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From the Desk of Anne Schiano, Assistant Director
Curriculum, Instruction & Instructional Technology

October 19, 2007



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NEW!Carl D. Perkins Career and Technical Education Act of 2006 (Perkins IV) Five-year State Plan
The Department seeks input/comments from the public regarding the drafting of the Perkins IV State Plan.  Input/comments are requested from (including, but not limited to): academic and career and technical education teachers, faculty, and administrators; career guidance and academic counselors; eligible recipients; charter school authorizers and organizers consistent with State law; parents and students; representatives from institutions of higher education; the State tech prep coordinator and representatives of tech prep consortia; interested community members; representatives of special populations; representatives of business and industry; and representatives of labor organizations in the State.

Information on providing comments orally or written can be found at

Statewide Graduation Results Report
The statewide graduation results press release, PowerPoint presentation, enrollment outcomes of students who first entered grade 9 in 2002, and a database of public schools and school district data can be found on the Office of Information and Reporting Services webpage at

General Education & Diploma Requirements
In response to many field inquiries, the Department has produced a website with updated information on General Education & Diploma Requirements, Commencement Level (Grades 9-12). The site provides access to charts highlighting the diploma requirements for students. The centerpiece of the site is a new chart, which reflects changes in regulations enacted within the recent past, such as the phasing out of some local diploma options and the phasing in of new mathematics examinations and courses. Each column of the chart is hyperlinked to a page that provides more detailed information in html format. The site is available at:
For the math chart, it is available at:

Call for Expertise
The NYS Education Department encourages teachers, administrators and professionals to become involved in the development of variety of curriculum materials and resources related to the seven learning standard areas. In an effort to maintain up-to-date contact information and to allow you to select projects and committees that best fit your interest and expertise, task-specific opportunities are now available on the Call for Expertise website. To view a current list of these opportunities, please visit

NEW!Homework Hotline Helps Students Across The State
HOMEWORK HOTLINE, the live, statewide call-in show where master teachers help
kids with homework on the air launches its 17th season on New York’s public television stations. Geared to students in grades 4 through 12, HOMEWORK HOTLINE provides the tools students need to succeed with homework and supports academic achievement across a variety of New York State Learning Standards. The new HOMEWORK HOTLINE website complements the live show with special features focusing on health, animals, book reviews, historic sites and figures, and environmental issues. The website can be accessed at or consult your local public television station.

NEW!Office of Teaching Initiatives
A new link to the state Office of Teaching Initiatives has been added to our curriculum homepages for quick access to teaching certification information. The goal of the Office of Teaching Initiatives is to provide qualified and certified teachers for employment in the State's public schools. The office issues certificates, develops teaching policy, and provides supportive services for teachers, schools, and the public. The Office of Teaching Initiatives website can be found at

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NEW!Grant Awards for Title II, Part B of the No Child Left Behind Act - Mathematics and Science Partnership Program: The State Education Department has announced 2007-2010 awards for the Mathematics and Science Partnership competitive grant program. First-year grant awards for the program total approximately $13.5 million. It is intended to increase academic achievement of students in mathematics and science by enhancing the content knowledge and teaching skills of classroom teachers. Partnerships between high-need school districts and the science, technology, engineering, and mathematics faculty in institutions of higher education are at the core of these improvement efforts. A list of awarded partnerships can be found at .

NEW!National Education Association's Books Across America
The NEA Foundation will make $1,000 awards to public schools serving economically disadvantaged students to purchase books for school libraries. The NEA Foundation makes these awards in collaboration with the National Education Association. The 2008 NEA's Books Across America Library Books Awards are made possible with support from individuals who donated to NEA's Books Across America fund to bring the gift of reading to students. Deadline: November 12, 2007 Contact:

Grants for Art and Music Education Programs
The Airborne Teacher Trust Fund provides support to elementary and middle school teachers from public and private schools for art and music programs that are in jeopardy of being lost due to budgetary limitations. Teachers and their schools may apply for grants from $200 to $10,000 to be used to implement their programs. Visit for more information.

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2007 Albany Institute of History and Art Teacher Workshop Opportunities
The Albany Institute is a great resource for teachers who are looking for ways to integrate art, objects and primary sources into the classroom, and the Albany Institute’s Education Department welcomes the opportunity to collaborate with schools in curriculum development and special projects by designing and implementing teacher workshops to meet specific needs within the classroom. Sessions can occur at your site or at the museum. Contact via email or visit for more information about collaborative partnerships with the Albany Institute of History and Art.

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NEW!A New Center on Instruction Document
Improving Literacy Instruction in Middle and High Schools: A Guide for Principals [6-12]
This "quick start" guide for principals of both middle and high schools identifies three goals for secondary school literacy initiatives and provides elements of instruction required to meet these goals. It then outlines the critical elements of a school-level literacy action plan.

NEW!The Presidential Award for Reading and Technology 2008
International Reading Association has announced awards for combining technology and reading. The grant is entitled Presidential Award for Reading and Technology 2008. Ten awards will be made in varying amounts. The Presidential Award for Reading and Technology honors educators in grades K-12 who are making an outstanding and innovative contribution to the use of technology in reading education. There will be one grand-prize winner, seven U.S. regional winners, one Canadian, and one international winner. All entrants must be educators who work directly with students ages 5-18 for all or part of the working day. Deadline: November 15, 2007

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2006 Presidential Award Winner
Please join us in congratulating Ms. Heather Shaw of Spencerport Central School District as the 2006 K-6 Presidential Award winner in mathematics. The Presidential Awards for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching (PAEMST) identifies outstanding teachers in mathematics and science at the national level. Ms. Shaw will receive a citation signed by the President, a paid trip to Washington, DC, to attend a week-long series of recognition events and professional development opportunities, and $10,000 from the National Science Foundation. More information can be found at

New York State Formative Assessment Technical Assistance Study
The Formative Assessment Technical Assistance Study (FAS) is a two-year pilot program intended to support the development of a model formative assessment process and program in the Syracuse City School District. It is a collaborative effort of the Assessment and Accountability Comprehensive Center (AACC), the New York Comprehensive Center (NYCC), and the New York State Education Department (NYSED). This program will be used as a beacon for formative assessment processes and programs for districts throughout the state.

Call for Expertise
Item Reviewers are needed the week of October 29th for the field tests in Integrated Algebra and Geometry. New York State Regents Examinations are written by New York State constituents. Mathematics educational professionals are needed for all phases of Regents Examinations in the new Integrated Algebra and Geometry courses. Stipends and travel expenses to Albany will be included. For committees and dates, please refer to the Call for Expertise site at

FREE: Teaching and Learning Resources
The Federal Resources for Educational Excellence: Teaching and Learning Resources (FREE) website links to 16 resources in Numbers and Operations, 19 resources in Geometry, and more in other content areas of the core curriculum. For other mathematics resources from FREE, please visit .

100 Recommended Math Sites
The Association of Mathematics Teachers of New York State (AMTNYS) Publications Committee has compiled a list of 100 Recommended Math Sites. Sites are organized according to grade levels K-12, offer a brief summary of what type of material the site addresses, and outlines whether the site best serves teachers, parents, or students. To view the AMTNYS 100 Recommended Math Sites, visit

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NEW!Physical Setting/Earth Science Performance Test (Part D)

The new version of the Physical Setting/Earth Science Performance Test (Part D) will be administered for the first time in June 2008. Part D is the hands-on portion of the Physical Setting/Earth Science Regents Examination. In order to prepare teachers and school districts for the implementation of the new Part D version of the test, the Department is providing eight teacher-training sessions in September and October in seven regional locations around the State. Regionally trained Earth Science teachers will serve as turnkey- trainers at additional professional development sessions hosted by each BOCES for component school districts.

Information pertaining to the implementation of the Physical Setting/Earth Science Performance Test (Part D) is posted on the Department's website at You may contact the Office of Standards, Assessment, and Reporting via e-mail at if you have questions regarding the new version of the Physical Setting/Earth Science Performance Test.

NEW!National Science Education Leadership Association (NSELA)
The 2007 fall edition of the NSELA newsletter, The Navigator, is now available at This is an exciting
newsletter that shares highlights of professional development opportunities,
information about outstanding science leaders, dates and previews of
upcoming NSELA events, updates of NSELA committee actions, and
articles of interest for science educators. NSELA’s Professional Development Institute is taking place in
Boston on March 26, 2008 and NSELA’s 2008 Summer Leadership Institute is
in Asheville, North Carolina from July 7-10.

The New York State Education Department, in partnership with the National Science Resources Center (NSRC), is implementing a multi-year science education systemic change initiative — New York Enhancing Collaborative Leadership for Improved Performance in Science Education (NY ECLIPSE) — that will build leadership teams within local school districts. This initiative provides research-based products and services to assist New York State school districts in initiating, implementing, and sustaining effective inquiry-centered pre-kindergarten through grade twelve science programs for all students. NY ECLIPSE is based on the NSRC’s program, Leadership and Assistance for Science Education Reform, which is a nationally renowned professional development model that provides a comprehensive approach to district-wide systemic change in science education. The NY ECLIPSE initiative targets “renewal” efforts in each of the State’s large urban school districts including Buffalo, Rochester, Syracuse, Yonkers and New York City.

Building a Presence (BaP) Points of Contact still needed in every school in NYS!
The National Science Teachers Association (NSTA), with funding from the Exxon/Mobil Foundation, has developed a national initiative to create a comprehensive communications and professional development network of science education advocates - which is referred to as Building a Presence (BaP). The objectives of the project are to create a state and national network for K-12 teachers of science to share resources about effective science teaching and learning, lessen science teacher isolation, help science teachers implement state and national science education standards in their schools, stimulate professional development opportunities for science teachers, and provide teachers with resources to help all students learn science. NYS is seeking a point of contact in each school to receive email announcements and to share them with colleagues. Please forward this information to teachers of science in your district, and have interested teachers contact Nancy Ridenour at for further details.

The NSTA Learning Center
Every teacher wants to grow their understanding of the subjects they teach and the pedagogical implications. To address this challenge, NSTA is proud to make available the Beta release of their electronic professional development (PD) website.

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NEW! Revised Instructional Resource on Social Studies Document-Based Questions (DBQs)
The Department's online instructional social studies resource, An Introduction to the DBQ, has been revised and is now available online at

This resource provides an overview of DBQs, and how to develop them for local classroom instruction to model the structure of DBQs found on State assessments. Revisions to this tutorial include:

* New and updated web links.
* Additional guidance on using DBQs for instruction.
* A revised Sample DBQ and Sample DBQ Scoring Rubric for instructional use that model the format of DBQs on New York State social studies assessments.
* Connections to the revised generic scoring rubrics for State social studies assessments.

This tutorial is only available online. It is also available on the Social Studies Publications web page at

NEW!Social Studies Generic Scoring Rubrics
All grade 3 – 12 students and teachers should now be using the revised generic scoring rubrics to prepare for future Grade 5, Grade 8 or Regents-level social studies examinations. The respective rating guides used to score each examination are now based on these revised rubrics. In addition, a revised Grade 5 generic scoring rubric has just been released for use beginning with the November 2007 examination.

A complete explanation of these revisions and copies of the Revised Generic Scoring Rubrics are available on our social studies website.

NEW!New Teaching Unit Available from the New York State Library
The Great Railroad Strike of 1877 has recently been posted on the New York State Library Web site. Visit the Resources and Services for Teachers page at, and scroll down to the Labor History section (next to the image of the trains).

The student activities have been correlated with NYS standards and performance indicators. The packet used microfilmed newspapers, a primary resource that can be used by students of all ages without having to fear that they might accidentally damage the original material. Images of the actual newspaper articles are posted with transcriptions.

NEW!The Academy for Character Education at the Sages Colleges
The Academy for Character Education at the Sage Colleges, in collaboration with the National Character Education Partnership, has been designated as the agency responsible for the New York State Schools of Character awards program.

The Academy has announced the creation of the New York State Schools of Character awards program (NYSSOC). The NYSSOC program will recognize schools or districts that excel in exemplifying The Principles of Effective Character Education and demonstrate an outstanding character education initiative that yields positive results in student behavior, school climate, and academic performance.

Contact The Academy for Character Education at the Sage Colleges for further information regarding the application and the conference. These application guidelines can be downloaded from

Unified Court System Launches New Youth Website
The Unified Court System (UCS) launched a youth-focused website as part of the Law Day celebration held at the Court of Appeals on April 30, 2007. The new educational site provides information about New York courts, proceedings and laws that involve and affect youth. It will also serve as a clearinghouse for information on statewide and local youth-oriented programs, activities and support resources.

High School Media Contest to Promote Jury Service
The New York State Unified Court System is planning a statewide expansion of its Annual High School Media Contest to Promote Jury Service. The contest involves high school students in creatively learning about the jury system while developing various components of a media campaign for raising public awareness about the importance of serving as a juror. With teacher’s guidance, students can create posters, public service announcements, juror orientation videos, Internet banners, or redesign a jury summons. High School teachers are invited to review the current academic (2006-07) year’s categories and guidelines at, although the deadline to participate has past. On the website teachers may sign up to receive next academic (2007-08) year’s information for student participation.

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Report on Middle Level Music Education
The New York State School Music Association’s Classroom Music Committee has produced A Report on PreK-12 Music Education in New York State with a Special Focus on the Middle Level. The report provides an overview of the status of classroom music education with specific information on middle level music programs, NYSSMA benefits/services, and the effect the learning standards have had on music education programs in the State. The report can be accessed at

Music and Theatre Education Data Available
Charts that contain multi-year tallies of statewide student enrollments and teaching assignments in music and theatre education have been updated and posted. The Music Education Data chart covers approximately 30 years from 1975-76 until 2005-06. The Theatre Education Data chart includes information from 1999-2000 until 2005-06. Both are accessible at

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NYS Physical Education Profile (PE Profile)
The PE Profile is a set of State-developed local assessments that may be used to provide evidence of the levels of student achievement for the physical education portion of the New York State learning standards for health, physical education, and family and consumer sciences (1996), and these results may also be used to evaluate the district physical education program. The PE Profile is to be used at the discretion of local school districts to provide that evidence for physical education. The statewide roll-out of the PE Profile will begin during the 2007-08 school year through professional development events planned by the Staff and Curriculum Development Network of each BOCES and the Big 5 school districts. Updates, frequently asked questions, and the physical education profile toolkit are available online at the web link above.

Physical Education Requirement
The State Education Department has issued a field memo dated January 2007, regarding Physical Education Programs in response to concerns about the administration of physical education programs that lead to the attainment of NYS learning standards. This memo provides guidance for schools to better ascertain their compliance with Section 135.4 of the Commissioner's Regulations. School districts are encouraged to review the field memo to ensure that they are in compliance with the number of days per week and total minutes per week that are required for physical education at each grade level. The field memo and regulations may be accessed at

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For information regarding Driver Education, visit

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Middle Level Website
Middle Level Education has a new website to post timely notices regarding middle level initiatives. For ongoing information, please visit

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2007 Yavner Awards
The Board of Regents invites nominations for the Louis E. Yavner Teaching and Citizen Awards for 2007. These awards provide recognition of a teacher and a citizen who have made outstanding contributions to New York State education about the Holocaust and other violations of human rights. The deadline for submission of nominations is Friday, February 1, 2008. Please visit the site for applications.

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NEW!January Examination High School Schedule
The January High School Examination Schedule has now been posted at

For a complete listing of all Elementary/Intermediate/High School Examination Schedules as they become available, please visit

Electronic Teacher Evaluation Forms For All State Examinations
All Teacher Evaluation Forms used by teachers and supervisors to comment on and evaluate each state-level examination are now available only online, at This address is also provided in most test administration materials and in the scoring materials provided for each examination.

Scannable evaluation forms are no longer being printed or shipped to schools. Schools still possessing old Teacher Evaluation Forms from previous administrations should discard these forms. The comments offered by NYS educators provide valuable information to the Department, and assist in the development of future State examinations. This change will make it easier for teachers to submit their comments and will allow the Department to make more timely use of this information.

Improvement in 3-8 NYS 2007 Assessment Results
Achievement in grades 3-8 math has improved overall this year, according to State test results. The improvement is notable in middle school, from grades 5-8. This year, 73 percent of students across grades 3-8 achieved the math standards, compared to 66 percent last year. Further details can be found at

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NYS Education Department Virtual Learning System (VLS)
The NYSED VLS has been enhanced and expanded with interesting visuals and additional content and can be found at Recent changes include updated home pages with added informational items. Thousands of lesson plans and instructional tasks are available by exploring the learning standards and performance indicators in the seven content areas. In response to several suggestions, a new VLS Resource Search has been implemented. A user can easily access VLS resources and related information with just a few mouse clicks (two-to-three). Additional search options continue to provide quick access to SED and GEM (Gateway to Educational Materials) resources. Click here for a briefing on the Virtual Learning System.

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NEW!Preparing Students for College
High School Teaching for the Twenty-First Century: Preparing Students for College

"Studies show that college remediation rates are high and college completion rates are low, signaling that a fundamental disconnect exists between the way that high school teachers prepare their students for the future and what students truly need to know to meet the demands of college…” This quote comes from the new Alliance for Excellent Education report, High School Teaching for the Twenty-First Century: Preparing Students for College. Information about college readiness and the connection between high schools and higher education is available at

NEW!A New Center on Instruction Document
Improving Literacy Instruction in Middle and High Schools: A Guide for Principals [6-12]
This "quick start" guide for principals of both middle and high schools identifies three goals for secondary school literacy initiatives and provides elements of instruction required to meet these goals. It then outlines the critical elements of a school-level literacy action plan.

What is Scientifically Based Research? A Guide for Teachers
More than ever, educators are expected to make decisions that guarantee quality instruction. As knowledge emerges, so do philosophies, opinions, and rhetoric about definitions of instructional excellence. From policy makers to classroom teachers, educators need ways to separate misinformation from genuine knowledge and to distinguish scientific research from poorly supported claims. Effective teachers use scientific thinking in their classrooms all the time. This booklet, provides a brief introduction to understanding and using scientifically based research. Visit

Center on Instruction
The Center on Instruction (COI), a partnership of five organizations, provides resources and expertise to the Regional Comprehensive Centers in reading, mathematics, science, special education, and English language learners. This array of research summaries and policy documents for students in grades 4-12 includes discussions of all the current important research issues and the development of state- and district-level policies to support improved learning outcomes. Please visit the Center on Instruction at

The National High School Center
The National High School Center (NHSC) is part of a national network of Content and Regional Comprehensive Centers funded by the U.S. Department of Education to help build the capacity of states across the nation to effectively implement the provisions and goals of the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001 (NCLB). It is one of five content centers covering a spectrum of topical areas especially relevant to NCLB and school improvement.

U.S. Department of Education Products
ED Pubs Online Ordering System is a source for Department of Education Publications. This system is intended to help you identify and order U.S. Department of Education products. All publications are provided at no cost to the general public by the U.S. Department of Education. Use the searching options to identify the specific products you are seeking.

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NYSED Employment Opportunities: Article 7 Positions
A list of positions under recruitment for the Office of P-16 Education, including a link to the duties, salary and minimum qualifications for each position is available at Recruitment for these positions will be conducted continuously over the next two months. This webpage will be updated throughout the recruitment period.

Associate in Instructional Services (Science) Position
The Office of Elementary, Middle, Secondary and Continuing Education (EMSC) is seeking candidates to fill the vacancy of Associate in Instructional Services for the Curriculum, Instruction and Instructional Technology Team (CIIT). This team provides statewide leadership in relation to the NYS learning standards and core curriculum in the areas of arts, English language arts, social studies, mathematics, science, technology education, physical education and instructional technologies. To be eligible for permanent appointment, candidates must have one year of permanent competitive services as an Associate in Instructional Services (Science) OR to be eligible for permanent appointment via section 70.4 of the Civil Service Law, candidates must have one year of permanent competitive service as a SG-24 or higher and meet the minimum qualifications listed under provisional appointment. To be eligible for provisional appointment pending a Civil Service exam, candidates must have a Masters degree AND permanent or professional New York State certification in teaching Biology, Chemistry, Physics or Earth Science AND five years of teaching experience in Biology, Chemistry, Physics or Earth Science 7-12. For more information please see

NYSED Graduate Student Internship Program
The NYSED Graduate Student Intern Program is intended to provide a diverse group of graduate students with work assignments that provide an opportunity to participate in educational leadership and learning situations in the areas of public policy and administration. Each internship is part-time when school is in session. Candidates must be currently enrolled in, or a recent graduate of, a graduate program approved by the State Education Department. Visit for more information.

For a complete listing of current NYSED Employment Opportunities, please visit

NYS Government
NYS Government vacant positions are posted on the Department of Civil Service website at A list of current state exams being offered is posted at We suggest you bookmark all three sites and view them periodically as they change from week to week. For more information, please visit the NYS Civil Service website at

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