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July 27, 2023
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JP O'Hare

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Graduation Measures Blue Ribbon Commission Holds Final Meeting to Develop Graduation Requirements for New York Students

Draft Recommendations to be Presented in Fall 2023

The Graduation Measures Blue Ribbon Commission, co-chaired by Vice Chancellor Josephine V. Finn and Regent Judith Chin, held its final meeting this week in Albany to develop recommendations for the Board of Regents on which measures best meet the needs of all students in New York, Commissioner Betty A. Rosa announced today. Under the direction of the co-chairs, a diverse cross-section of stakeholders, including educators, administrators, researchers, school counselors, professionals from business and higher education, parents, and students, 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.

Board of Regents Chancellor Lester W. Young, Jr. said, “The intent of this initiative was never to lower standards; to the contrary, it focused on placing all New York State students on a success trajectory by providing them access to the necessary opportunities and support they need. The Commission’s ultimate recommendations culminate from a robust stakeholder input process and an extensive review of relevant research, literature, and experience. I thank everyone, from the parents and students we heard from, to our co-chairs and the entire Blue Ribbon Committee for their input. I look forward to reviewing the final recommendations.”

Commissioner Betty A. Rosa said, “Going into this process, we knew the current system wasn’t working for all students. 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 in New York State and incorporates competency imperatives that provide them 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. As something that started as a vision when I was Chancellor, I am thankful to the co-chairs and members of the Blue Ribbon Commission for their work on this endeavor and am grateful for their invaluable input throughout this process. They have conducted this work honorably, engaging in a trusting dialogue while respecting the views of all.”

In July 2019, then-Chancellor Betty A. Rosa and the Board of Regents announced they would create a Blue Ribbon Commission to review the State’s high school graduation measures and explore what it means to obtain a diploma in New York State. The Blue Ribbon Commission on Graduation Measures has been meeting regularly since the Fall of 2022 to develop recommendations on what measures of learning and achievement best serve New York State’s diverse student population as indicators of what they know and should be able to do upon graduation.

In addition to monthly meetings, the Commission has hosted parent and student advisory meetings and gathered input from all interested stakeholders. At this week’s convening, members of the Blue Ribbon Commission worked to formulate the final recommendations to 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. Recommendations from the Commission were developed through a lens of diversity, equity, and inclusion.

Additional information about the Graduation Measures initiative can be found on the Department’s Graduation Measures website