Curriculum and Instruction

New York State Learning Standards and Core Curriculum

The Part 100 Regulations of the Commissioner of Education require that every public school student in New York State be provided an opportunity to receive instruction in order to achieve the New York State Learning Standards.  All students should receive an engaging and developmentally appropriate education. Schools and parents are encouraged to collaborate to ensure that all students graduate from high school ready for work, higher education, and citizenship.  In order to earn a high school diploma, a student must have a minimum of 22 specific high school credits and pass 5 identified Regents Examinations. 

The NY State Learning Standards and core curriculum guidance documents are the foundation upon which State assessments are developed and aligned.  Accountability status for each local school and district is based on State assessment scores.

The State’s responsibility is to set student learning expectations for what all students should know and be able to do as a result of skilled instruction. It is the responsibility of each local school district to develop curricula based on the NYS Learning Standards, select textbooks and instructional materials, develop pacing charts for learning (scope and sequence), and provide professional development to ensure that all students have access to instruction leading to attainment of these learning standards.

History and Background on Development of the New York State Learning Standards

1995: The NYS Board of Regents presented an overall plan to raise expectations for all students by developing the NYS Learning Standards. This plan consisted of the following three strategies:

    1. Set higher learning standards and revise the assessment system
    2. Build the capacity of schools to support student learning
    3. Develop an institutional accountability system

1996: The Board of Regents approved a policy to phase out Regents Competency Tests and required Regents examinations for all students who entered grade 9 in September 1996 and thereafter.  The Board of Regents then approved seven learning standards areas for all students in New York State. These learning standards are general statements of what students need to know and be able to do. The NYS Learning Standards, combined with core curricula and other curriculum guidance materials, form the foundation for prekindergarten-grade 12 teaching and learning in New York State.

The 28 New York State Learning Standards are organized into seven standards areas:

For each standard area, the New York State Education Department (NYSED) offers core curricula and/or curriculum guidance materials that express what all students should know, understand, and be able to do at the elementary (kindergarten-grade 4), intermediate (grade 5-grade 8), and commencement (grade 9-12) levels.

2005:  The federal No Child Left Behind Act of 2001(NCLB) requires each state to set student expectations in both mathematics and English language arts for grades 3-8 and develop, administer, and report student progress in meeting the grade by grade expectations on an annual basis. The NYSED went beyond the federal mandate and provided performance indicators for prekindergarten through grade 12 in both ELA (May 2005) and mathematics (March 2005).  The English Language Arts Core Curriculum and Mathematics Core Curriculum were organized to include grade-specific learning expectations. The Board of Regents approved a revised NYS Mathematics Learning Standard 3 (Revised).

2006:  The Board of Regents approved P-16 Education: A Plan for Action which presents a series of goals for educational reform in New York State. Action # 6 sets a goal to “Raise the learning standards to exceed global standards to graduate all students ready for citizenship, work, and continued education. Align standards, assessments, curriculum and instruction across P-16, emphasizing transitions.”

2007: Chapter 57 of the Laws of 2007 established a timeline and process to review and evaluate the New York State Learning Standards, approved in 1996. According to Section 1, Part A, 211 of the Laws of 2007:

The Regents shall periodically review and evaluate the existing Regents learning standards to determine if they should be strengthened, modified or combined so as to provide adequate opportunity for students to acquire the skills and knowledge they need to succeed in employment or postsecondary education and to function productively as civic participants upon graduation from high school. Such review and evaluation shall be conducted upon a schedule adopted by the Regents, provided that a review and evaluation of the English Language Arts Standards shall be completed as soon as possible, but no later than the end of the two thousand seven-two thousand eight school year.

2010: In July 2010, New York State adopts the Common Core State Standards (CCSS) in Mathematics and CCSS in English Language Arts & Literacy in History/Social Studies, Science, and Technical Subject, with the understanding that New York may add additional expectations (up to 15%, as necessary). To learn more about the Common Core State Standards, please see the SED Common Core State Standards webpage.

Related NYSED Websites

New York State Learning Standards and Core Curriculum

New York State Education Department Standards Review Initiative

NYSED Virtual Learning System

NYSED Curriculum, Instruction and Instructional Technology

Part 100 Regulations of the Commissioner of Education

Last Updated: October 26, 2010