Educator guides expected this spring for Next Generation Learning Standards

On Board Online • April 25, 2022

By Chris Carola
Special Correspondent

This spring, the State Education Department plans to distribute educator guides for new tests in math and English language arts in grades 3-8 as the state gets close to full implementation of the Next Generation Learning Standards.

The educator guides will include testing sessions, estimated completion times, question formats and standards-assessed blueprints.

At their April meeting, members of the New York State Board of Regents recently received an update from staff at the State Education Department (SED) on the implementation of the new standards.

The presentation included comments by educators from Baldwinsville (a suburban district near Syracuse), New York City (the nation's largest school district) and Warsaw (located in rural Wyoming County).

Implementation of the new standards began at the start of the 2021-22 school year with pre-kindergarten through third-grade science.

SED's planned implementation schedule for new and revised standards includes:

  • September 2022: science for grades 4-7 and ELA and math for preK-8.
  • September 2023: science for grades 5-8, ELA for grade 9 and algebra I.
  • September 2024: Biology and Earth and Space Science courses, ELA for grade 10 and geometry.
  • September 2025: Chemistry and physics courses, ELA for grade 11 and algebra II.

The presenters said the plan for implementing the new standards was formulated through input from teachers and students, partnerships with BOCES, the Big 5 public school districts and statewide professional education organizations, and live and recorded conferences and webinars involving teachers and school leaders.

Kim Monahan, director of instructional services at the Warsaw Central School District, praised guidance provided by leaders at the Genesee Valley BOCES for getting a curriculum review process underway despite disruptions caused by COVID-19 just days after their first meeting in March 2020.

"Our teachers have taken a critical look at the big picture learning intentions and are determining what success looks like at Warsaw Central, how will children demonstrate what they know and can do at a proficient level," Monahan said.

The pandemic "slowed us down but we didn't let it stop us."

Regent Aramina Vega Ferrer praised the ongoing collaborations that the presenters outlined for the board. She also urged SED staff and educators involved in the standards updating process to make sure parents are a top priority when it comes to engaging stakeholders.

"I would really like to see a strong focus and presentation on the models that we are engaging in with parents across New York state," she said. "We need to do this so that the message comes out really clearly to all of our parents that we want them here as key partners in this work. Otherwise, we are not going to be as successful."

Board members also received an update from SED on the graduation measures initiative stakeholder input process, Phase I of which included regional meetings starting in January 2020 only to be cancelled that following March by the pandemic. The meetings were held in a virtual format beginning last December and wrapped up in late March.

Feedback from the meetings will be compiled through this summer, with findings scheduled to be presented to the Board of Regents in the fall, followed by creation of a blue-ribbon commission and the drafting of a meeting schedule.

Phase II calls for the commission's work to start in the fall of 2022 and continue through 2023, with a final report scheduled to be submitted to the Regents for consideration in the spring or summer of 2024.

In other items, Colleen McDonald of Washington-Saratoga-Warren-Hamilton-Essex BOCES made a presentation to the Regents about a teacher residency model.

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