Skip to main content


May 2, 2017
For More Information Contact:

JP O'Hare

(518) 474-1201



State Education Department Releases Revised NYS English And Mathematics Learning Standards

Committees Reviewed More Than 4,100 Public Comments and Incorporated Public & Expert Feedback into the Standards

New Learning Standards are a Culmination of a Two-Year Collaborative Process Involving 130 Educators & Parents, Resulting in Substantive Changes

Revised Standards Maintain Rigor to Prepare Student for the 21st Century

Public Comments Accepted on Revised Standards Through June 2

The State Education Department today released revised New York State P-12 English Language Arts and Mathematics Learning Standards that will be presented to the Board of Regents for discussion on May 9, Commissioner MaryEllen Elia announced.  The new learning standards are the culmination of a nearly two-year process that resulted in substantive changes while maintaining rigor and involved committees comprised of more than 130 educators and parents. Revision committees reviewed more than 4,100 public comments from the fall 2016 survey, as well as comments from experts, and incorporated this feedback into the revised learning standards. Public comments on the revised standards will be accepted through June 2.

"The new learning standards are the result of a thoughtful and deliberative process to reimagine our educational framework for English language arts and mathematics," Board of Regents Chancellor Betty A. Rosa said. "The result will be improved teaching and learning in New York's classrooms, with a greater emphasis on supporting English language learners, students with disabilities and other special populations. These standards are rigorous and will help equip children to lead successful lives in the 21st century."

“Thanks to the hard work and devotion of so many teachers, parents, educators and experts, we have developed new learning standards while keeping the rigor as we sought and valued input from all corners of the state,” Commissioner Elia said. “With substantive changes and increased guidance for educators, teachers will be able to develop curricula and lesson plans to meet the needs of students in their classrooms. These new standards recognize the importance of preparing New York’s children for success in life and provide the foundation needed to get there.”

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 in December 2015, many of which 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.

A full timeline of the process to revise the learning standards, which began in fall 2015, is here

English Language Arts Standards Review & Changes

Five subcommittee groups (Prekindergarten-Grade 2, Grades 3-5, Grades 6-8, Grades 9-12 and Literacy 6-12) as well as the Early Learning Task Force, all of which included parents and educators, discussed the current ELA standards to determine whether each standard meets the criteria for what a student should know and be able to do at a grade level (or grade-band) in English language arts and literacy.

In addition, multiple English Language Arts specialists and researchers reviewed the standards.  Through all-day, in-person meetings as well as web meetings over the past several months, the committees considered and discussed the public comments on every standard and integrated changes into the standards based on the feedback.

The committees substantially revised the ELA standards across all grade levels to reduce repetition of standards and to ensure clarity, appropriateness and vertical alignment. Significant changes to the ELA standards include to:

  • Add Practices to Foster Lifelong Readers and Writers to ensure students become lifelong learners who can effectively communicate. The BOCES Staff and Curriculum Development Network drafted these practices to help students exemplify and foster strong reading and writing habits from the early years through adulthood; 
  • Merge the Reading for Information and Reading for Literature Standards to reduce repetitive standards, streamline classroom instruction and curriculum development, and ensure a healthy balance of both types of reading across all grades. The standards also encourage the use of a variety of texts to balance literary and informational reading and to ensure students read both full-length texts and shorter pieces, as well as to encourage reading for pleasure. Specific reading selections remain local decisions to be chosen by local educators;
  • Convene the New York State Early Learning Task Force to discuss concerns around the P-2 grades, including standards, program decisions, social emotional needs, and how the content areas/domains work togeher in the early grades.  Grade-specific changes and additions were made to provide a strong emphasis on the whole child.  The Task Force reviewed and provided feedback on the standards.  The Task Force continues to meet and now is working on recommendations to develop resources and guidance to implement the new standards for educators and parents, including resources on professional development for teachers, P-12 school supports, child development, and instructional practice, including play as an instructional strategy;
  • Revise Every Grade’s Reading Expectations for Text Complexity to clarify expectations over multiple grades. A text complexity section is also added to the introduction to underscore the importance of reading different types of texts with varying levels of difficulty;
  • Revise the Writing Standards so they are more user-friendly for educators to use for curriculum and instruction. In addition to omitting some standards, there are grade-specific changes across the grades to clarify language and ensure writing expectations are clear;
  • Streamline the Anchor Standards based upon comments from educators that the standards were too numerous and at times repetitive. Standards are merged, and included in the practices to foster lifelong readers and writers;
  • Create a NY-Specific Introduction on How to Use the Standards to help inform local curriculum and instruction. While all curriculum decisions are locally made, a set of learning standards cannot be properly used without the necessary guidance. The introduction provides information on how to use the new Lifelong Practices for Readers and Writers, strategies for using the new standards in the classroom, and strategies and supports for applying the standards to students with disabilities and English language learners; and
  • Ensure Literacy is Included in the Content Areas. For example, the committee recommended creating a new document for the Grades 6-12 Literacy in Social Studies, Science and Technical Subjects Standards. The committees separated the literacy standards for these distinct content areas to better connect the standards directly with these content areas. In addition, guidance will be developed to show connections to literacy in other content areas.

Examples of the above changes can be found here.

Mathematics Standards Review & Changes

Seven grade band/course subcommittees (PreK-Grade 2, Grades 3-5, Grades 6-8, Algebra I, Algebra II, Geometry and Plus Standards) comprised of New York State P-12 classroom teachers, special education teachers, English language learner teachers, parents, curriculum specialists, school administrators and college professors discussed and made recommendations for possible revisions or additions to the standards.

Through a series of all-day, in-person meetings as well as web meetings held over the past several months, review committees considered and discussed public comment as well as expert feedback from mathematical cognitive researchers, and made any necessary modifications to the draft standards.

In reviewing the standards, the committees sought to ensure that the mathematics learning standards continue to be rigorous and represent a level of achievement in mathematics that will enable students to successfully transition to post-secondary education and the workforce. Significant changes to the mathematics standards include:

  • Move Standards to Different Grade Levels to improve the focus of major content and skills for each grade-level and course; providing more time for students to develop deep levels of understanding of grade-level appropriate content. Based on public and expert comments, major grade movements occurred in statistics and probability at the middle level and in Algebra at the high school level;
  • Provide for Students to Explore Standards to ensure standards are grade-level appropriate. Exploring a standard allows students to be introduced to and learn a concept without the expectation of mastering the concept at that grade level. Exploring the topic recognizes the importance of building a foundation toward mastering the concept in subsequent grades;
  • Clarification of Standards so that educators, students and parents more clearly understand the expectation, without limiting instructional flexibility. For example, modifications were made to better define the progression of skills and the transition of some of the 18 shared standards between Algebra I and Algebra II;
  • Add and Consolidate Standards to improve coherence, focus and reduce redundancy among grade levels. For example, one additional standard at the Kindergarten level helps solidify pattern recognition and creation from Pre-K to Grade 2.  In addition, standards regarding time and money were added and changed to smooth the transition of building these skills at the PreK-Grade 4 level;
  • Maintain the Rigor of the Standards by balancing the need for conceptual understanding, procedural skill and application.  For example, clearly identify the fluency standards at the high school level; and 
  • Create a Glossary of Verbs associated with the mathematics standards. This glossary contains a list of verbs that appear throughout the revised standards recommendations.  For example, the term “explore” is now utilized in some standards to alleviate grade-level appropriateness concerns.

Examples of the above changes can be found here.

Next Steps
The revised learning standards for ELA and Mathematics will be presented to the Board of Regents on May 9. The revised standards will be available on SED’s AIMHighNY website later today. NYSED is accepting public comment on the revised standards through June 2. It is expected the Board will vote on adopting the standards at the June meeting.

Once the Board approves the standards, the State Education Department will work with BOCES District superintendents, 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:

  • developing 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.

The revised standards will be available on SED’s AIMHighNY website. NYSED is accepting public comment on the revised standards through June 2. Comments can be provided through surveys on the AIMHighNY website through June 2.

A video of teachers who participated on the Standards Review Committees, discussing the review process is available here:

NYSED thanks all the educators, parents, researchers, experts and specialists that reviewed and provided feedback on the learning standards. A full list of participants that contributed to the development of the new learning standards can be found here.