggregate data for the 2024 Grades 3-8 Math and ELA exams. While the 2023 ELA and Math test scores were not able to be compared to previous years because they were the first exams based on the Next Generation Learning Standards, the 2024 tests will be comparable to 2023. The science tests are being administered for the first time in 2024 and will be comparable to future years’ results.


NYSED strongly believes that no single test score, on its own, can fully or accurately depict what a student knows and can do. To best support students, we must first collect information about where they are in terms of learning. This information should come from multiple sources, including teacher interactions, classroom assessment, state-level assessments, and other measures. 


An FAQ for parents and families about New York’s Annual Grades 3-8 Exams is available on the Department’s State Assessment website.


April has once again been designated the Month of the Military Child – also known as Purple Up! For Military Kids. Across the nation, states and school districts will celebrate the important role of military families through special events and by wearing the color purple.


Please visit our Month of the Military Child web page to learn more and to get some great ideas for celebrating these special children.


Finally, NYSED recently announced that it has nominated the Garrison School for recognition as a nominee for the U.S. Department of Education Green Ribbon Schools. The Garrison School was selected for its numerous initiatives to provide all students with an interactive, clean, and sustainable environment. The school serves students in grades PreK-8 in the Garrison Union Free School District in Putnam County, New York. We commend the hard-working educators, staff, and students at the Garrison School for their commitment to building a more sustainable future for everyone.


In closing, I’d like to thank the women of New York who inspire us every day. Let us all continue to uplift and support the women around us.




Betty A. Rosa


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