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Dear Colleagues,

As we start a new school year, I want to begin by thanking our teachers and principals for their hard work that is helping New York get better. We've seen record graduation rates, more kids in college, and more kids learning what they need to compete.

Educators across the state are motivating our children to meet higher standards, to overcome challenges, and to learn new things they could never learn before.

As educators, we know there are many factors that shape our students' lives when they enter school. But the most important thing we can do is to ensure that every moment they're at school is as meaningful as possible. The classroom must be a place where students build knowledge, gain skills, and experience the joy of learning.

Let's make this a great year for all our students. And let's make this the year when all of us come together -- parents, teachers and community leaders -- to make education our number one priority. Nothing is more important. Nothing holds out more promise for a child than a great education.

students in classroom


John B. King, Jr.
Follow me on Twitter @JohnKingNYSED
New York Students: They Can Do It
Working hard, making strides - and proud of it. Listen to what New York students are saying about meeting higher learning standards with the Common Core. View the videos here.

they can do it

Scaffolding Instruction for English Language Learners
The new Scaffolding Instruction for English Language Learners Resource Guides for ELA and Mathematics provide guidance to educators on how to take the curriculum materials on EngageNY and provide additional scaffolds for ELL students according to their level of English language proficiency. The resource guides are aligned to the levels in New Language Arts Progressions and provide examples of how to apply the Progressions to the EngageNY curriculum.

The resource guides were developed by national experts in ELL instruction, Diane August and Diane Stehr Fenner, who have developed these ELL scaffolds for New York State that are aligned to the Common Core and are research-based instructional strategies for developing content and language with ELL students. The resource guides first provide a description of each scaffolding strategy used, and explain the research basis for such approaches. The guides then provide examples of lessons from each partner organization that has worked with NYS educators to develop optional curriculum modules on EngageNY, embedding research-based scaffolds into the lessons. The examples include instructions for teachers, actions for students, and additional resources to facilitate implementing each scaffolding technique.

Find the scaffolding guides here.
7th Grade ELA Teacher Shares 4 Ways to Help Make Complex Texts Accessible for all Students
This week's post from our EngagedVoices educator blog features Jessica Gross, a 7th Grade English Teacher at Odyssey Academy in Greece Central School District. In this popular blog post, Ms. Gross shares her techniques for helping students read, think deeply, and understand complex texts.

Jessica Gross When I was presented with the Expeditionary Learning (EL) modules, several doubts filled my mind...

My students will not know enough about Southern Sudanese water rights!

How will my students connect to a story about a girl in the Lowell mills?

Can my kids really understand a book that high school students usually read?

With the support of the Expeditionary Learning lessons available on EngageNY.org, I worked hard to make complex texts accessible for each and every one of my students. "How," you might ask?

Read more
New York Perspectives
Another Voice: Teachers working hard to make proper use of data
The Buffalo News
August 23, 2014
Theresa Gray, coordinator of integrated education services for Erie 2 - Chautauqua-Cattaraugus BOCES, talks about the ways in which educators can use assessment data and the released annotated assessment questions to develop student learning plans for the new school year.

Support the Common Core with the right instructional materials
Phi Delta Kappan
September 2014
Rachel Leifer and Denis Udall describe the tools that are available to help educators find strong instructional materials, including the free, optional curricular materials on EngageNY.org.
New Video Series Provides In-Depth Look at Peer Review Process
Achieve and Teaching Channel have launched a new video series allowing teachers to work together online to improve practice. The first three videos in the series will focus on the Evaluating Quality Instructional Products (EQuIP) Initiative, introducing the EQuIP Peer Review process and outlining the benefits for ELA and mathematics teachers. As teachers work to evaluate how best to align their instructional materials to the Common Core, these videos will provide helpful guidance on the quality and alignment of lessons and units.

New York State Master Teacher Program
Responding to the call to strengthen our nation's K-12 STEM education, Governor Andrew M. Cuomo launched the New York State Master Teacher Program (NYSMTP) in partnership with The State University of New York and Math for America. The deadline to apply for the New York State Master Teacher Program is September 20, 2014. The Master Teacher program is only for teachers in STEM subject areas.

Survey on National Core Arts Standards
The five professional arts associations, the NYS Alliance for Arts Education and the NYSED arts associate have created a survey to reach out to NYS arts teachers and administrators for their input concerning potential adoption of the National Core Arts Standards, which were released in June. The survey will open September 15 and close on Monday, October 6. Participation in this survey will provide valuable feedback regarding P-12 Arts education in New York State.

Access the survey here.