News and Notes

July 2023

Dear Colleagues,

I hope you are enjoying plenty of much-deserved fun and rest this summer. I know that as educators, we never stop thinking about our students and ways to improve the learning process.

The State Education Department and Board of Regents have already turned our attention to the upcoming school year and, looking further to the future, the Graduation Measures Blue Ribbon Commission is also hard at work. The Commission, which is co-chaired by Vice Chancellor Josephine V. Finn and Regent Judith Chin, held its final meeting this week to develop recommendations on which measures best demonstrate readiness for college or career for all students in New York.

Commissioner Betty A. Rosa

The Commission represents a diverse cross-section of stakeholders, including educators, administrators, researchers, school counselors, professionals from business and higher education, parents, and students. The Commission undertook an independent, thoughtful, and inclusive process to explore what a state diploma should signify to ensure educational excellence and equity for every student in New York State. 

In addition to monthly meetings, the Commission has hosted parent and student advisory meetings and gathered input from all interested stakeholders. They have exemplified the ideal of learning by doing. Thanks to the voices of all those involved in the Commission, we will soon have a roadmap for learning-centered education that best meets the needs of every student and incorporates competency imperatives that provide them with the practical skills needed for the dynamic demands of tomorrow’s workforce. This vital work will allow students to demonstrate what they’ve learned in a meaningful way as they prepare for college, career, and civic life. The final recommendations will be submitted to the Board of Regents this Fall 2023 and will bring us a step closer to finalizing the standards and supports for students to raise the knowledge, skill, and opportunity of all the people in New York.

I am thankful to the co-chairs, the members of the Blue Ribbon Commission, and the countless stakeholders, students, and parents we have heard from, for their work on this endeavor, and I am grateful for their invaluable input throughout this process. Additional information about the Graduation Measures initiative can be found on the Department’s Graduation Measures website.

As we head into August and you continue to plan for the upcoming school year and ways to make learning as engaging and enriching as possible for our students, please consider visiting our Office of Cultural Education's FindNYCulture website, which connects educators and the public to cultural organizations across New York State. The website features a database of New York's 4,600+ museums, libraries, historical societies, science centers, parks, zoos, university art galleries, planetariums, and more -- all searchable by location and grade level. We know that students learn best when they can make connections between what they learn in the classroom to the outside world and so I hope you take advantage of the countless opportunities to explore New York State's rich natural and cultural history. Many of these cultural institutions would make lovely weekend or day trips to help round out your family's summer plans!

You can also follow the @FindNYCulture Twitter account and subscribe to the Office of Cultural Education newsletter for the latest resources from the New York State Archives, Library, Museum, and public broadcasting.

Enjoy the rest of your summer!


Betty A. Rosa


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