Contrary to the complaints of a few who will never be satisfied, New York’s education standards are truly doing right by students.
Following an exhaustive effort by educators and families alike, we now have exemplary statewide standards that help ensure equal education for all our students and have set us on a path to future educational improvements. The Next Generation Learning Standards are a hard-won New York success.
These standards were developed with significant collaborative involvement of teachers, administrators and parents, all united in their commitment to doing what’s best for students. Their work was deliberate; it carefully examined the standards both within each grade and each math and English skill over time. It was inclusive; every stakeholder had a seat at the table and an opportunity to participate, including countless hours of open debate in committee and two rounds of public comments. And the process was transparent; every step of the way, changes and policies were publicly shared and easily accessible.
What resulted are impressive standards that level the educational playing field, creating opportunity for every student, regardless of where they may live. Communities that have for years been neglected and under-served now have a road map for their child that shows a clear route to college and career readiness.
And we’ve already begun to see the incredible success of the standards. In just these first four years since the standards were implemented, proficiency in grades 3-8 has risen by nearly 10 percent, from 31 percent in both ELA and math. Participation numbers are also encouraging; more than 75 percent of districts saw increased participation rates this year as the number of families opting out of testing continues to diminish.
All along, the effort to develop improved standards has been based on progress. Progress that will strengthen our educational system, bolster our state and most importantly, empower our students to realize their future dreams and aspirations. We have worked together, all the while focused on moving forward toward the future. We’re proud of the success we’ve seen and are excited to see the new heights we will continue to reach.