To reach their full potential, all New York State students—especially those who are starting furthest behind—need to be taught to high academic standards and their teachers need the tools and resources to get them there.

In the policy brief Our Eyes on the Horizon: How Strong Standards, Implemented Equitably, Can Help All New York Students, The Education Trust–New York, Educators for Excellence, New York Educator Voice Fellowship and High Achievement New York, with input from educators around the state, outline key recommendations to the Board of Regents and State Education Department as they consider revisions to the state academic standards. The groups argue that their recommendations, if implemented correctly, could improve opportunity for students and achieve greater equity in New York’s schools. The recommendations include:

  • Maintain high standards. High academic standards are crucial to ensuring that all New York students are prepared for postsecondary success. The national nonprofit Achieve Inc. conducted an independent review of New York State’s draft standards at the request of The Education Trust–New York and found many strengths as well as specific areas that need greater direction and clarity.
  • Update and enhance curricular resources. For educators to effectively deliver and integrate new standards in their classrooms, they must be able to access high-quality materials that help them see standards in action, download and modify sample lessons, and ensure student assignments align with standards.
  • Provide high-quality professional development across the state. New York should bring existing professional development programs to scale by building stronger relationships with external partners. At the same time, the state should ensure these regional programs are high quality, consistent, and centered on real student work.
  • Close opportunity and achievement gaps for all students. Successfully implementing high standards is an opportunity for New York to remedy longstanding opportunity and achievement gaps for low-income students, students of color, students with disabilities and English language learners. Through increased tools and support for these student groups and improved engagement, New York can raise achievement for all students.