New York State Education Department

New York State Education Department
"New York Department of Education" redirects here. For the public school system serving New York City, see New York City Department of Education.
The State Education Building, located in Albany

The New York State Education Department (NYSED) is the state education department in New York. It is part of the University of the State of New York (USNY), one of the most complete, interconnected systems of educational services in the United States. It is responsible for the supervision for all public schools in New York and all standardized testing, as well as the production and administration of state tests and Regents Examinations. In addition, the State Education Department oversees higher education, cultural institutions such as museums and libraries, and the licensing of numerous professions.

The main offices of the department are housed in the New York State Department of Education Building, located at 89 Washington Avenue in Albany, the state capital.[1]



The State Education Department has the following main branches,[2] each under the direction of the Commissioner of Education:

Pre-Kindergarten through College (P-16)

  • Elementary, Middle, Secondary and Continuing Education (EMSC): EMSC oversees pre-K through 12th grade programs, as well as continuing education. The division has diverse responsibilities, including:
    • learning and curriculum standards,
    • Regents examinations and other State tests,
    • Office for Nonpublic Schools - is the only such office in the United States, i.e.,a distinguishable office for Independent and religious schools within a state education agency. This has relationship to the fact that NYS is second in the U.S.A. as concerns the numbers of children attending such schools, as well as the additional fact that the University of the State of New York has, since its creation in 1784, authorized the Board of Regents to charter, incorporate and register such schools. This office works cooperatively with the NYS Council of Catholic School Superintendents, Agudath Israel of America, the Board of Jewish Education of New York, the NYS Association of Independent Schools, the Lutheran Schools Association, the New York Christian Schools Association, three different associations of Seventh Day Adventists, the Islamic Schools Association, the Historically Black Independent Schools Association, American Christian Schools International, the Greek Archdiocese, and the foreign consulates and ministries of education from throughout the world that either operate Independent schools in NYS, or, who are developing policies concerning foreign nationals seeking to develop Independent and religious schools in their countries.
    • facilities planning,
    • the GED program, and
    • school report cards.
  • Higher Education (OHE): This division oversees colleges, universities and proprietary schools; is responsible for the certification of teachers and other school professionals; and oversees programs to improve teacher preparation and recruitment.
The Cultural Education Center, home of the Office of Cultural Education

Office of Cultural Education (OCE)

The OCE includes the New York State Archives, the New York State Library, the New York State Museum, and the Public Broadcasting Office. These institutions, which are housed in the Cultural Education Center, are responsible for increasing the knowledge and information resources of State and local government, businesses, and individuals. The Office supports research, operates programs, and develops collections that serve the long-term interests of the institutions and residents of New York.

Office for Innovation

The Office for Innovation provides oversight and support for the Office of Governmental Relations, Office of Organizational Effectiveness, Office of Emergency Preparedness, Communications Office and Regents Office.

Office of Operations and Management Services (OMS)

OMS includes Fiscal Services, Information and Technology Management, Human Resources, and the Office of Counsel.

Office of the Professions (OP)

Since 1891, the Board of Regents and the New York State Education Department have overseen the preparation, licensure, and practice of the professions. The Office of the Professions regulates forty-eight professions defined in Title VIII of the Education Law.

Vocational and Educational Services for Individuals with Disabilities (VESID)

Now officially the Office of Adult Career and Continuing Education Services (ACCES) which is divided into four primary areas: Vocational Rehabilitation (including Independent Living Administration), Adult Education, General Educational Development (GED) Testing, and Bureau of Proprietary School Supervision. A wide variety of people with disabilities qualify for VESID. VESID's homepage describes them saying,

Vocational and Educational Services for Individuals with Disabilities (VESID) offers access to a full range of services that may be needed by persons with disabilities through their lives. Through its administration of special education, vocational rehabilitation and independent living programs, VESID coordinates policy and services relating to:

  • special education services for students with disabilities (3-21);
  • transition services for students with disabilities from school to adult services;
  • vocational rehabilitation services for individuals with disabilities, ages 16 and older; and
  • independent living services for people with disabilities of all ages.
The seeds of adult success are sown during the school years. The system established by the Board of Regents to administer education and vocational services for people with disabilities fosters this and has evolved into a national model, designed to focus on our customers and produce results.[3]

Schools with strong VESID components include Private, 853 Schools, NYS Coalition of Special Act School Districts, and State-Run schools throughout the state of New York.

Learning Standards

Common Core Standards

The creation of new Common Core State Standards are being introduced and phased in over an approved time line to better prepare students for college and the world of work. The new standards and related new assessments will be inline by 2014-2015. No reference to cohort as yet been highlighted.

Related Part 100 regulations outline key NYSED Commissioner requirements of any state approved school program within the State of New York.

New York State Learning Standards

State Learning standards can be found by visiting the NYSED website under the Office of Curriculum, Instruction and Standards in the following key learning domains - The Arts, Career Development and Occupational Studies, English Language Arts, Health, Physical Education and Family and Consumer Science, Languages Other Than English, Mathematics, Science and Technology, and Social Studies.

Assessments and Testing

State exams

The NY State Education Department requires that all students in grades 3-8 take state tests in the areas of Mathematics, English, Science. All grade 8 students are tested in these subjects as well as a Foreign Language test in a Language Other Than English of the student's choice. Previously it was mandated to take a Social Studies standardized test, this was discontinued.

Regents exams

Regents exams are administered to New York high school students in the subjects of English, Mathematics, Science, Social Studies and a LOTE (Language other than English). Students who decide not to study a foreign language may make up the regents credit by taking an appropriate number of business education, art, music, and technology classes. The Regulations of the Commissioner of Education require that all public school students earn passing scores on State examinations in the areas of English; mathematics; United States history and government; science; and global history and geography to obtain a high school diploma. [4] Students, for instance some with IEPs for special needs, who cannot pass the Regents exams may receive a local diploma by passing the RCT (Regents Competency Test).

School report cards

With much recent focus on school accountability, New York State Education Department uses a systematic approach to determining how tests and other assessment data can be reported to local schools and the communities they support. As such, many districts throughout the state have been advised to develop both Data Administrator or Chief Information Officer positions as well as Data Committees to examine the validity and accuracy of submissions to various levels of the data warehouse.

Schools who fall short of reaching state standards are given a state designation of SURR (Schools Under Registration Review) and have only two years to turn around their rating according to the accountability division of NYSED. Each year, the Commissioner publishes a report highlighting which schools have been taken off the list and which schools have been added.

Data Collection and Assessment Information

NYSED SIRS and Data Repository System

In order to improve school performance across the state, NYSED developed a Data Warehouse for the purposes of tracking performance data connected to state examinations. Each K-12 public school student is assigned a unique 10-digit identifier (NYSSIS)[5] which is captured in the SIRS database (NYS Student Information Repository System) for the purposes of data assessment in connection with state examinations and school report card analysis from state to the local level.

As student test results are analyzed and checked for accuracy the Data Warehouse system allows for certain data characteristics to be collected and processed for further school improvement and decision making at the local as well as state-wide level.

Here is how it works:

Level 0 - Regional

Represents the regional or local level where individual schools, at the district level, input state assessment results and check for accuracy in data reporting (for example, School district level). Schools often use software utilities and online analytical tools such as SunGard's recently acquired Pentamation, eSchool Data, School Tools, NYSTART, and Data Mentor to make school improvement decisions and examine changes in overall curriculum planning at a district wide level.[6]

Level 1 - Regional

Represents a second regional or local level where data is placed after Level 0 data has been submitted for aggregate processing (for example, New York State BOCES Regional Information Center (RIC) or large city level).

Level 1C - Regional

Represents repository data ready for migration to the state repository level

Level 2 - Statewide

Represents a statewide repository where data is moved. Includes name and unique identifier for comparative and independent school performance and analysis.

Level 3 - Statewide

Represents locked assessment data used for state use, such as school report cards and decisions involving accountability. For privacy reasons, no names are used and unique identifiers are encrypted.

Teaching license requirements

In order to teach in New York, the applicant must hold a valid New York State Teaching License. Most new certified teachers come from NYS-approved teaching programs in colleges or universities either in New York or another state that has a reciprocal agreement with New York. Upon graduation, prospective teachers must pass:

  • the New York State Liberal Arts & Science test,
  • the Assessment of Teaching Skills Test-Written, and
  • a Content Specialty Test appropriate to the subject the student wishes to teach.

This initial teacher certification is temporary and will expire after five years.

To obtain a Professional certificate, the applicant must have completed a NYS-approved teacher education program at a college/university and hold a masters degree or above. Each state has different requirements to become a permanently certified teacher, and the requirements keep increasing. For example, professional certification in NYS requires three years of classroom teaching experience. It also requires being mentored by a certified teacher within the first year teaching. However NYS no longer offers permanent certification to those who haven't already been certified by February 2004.The Professional certificate replaces it. To maintain a professional certificate, a teacher must complete 175 hours of professional development every five years. These professional development hours are decreased by a few percentages for every year teaching in a non-public school. One does not have to teach in New York State to maintain their certificate as many New York teachers teach in Connecticut and New Jersey.

Foreign teachers and career changers

Career-changers and others who did not graduate from a teacher education program can earn a teaching certificate by completing the above-mentioned tests, completing satisfactory education coursework in college, and finally apply for a license for teaching with the NYSED Office of Teaching Initiatives. Some new teachers will have college degrees in an academic field (e.g. English or History, but do not have a teaching certificate. If they wish to enter teaching, they must have a baccalaureate degree with a satisfactory GPA, take all of the above mentioned tests, and apply for a license with the Office of Teaching Initiatives.

Programs such as the New York City Teaching Fellows allow uncertified teachers to teach under a transitional license, provided that they have received a bachelor's degree, passed the LAST and the CST in their area, and are enrolled in a cooperating master's degree program. Teachers with a Transitional B license have three years to apply for their Initial Certification, which requires completion of student teaching, education coursework, subject-area coursework, and the ATS-W exam.

Teachers from another state

Information regarding Interstate Reciprocity can be found on the Applicants from Other States web page

Other educational professions

The department also oversees and awards the Pupil Personnel Certificate, which is certification for other professionals who have direct contact with students. This includes the following fields: School Social Worker; School Psychologist; School Counselor; School Attendance Teacher; School Nurse Teacher and School Dental Hygiene Teacher.

Professional licensing

In addition to licensing teachers, the department coordinates licensing for all other professions (except for law) that must receive state licenses, such as nurse practitioners, accountants, and social workers.

See also


  1. ^ "Contact NYSED." New York State Education Department. Retrieved on November 13, 2008.
  2. ^ "About the New York State Education Department". New York State Education Department web site. Retrieved 14 December 2008. 
  3. ^ [1] VESID, accessed August 5, 2009
  4. ^ "School Administrator's Manual 2008". New York State Education Department Web Site. New York State Education Department. Retrieved 2009-01-06. 
  5. ^ "NYSSIS User Guide". NYSED web site. Retrieved 24 February 2011. 
  6. ^ "Eastern Suffolk BOCES Service Guide 2010-2011". Eastern Suffolk BOCES web site. Retrieved 24 February 2011. 


External links

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