News and Notes

January 2023

Dear Colleagues,

Happy New Year! The New York State Education Department (NYSED) is kicking off 2023 by honoring Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s legacy through an exhibition of student art and essays that reflect his teaching.

In the words of Dr. King, “the function of education is to teach one to think intensively and to think critically.” This ideal, one that we strongly agree with at NYSED, coupled with Dr. King’s commitment to nonviolent advocacy, served as the inspiration for 3,920 students from more than 100 public and private schools across the state to submit their creations. The submissions, which include several group projects where students showed the power of demonstrating learning by doing, mark just the second time more than 1,000 pieces of student writing and artwork will be on display and online for this exhibition.

MLK student art

The entire exhibit is posted on the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial Observance website.

In celebration of Black History Month, we will feature a piece of student art each weekday on our social media channels through the end of February. Please follow the hashtags #NYSMLK and #StudentsExhibitingMLK on NYSED's social media channels (Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn).

I hope your year is off to a great start. Thank you for all you continue to do to help your students learn, grow, and succeed in multiple ways that reflect the diversity and promise of our state.


Betty A. Rosa


NYSED Seeking Parents and Students for Advisory Panels on

New York State Graduation Measures

graduates throwing caps in the air

NYSED is recruiting parents and students to serve on advisory panels for two exciting initiatives—The Graduation Measures Blue Ribbon Commission and the Performance-Based Learning & Assessment Networks (PLAN) Pilot!

Please share the parent advisor application with parents of current middle/high school students who would like to volunteer for this unique opportunity. The deadline to apply is January 27, 2023.


Please share the student advisor application with students who are interested in helping to shape the future of education in New York State. The application is open to students currently enrolled in New York State high schools OR recent graduates of New York State high schools. The deadline to apply is January 27, 2023.

Statement From Chancellor Lester W. Young, Jr., the Board of Regents, and Commissioner Betty A. Rosa on Governor’s State of the State Address

On behalf of New York’s over 2.5 million public school students, we thank Governor Hochul for her commitment to fully fund Foundation Aid for the schools and districts in every corner of our state.

We look forward to working with the Governor and our partners in the legislature to advocate for each of our budget and legislative priorities, including our proposal to create a sustainable funding model that equitably directs aid to the schools that need it most, whether they are urban, suburban, or rural.

We remain focused on building a more equitable education system that ensures access to a high-quality education for our diverse student population. 

Statement From Chancellor Lester W. Young, Jr., the Board of Regents, and State Education Commissioner Betty A. Rosa Regarding

Regent Ruth B. Turner

Regent Ruth B. Turner’s dedication to lifting the voices of our young people has been invaluable throughout her career and during her time with the Board. She is a champion for social justice and a leader in implementing and expanding restorative practices. While her empathy and experience will be missed on the Board, we know that her work to better the lives of children in the city of Rochester will help to afford students the very best opportunities for high-quality education and to thrive in school and beyond.

Regent Turner’s commitment to the intersection of social work, social welfare, youth development, and education exemplifies the Board’s emphasis on holistic, developmental, and collaborative approaches that empower all young people to succeed. We thank Regent Turner for her service to New York’s children.

Statewide Elementary Math Tournament 

Statewide Elementary Math Tournament

The New York State Education Department and First In Math® are joining forces to bring a Statewide Elementary Mathematics Tournament to New York State.

Regional contests will be held virtually on March 30, 2023, and local winners will qualify for the in-person Statewide Championship Event to be held at the University at Albany in May 2023.

To participate, New York State districts/schools must sign up for the First In Math® program. All New York State students in grades 1 to 5 who are enrolled in the First In Math® program will be invited to participate in the Virtual Regional Qualifying Round. Already this school year, more than 400,000 New York State students from more than 3,800 schools representing more than 700 districts have solved more than 84 million math problems through First In Math®!

Interested in participating in the tournament? Find enrollment details on NYSED's Statewide Elementary Mathematics Tournament website.

NYSED is Accepting Applications for 2024 Teacher of the Year

2024 Teacher of the Year application deadline February 10, 2023

The New York State Teacher of the Year program is accepting applications for the 2024 Teacher of the Year. The Teacher of the Year is an exemplary educator who will serve as an ambassador for New York State teachers and will be the state’s nominee for National Teacher of the Year. Please refer to the Teacher of the Year webpage for information on how to nominate a teacher or submit an application. 


Please join us in recognizing and celebrating our outstanding teachers. The application deadline is February 10, 2023.


Questions may be directed to the Office of Standards & Instruction at 518-474-5922, or

Better Beginnings Award

Better Beginnings Award

NYSED is seeking applications for the Better Beginnings Award, which recognizes New York State-certified PreK-6 teachers who are gifted in finding and nurturing the strengths of each student and fostering trusting relationships among pupils, parents, teachers, and administrators.

To nominate a teacher, please visit the Better Beginnings Award website. The nomination packet is due Tuesday, February 28, 2023.

What's Great in Our State

What's Great in Our State

The annual “What’s Great in Our State” event recognizes individuals, communities, schools, and organizations across New York State that are making a difference in the field of children and youth mental health. The event is sponsored by the New York State Office of Mental Health and will be held on May 9, 2023, to celebrate Children's Mental Health Awareness Week. Nominations are now being accepted to honor individuals, communities, schools, and organizations, focusing on the following six categories: Youth/Young Adult, Family/Caregiver, Lifetime, Systems of Care Community, Organization or Community Group, and School/School District. Please complete the nomination form by February 17, 2023.

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