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Education Reform Commission Report

Education Reform Commission Report

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Published by Nick Reisman

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Published by: Nick Reisman on Jan 02, 2013
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Education Action Plan
NY Education Reform CommissionPreliminary Recommendations
PuttingStudents First
 Dear Governor Cuomo:On behalf of my fellow members, I am pleased to present the
NY Education ReformCommission’s recommendations for an initial Action Plan to improve student achievement inthe Empire State. The Commissions
rst priority was to collect data in order to provide you with evidence-basedrecommendations that will improve student performance and outcomes. In other words, itwas imperative to address these complex issues based on facts, not ideology or conjecture. Toachieve this goal, we set out on an extensive listening tour across the State, visiting each of NewYork’s diverse regions. We had the opportunity to hear from parents, students, teachers, experts,and other stakeholders. As you requested, the Commission asked for solution-oriented testimonyso that we could replicate successful models from New York and beyond to better meet theeducational needs of our students, enhance our shared economic future, and improve accountability to New York State’s taxpayers.One of the things we found – and it was no surprise to us – is that there are many, many things right with public schools in NewYork. Everywhere we found examples of excellent schools, teachers, and student performance. But, this is hardly a uniformcondition throughout the State, particularly in New York’s communities of greatest need. The problem New York confronts, weconcluded, is how to replicate these examples of excellence in every school district in New York; how do we create a statewidesystem of public education that ensures that every child will have the opportunity to get an education that will enable them toachieve their true potential?As was underscored by the many hours of testimony we heard, this is a complex challenge and one that cannot be met througha single, grand, master stroke. Addressing this challenge will require signi
cant and di
cult changes to current policies andpractices, renewed dedication on the part of administrators, teachers and students, and the active buy-in and support of abroad set of other stakeholders, including parents and community leaders. But it can be done! The Commission took the information we gathered and developed a coherent, comprehensive set of recommendations thatwe believe will drive a uni
ed State-level system and improve results for New York’s students. In this
rst of two Action Plans,the Commission is making a set of recommendations that will put New York on a path toward a more excellent and equitableapproach to meeting the educational needs of all of our children. In making these recommendations, we acknowledge thatthis is just the beginning. There is much more work to be done. However, we believe the recommendations contained in thispreliminary Action Plan, if implemented, will have a profound impact on our State’s education system and will set us
rmly onthe road to ultimate success. The Commission aims to propose recommendations that are built upon system coherence at all levels and incorporate threemajor themes: alignment, access, and quality. First, New York’s education system should be viewed as one aligned system, aseamless pipeline that supports a student from the earliest days of pre-kindergarten through college and then career. Ourrecommendations are aimed at making transitions between di
erent parts of the system uninterrupted and making the wholesystem more e
cient. Second, the system must improve access to critical educational experiences for students, such as e
ectiveteachers and leaders, innovative technology, and quality early learning. Third, the Commission focused on ensuring a high barfor quality, guaranteeing that investments made in the education system are evidence-based and premised on an expectationfor results. The Commission shares your sense of urgency in reforming the State’s education system to ensure that our students receive thebest education possible in order to enable them to enjoy successful and productive lives. As you have directed, we will continueour work on this all-important issue and will report back to you with our
nal Action Plan in September 2013. In the interim, westand ready and able to help with respect to implementation of the recommendations contained in our preliminary Action Plan.We look forward with enthusiasm to our continued partnership to improve the quality of education across the State.Sincerely,Richard D. ParsonsChairman of the
NY Education Reform Commission

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