News and Notes
November 2021
Commissioner Betty A. Rosa
Dear Colleagues,

November 15th through 19th is American Education Week! Throughout the week, we have been celebrating public education and the efforts of teachers, administrators, and support professionals to help ensure all children have access to a high-quality education. Thank you for everything you do each day to support students!
This winter, the New York State Education Department (NYSED) will resume hosting regional information meetings across the state to gather feedback on the skills and post-secondary opportunities a student who earns a state diploma should have to ensure educational excellence and equity for every student in New York. The virtual meetings are an integral part of Phase I in the Board of Regents and NYSED's review of graduation measures and will offer opportunities for stakeholders and members of the public to share input. While many meetings were held during Winter 2020, the meetings were suspended in March 2020 due to COVID-19.
For a full list of upcoming meetings, registration details, and additional information on the Graduation Measures Review initiative, please visit our Graduation Measures website.

Below, you can find information about the following:

  • NYSED Releases Spring 2021 Grades 3-8 ELA and Math Assessment Data
  • NYSED Seeks Stakeholder Input on Every Student Succeeds Act Waiver for 2021-22 School Year
  • State Museum Opens Exhibition: “Courage: The Black Struggle for Quality Education”
  • New Resources Available to Support NYSED’s Culturally Responsive-Sustaining (CR-S) Education Framework
  • New York State My Brother’s Keeper Community Network Reaches 31 Member Communities
  • Clean Green Schools Initiative


Betty A. Rosa
NYSED Releases Spring 2021
Grades 3-8 ELA and Math Assessment Data
NYSED recently released the scores of the Spring 2021 Grades 3-8 English Language Arts (ELA) and Mathematics Tests. Due to circumstances related to the pandemic, approximately 4 out of 10 students participated in this year’s tests. In ELA, 41.9 percent of students enrolled in grades 3-8 took the exam and in math, 39.9 percent of enrolled students took the exam.

In an ordinary year, the percentage of students who participate in the tests is typically over 80 percent. Therefore, the 2021 grades 3-8 test results are not representative of the state’s student population and should not be compared to that of previous school years, statewide, or among subgroups of students. As a result, NYSED is not making statewide comparisons of the data and only district and school level results are posted on NYSED’s public data website.

Although statewide comparisons of 2021 grades 3–8 test results are not recommended, the data can still be used as a snapshot of student attainment by districts, schools, instructors, and families. The results allow educators to better understand individual students’ needs and to consider individualized support. A Frequently Asked Questions document is available providing more information about this year’s exams.
NYSED Seeks Stakeholder Input on
Every Student Succeeds Act Waiver for 2021-22 School Year
NYSED is seeking stakeholder input on a potential waiver request to the United States Department of Education related to making school and district accountability determinations based on results from the 2021-22 school year. Survey responses will be accepted through Friday, November 19. Thank you for your input as the Department considers next steps in this process.
State Museum Opens Exhibition:
“Courage: The Black Struggle for Quality Education”
A new exhibition, Courage: The Black Struggle for Quality Education, is now open for the public to view at the New York State Museum. The exhibition explores the visions and aspirations of courageous leaders and parents who have sought to equitably educate Black children. Developed by the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture in Harlem, and on loan to the State Museum, the exhibition will be on view in the Museum’s Photography Gallery through June 2022. The Adelaide L. Sanford Institute made the exhibition available to the Museum in honor of Vice Chancellor Emerita Dr. Adelaide L. Sanford of the Board of Regents.
New Resources Available to Support NYSED’s Culturally Responsive-Sustaining (CR-S) Education Framework
NYSED has released three optional professional development toolkits that can be shared within schools and professional communities to support raising awareness of the CR-S Framework. The toolkits contain PowerPoint presentations and turnkey facilitation guides tailored to three audience types: a General Session, a Teacher Session, and an Administrative/District Leaders Session. Each toolkit is customizable to address each district's, school's, or community’s needs.

For additional support, the Department has released three articles written by fellow educators to share ideas and resources on implementing the CR-S Framework. If you have any questions on the new materials or the CR-S Framework, please contact the Office of Curriculum and Instruction at
New York State My Brother’s Keeper Community Network
Reaches 31 Member Communities
The New York State My Brother’s Keeper (NYSMBK) Community Network has grown again, and now includes 31 member communities. NYSMBK recently added connections with Arlington, Elmont, Roosevelt, Sewanhaka, and Uniondale to join the growing initiative to improve outcomes for boys and young men of color. Find more information about the NYSMBK Community Network and a full list of member communities on the Department’s website.
Clean Green Schools Initiative
Governor Kathy Hochul recently announced that $59 million will be allocated to the Clean Green Schools initiative to address climate justice issues and create improved, healthier learning environments for students. The initiative will launch in 2022 to improve indoor air quality and reduce carbon emissions in more than 500 public and private prekindergarten through grade 12 schools in New York’s underserved communities. The Clean Green Schools initiative supports New York State’s goals in the Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act passed in 2019.