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September 11, 2017
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JP O'Hare

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Board of Regents P-12 Committee Approves Next Generation Learning Standards

Revised English and Math Learning Standards are the Culmination of a Two-Year Collaborative Process;

Substantive Changes Made While Rigor Maintained

Plan Gives Time for Professional Development and Curriculum Development

The Board of Regents P-12 Committee today approved New York’s Next Generation Learning Standards for English Language Arts and Mathematics. The State Education Department conducted a collaborative process over two years to revise the standards, which involved numerous educators, parents and stakeholders from across the State, and resulted in substantive changes while maintaining the academic rigor of the learning standards.

"The standards we adopted today continue to be rigorous, to challenge New York’s students to do more and to prepare them for life in the 21st century," Board of Regents Chancellor Betty A. Rosa said. "Throughout the entire process, we worked collaboratively and transparently, receiving valuable input from educators and parents, as well as experts in teaching English language learners, students with disabilities and our youngest learners. And we will continue to listen as the standards are implemented. We are committed to getting this right for our kids and evolving the standards over time as necessary to do that."

“We have developed an implementation plan that gives teachers and students the time they’ll need to adjust to the revised learning standards,” State Education Commissioner MaryEllen Elia said. “Our implementation timetable allows for professional development and curriculum development to occur before any student takes a State assessment based on the new standards. That’s the fair and smart thing to do for our teachers and our students.”

Two-Year Collaborative Process Results in Substantive Changes

The State Education Department released draft learning standards for public comment in September 2016 and received more than 4,100 public comments. The ELA and Math Learning Standards Advisory Committees met through a series of all-day, in-person meetings and web meetings from December 2016 through April 2017 and reviewed every learning standard, making any necessary modifications based on professional expertise as well as input gathered from public comment and child development experts. Educators who work with students with disabilities and English language learners were actively involved in the review process as well. The committees integrated any necessary changes into the standards while ensuring that the standards continue to be rigorous and challenge New York’s students to do more.

In addition, the new standards meet the 2015 legislative requirement that the standards be reassessed with stakeholder input. Commissioner Elia participated in the Governor’s Task Force, which made a series of recommendations for the Task Force Final Report in December 2015. Many of the Task Force recommendations are reflected in the revised standards, including gathering input in new standards from local districts, educators and parents through an open and transparent process; ensuring the standards meet the needs of English language learners and students with disabilities; and providing additional resources for professional development of teachers.

Here is a full timeline of the Learning Standards Review Process to revise the learning standards, which began in fall 2015.

The draft standards were presented at the Board of Regents meeting in May 2017, where they were renamed the Next Generation Learning Standards for English Language Arts and Mathematics. They were then posted on SED’s website for public comment until June 2, 2017.

Timetable for Implementation

The projected time line for standards and assessments over the coming years is:

  • September 2017: Adoption of Next Generation Standards
  • 2017-2018 School Year: Two-day assessments measuring the current standards; professional development on Next Generation Standards;
  • 2018-2019 School Year: Two-day assessments measuring the current standards; professional development continues on the Next Generation Standards;
  • 2019-2020 School Year: Two-day assessments measuring the current standards; professional development continues on the Next Generation Standards;
  • September 2020: Full implementation of the Next Generation Standards;
  • Spring 2021: New tests measuring Next Generation Standards.

NYS Next Generation English Language Arts Standards Revision

Overall, the Department received more than 250 responses to the draft Next Generation English standards released in May. Based on that feedback, plus additional reviews from researchers and content specialists, the Department focused its ELA revision work in several areas, including, especially, the early learning standards.

To answer concerns around the implementation of the standards in the early grades, the Department created an Early Learning Standards Introduction that provides greater guidance on how the standards can be implemented in PreK through grade 2. This introduction offers guidance and context for the standards, as well as guidance regarding developmentally appropriate practices, teaching all students (including special populations, such as students with disabilities and English language learners/ multilingual learners), cultural appropriateness and ensuring the needs of students are supported. 

The standards adopted by the Board of Regents today seek to protect developmentally appropriate expectations and practices for all children, PreK through grade 2, even as the curricula/instructional programs that support these principals are locally determined.

Particularly in the early childhood classroom, developmentally appropriate practices create the conditions for learning that stimulate an active, joyful engagement in young children. “Play” is therefore emphasized multiple times throughout the standards. This is an intentional effort to remain within developmentally appropriate parameters that do not pit play against “academic” learning.

Additionally, for each grade level (PreK – grade 12), the revised standards expand and clarify reading expectations (including guidance around early and emergent reading experiences in PreK – grade 3) to ensure educators and parents better understand the reading expectations for each grade level. 

Finally, the introduction to the revised ELA standards now provides additional guidance on ways to support students with disabilities and English language learners.

NYS Next Generation Mathematics Standards Revision

Overall, the Department received more than 235 responses to the draft Next Generation math standards released in May. As result of that feedback, the Department made changes that are reflected in the math standards adopted by the Board today.

Among the changes to the Next Generation Mathematics Standards are the following:

high school courses are now listed in the standards document by course (i.e., Algebra I, Geometry, Algebra II) along with the specific standards that make up the course and the revised standards have been recoded to differentiate them from the original Common Core Learning Standards, thereby preventing confusion and error when searching for or creating materials associated with the revised standards.

The  revised standards are available on SED’s Next Generation Learning Standards website. 

Next Steps

The State Education Department will work with BOCES District Superintendents, school superintendents, the Staff and Curriculum Development Network and teacher centers to develop and provide guidance on professional development for teachers to implement the new standards. Additional resources will be forthcoming to support the new standards, including:

  • clear communications for parents about the standards, with an explanation about the connections among standards, curriculum and assessments;
  • guidance to show connections to literacy in other content areas after we review those standards to ensure literacy is included across all content areas;
  • resources for English Language Learners and students with disabilities;
  • a glossary of terms for ELA; and
  • crosswalks to show the main differences between the new standards and the 2011 standards.

NYSED thanks all the educators, parents, researchers, experts and specialists who reviewed and provided feedback on the learning standards.


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