Skip to main content


September 11, 2017
For More Information Contact:

JP O'Hare

(518) 474-1201



Board of Regents Approves NY'S Every Student Succeeds Act Plan

Plan Will Be Submitted to USDE

Plan Emphasizes Fostering Equity in Education for All Students and Expands
Measures for School Accountability & Student Success

Final Approval of the State’s ESSA Plan is Expected Early in 2018

The Board of Regents today approved the New York Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) plan, which will be submitted to the United States Education Department (USDE) on September 18 for review and approval. It is anticipated that USDE will provide feedback to the Department in December 2017. Final approval of the state’s ESSA plan is expected early next year.

“Our ESSA plan is an action plan,” Board of Regents Chancellor Betty A. Rosa said. “The Regents and I are committed to ensuring that all students, regardless of background, zip code, first language or disability, get the help they need to succeed and thrive in school. Developing this plan has been an opportunity to incorporate the voices of communities, teachers and parents as we rethink how we look at accountability, equity and serving the whole child.”

“The ESSA plan we will now submit to USDE is responsive to the needs of students,” Commissioner MaryEllen Elia said. “This plan is the culmination of more than a year of collaboration with hundreds of stakeholders and members of the public who helped shape the plan throughout the process. And we’re not done. We will continue to engage with stakeholders to ensure everyone is given the opportunity to adjust to and feel comfortable with the new system as it’s implemented.”

The plan emphasizes fostering equity in education for New York’s students; expands measures for school support and accountability and student success; and requires school-level improvement plans for the lowest performing schools overall as well as schools with the lowest performance for certain student populations. The plan also includes strategies for supporting the professional growth of educators and ensuring that all students, including English language learners/Multilingual learners, immigrant students, migratory youth, homeless youth, and neglected and delinquent youth, have access to a well-rounded, culturally responsive education that supports their academic and social-emotional development.

The Department detailed highlights of the plan to the Board of Regents at its September meeting. Further, NYSED is developing summary documents for parents and teachers to explain the final ESSA plan, which is posted in full on the Department’s ESSA webpage.

Stakeholder Engagement

For the past year, NYSED has engaged diverse groups of stakeholders to solicit recommendations on how to craft an ESSA plan that best meets the needs of the state’s students, schools and communities. In support of these efforts, NYSED established an ESSA Think Tank with representatives from more than 100 organizations, including district leaders, teachers, parents, and community members. The Department also consulted with national education experts regarding ESSA, including Linda Darling-Hammond (Learning Policy Institute) and Scott F. Marion (National Center for the Improvement of Educational Assessment).

In addition, NYSED held more than 120 fall and winter regional in-person meetings across the state in coordination with the state’s 37 Boards of Cooperative Educational Services (BOCES) and the superintendents of the state’s five largest City School Districts, which were attended by more than 4,000 students, parents, teachers, school and district leaders, school board members, and other stakeholders.

The Department received more than 800 written comments and 270 verbal comments at the meetings during public comment period. In addition to hosting 13 public hearings on the plan from May 11 through June 16, NYSED also held more than 120 stakeholder and public meetings between October 2016 and May 2017 to gather input to help inform the development of the draft plan.

Last month, NYSED released three ESSA waiver requests for public comment. The waivers, which will be submitted simultaneously with the draft ESSA plan, have been previously discussed with the Board of Regents and stakeholders. If approved these waivers will give New York additional flexibility in terms of the assessment of selected groups of middle level students who participate in Regents examinations, newly arrived ELLs/MLLs, and a small group of students with significant cognitive disabilities.

Next Steps

It is anticipated that USDE will provide feedback to the Department in December 2017. Final approval of the state’s ESSA plan is expected early next year. After the plan is approved by the USDE, the Department will work with BOCES District superintendents, superintendents, the ESSA Think Tank and other stakeholder groups to develop and provide guidance on implementing the ESSA plan.