April 2008



TO:             District Superintendents of Schools

                    Superintendents of Public Schools

                    Teacher Center Directors

Teacher Organizations

                    Deans of Institutions of Higher Education

                    Parent Organizations

                    Interested Parties


FROM:       Johanna Duncan-Poitier


SUBJECT:          Public Forums on the New York Learning Standards


The Board of Regents P-16 Education: A Plan for Action calls for all New Yorkers to be prepared for “citizenship, work and continued learning throughout their lives.”  In order to achieve this goal we must close the gaps in student academic achievement along the lines of income, race and ethnicity, language and disability; and keep up with the growing demands for still more knowledge and skill in the face of increasing competition in a changing economy.  A key strategy to address these two challenges is the periodic review of the New York Learning Standards, starting with English language arts.


          As part of the Standards review process, a series of public forums will be convened in April and May throughout the State in order to provide the Regents and the Department a representative sampling of stakeholder views.  In particular, we encourage teachers and school administrators, school board members, and other groups to participate, including parents and higher education representatives. Following is the schedule of forums:






April 24, 2008

Erie One BOCES

Education Campus

Conference Room B -1

355 Harlem Road

West Seneca


Pre-registration: Geri Hoffman  (tele: 716-821-7161/ e-mail: ghoffman@e1b.org)

2:00 – 4:30 p.m.

May 7, 2008

Western Suffolk BOCES Conference Center

31 Lee Avenue

Wheatley Heights


Pre-registration: Joan Johnson (tele: 631-549-4900/ e-mail: jjohnson@wsboces.org)

2:00 – 4:30 p.m.

May 8, 2008


United Federation of Teachers Headquarters

52 Broadway, 5th Floor

New York City


Pre-registration:  Jerrill Adams (tele: 718-722-2784/ jadams@mail.nysed.gov)

1:00 – 3:30 p.m.


May 9, 2008

Adirondack Community College


640 Bay Road



Pre-registration: Janice Keller

(tele: 518-746-3310/ e-mail: jkeller@wswheboces.org)

12:00 – 3:00 p.m.**


May 13, 2008

Nottingham High School,


3100 E. Genesee St.



Pre-registration: Kathy Southwell (tele: 315-433-2602/ e-mail: ksouthwe@ocmboces.org)

3:00 – 5:30 p.m.

May 21, 2008

Putnam-Northern Westchester BOCES

School Services Building, West Conference Room

200 BOCES Drive

Yorktown Heights


Pre-registration: Marla Gardner (tele: 914-248-2330/ e-mail: mgardner@pnwboces.org)

2:00 – 4:30 p.m.

* The Gymnasium is the first building on the right on entering the campus’ south entrance on Bay Road.  Parking is immediately to the right after the Gymnasium.

** Participants are invited to bring lunch, if they so wish.  Food and beverages will be available for purchase.


          Each forum will include some introductory remarks on the Standards initiative with the bulk of the session devoted to small group discussions focusing on a few key issues related to the Standards review.  Since the purpose of these forums is to get input from the field, participant comments will be recorded and shared with the Regents.


          To ensure that the proper arrangements are made, I ask that you contact the person indicated above for the forum in which you wish to attend to pre-register.  However, pre-registration is not required.


          I strongly urge you to participate in one of the forums to present your views on this critical issue.