Leadership and Learning...

for the best educated people in the world

New York State Board of Regents and The State Education Department
February 2005

Regents Goal 1

Regents Goal 2

Regents Goal 3

Regents Goal 4

Regents Goal 5

Regents Goal 6


Who We Are

The University of the State of New York (USNY) is the most complete, interconnected system of educational services in the United States. Its origins date back to 1784 with the creation of the Board of Regents to oversee Kings College (now Columbia University) and to the Unification Act of a century ago. In 1904, Governor Theodore Roosevelt proposed the creation of a department under the Regents with the responsibility for all education in the State. He said education should be "unified for the sake of greater efficiency, economy, and harmony."

Today, USNY includes: 7,000 public and private elementary and secondary schools; 248 public and independent colleges and universities; 251 proprietary (for-profit) schools; nearly 7,000 libraries; 750 museums; the State Archives, Library and Museum; vocational rehabilitation services for adults with disabilities; special education services for children and teenagers; State schools for the blind and for the deaf; 25 public broadcasting facilities; and more than half a million professionals practicing in 47 licensed professions.

USNY means education. The pathways to a good education in New York State are through its institutions. USNY can and does educate millions of people of all ages. USNY means high standards – for schools, museums, colleges, libraries, public broadcasting, archives, professions, vocational rehabilitation programs, and other institutions. USNY is about potential – to collaborate, innovate and create new knowledge. Finally, USNY is about membership in a great endeavor, and that membership carries both rights and responsibilities. For example, higher education institutions exercise a right when they confer degrees, and fulfill a responsibility to their communities when they collaborate with local schools to improve instruction.

The Board of Regents and its State Education Department are constitutionally responsible for setting educational policy, standards, and rules – and are legally required to ensure that the entities we oversee carry them out. The Regents and the Department also provide leadership to The University by drawing attention to major problems and by bringing all parts of USNY together to create solutions.

Taken together, the members of USNY and its governing Board comprise a vast resource of knowledge, talent and leadership vital to advancing the State's economic competitiveness and promoting the well being of New Yorkers.

Our Challenge

Despite a decade of progress and many instances of excellence, New York's educational system today faces two critical problems that demand urgent attention. First, we face a great divide in educational opportunity and achievement along lines of income, race and ethnicity, language, and disability. Second, New York – and the nation – are not keeping pace with growing demands for still more knowledge and skill in the face of increasing competition in a changing global economy.

Closing the achievement gaps must begin with the fundamental belief that all learners can reach higher standards. It requires that we set high expectations and employ powerful strategies that build on the success of many USNY institutions that are working to close these gaps.

Overall, too few people are completing their education with the skill and knowledge that will be needed among the workforce. Experts estimate that by 2020, America will be unable to fill 14 million of the most skilled, highest paying jobs because there will not be enough qualified people.

Raising achievement throughout the State's educational system is important to all of us. When some are left behind, all of us ultimately suffer – from the failure of America's classic commitment to opportunity for all, from competition with others who educate their citizens to higher standards, from a lagging economy, from a society in greater stress. Only when achievement gaps are eliminated and the overall performance improves will our State and nation have the resources on which our economic future depends. Only then will all New Yorkers have the choices in life that they deserve.

Woven throughout the plan is our commitment to confront problems and create solutions through a focus on setting high standards, building capacity, promoting collaboration and accounting for results – whether it is for students, institutions, or the staff of the State Education Department. This commitment guides the work we do throughout all areas of the Department's responsibilities. This plan does not mention all the services the Department will perform. Detailed plans for each major program area flow from this broad plan.

Our Mission

To raise the knowledge, skill, and opportunity of all the people in New York.

Our Vision

We will provide leadership for a system that prepares the best educated people in the world.

We will do this by:

  • Setting goals and standards of excellence;
  • Ensuring educational opportunities throughout a lifetime;
  • Seeing that everyone has the opportunity to gain skills for work, citizenship, and individual growth;
  • Building partnerships for success;
  • Having the courage to speak up for the educational needs of all people; and
  • Maintaining a collaborative partnership between the Board of Regents and staff of the State Education Department.

We will be known for:

  • A quality of work that is a model of what we expect of others;
  • Persistence in pursuit of our goals;
  • Integrity;
  • High productivity;
  • Responsiveness; and
  • Being a good place to work.
Regents Goal 1

Regents Goal 1 — All students will meet high standards for academic performance and personal behavior and demonstrate the knowledge and skills required by a dynamic world.

Performance Measures1:

  • Percentage of children entering kindergarten knowing sounds and letters
  • Percentage of students meeting standards on State assessments
  • Participation rates for students with disabilities on State assessments
  • Percentage of ninth graders graduating high school within four years
  • Number of individuals with disabilities who have received vocational rehabilitation services and have successful outcomes

1 Data will be disaggregated by race/ethnicity, capacity/resource need of district, disability status, and for English Language Learners, and Career and Technical Education students as appropriate and when available.

Key Strategies:

  1. Promote the grade-by-grade Math and English Language Arts standards.
  2. Distribute detailed curriculum resources in math and English language arts.
  3. Expand research-based reading programs statewide.
  4. Develop policy and practice to ensure that the high school diploma signifies readiness for citizenship, work and adult responsibility.
  5. Implement the school improvement strategy, regional support networks and academic interventions for low performing schools.
  6. Focus Department oversight on districts where outcomes indicate the greatest need for improvement for students with disabilities and English language learners.
  7. Strengthen the use of library, museum, archives and public broadcasting resources to support learning.
  8. Implement grade-by-grade testing.
  9. Implement the Statewide Student Data System and Comprehensive Special Education Information System.
Regent Goal 2

Regents Goal 2 — All educational institutions will meet Regents high performance standards.

Performance Measures:

  • Percentage of schools meeting Annual Yearly Progress standards
  • Number of schools on SURR list or identified as In Need of Improvement
  • Number of districts identified as being in financial stress
  • Percentage of applying museums and historical societies achieving an absolute charter
  • Number of public libraries which become voting public library districts
  • Percentage of teacher education institutions achieving the established pass rate on teacher certification examinations
  • Progress on implementation of postsecondary education sectors' master plans after four years compared to the original plans

Key Strategies:

  1. Implement middle school reforms.
  2. Begin high school reforms.
  3. Implement a system of fiscal indicators for school districts.
  4. Simplify school district reporting mandates.
  5. Require corrective action for teacher education programs that fall below the established pass rates on certification examinations. Review need to increase the pass rates or otherwise strengthen the examinations.
  6. Implement the Statewide Plan for Higher Education.
  7. Put into place a new approach for State aid to schools.
  8. Strengthen local school districts' capacity to use data to improve instruction.
  9. Develop instructional leadership at all levels.
  10. Provide training and guidance on internal controls and fiscal fitness to school administrators and school boards.
  11. Provide guidance and training to help cultural institutions and local government records programs meet standards.
  12. Expand the capacity of colleges and universities to educate students with disabilities.
  13. Convene USNY leaders to promote stronger collaboration across institutions to improve instruction and learning.
  14. Conduct forums for educators and business leaders to collaborate on challenges shared by the education and the workforce systems.
  15. Partner with health and mental health organizations to remove barriers to learning.
  16. Expand the capacity of the vocational rehabilitation system.
Regent Goal 3

Regents Goal 3 — The public will be served by qualified, ethical professionals who remain current with best practice in their fields and reflect the diversity of New York State.

Performance Measures:

  • Percentage of teachers teaching subjects for which they are certified
  • Percentage of elementary schools with certified library media specialists
  • Cycle time for determinations of summary suspensions for licensees who pose imminent public harm
  • Percentage of licensed professionals who receive guidance information on professional practice issues from the Department
  • Enrollment trends in graduate science programs

Key Strategies:

  1. Recruit librarians in all fields, including school librarians.
  2. Assess progress on the Regents teaching policy.
  3. Recruit and prepare more teachers of mathematics, science, special education, and English language learners and then retain them once they are in the classroom.
  4. Coordinate implementation of the recommendations of the Regents Task Force on Nursing.
  5. Increase access to graduate and professional education programs.
  6. License and regulate the six new professions established by statute in 2002.
  7. Develop practice guidelines for the licensed professions.
Regent Goal 4

Regents Goal 4 — Education, information, and cultural resources will be available and accessible to all people.

Performance Measures:

  • Percentage of students with disabilities in different educational settings
  • Trends in classification rates for school-age students with disabilities
  • Number of four- and five-year olds residing in school districts without prekindergarten or full-day kindergarten programs
  • Number of New Yorkers without local public library service
  • Number of on-site and electronic users of the State Archives, Library and Museum resources
  • Number of collections about under-documented groups preserved and made accessible for teaching and learning
  • Percentage of selected Department customer service transactions available via the internet
  • Net price for full-time students from low income families to attend a NYS public postsecondary institution
  • Percentage of schools and libraries with broadband connections
  • Percentage of elementary and middle schools with librarians and media specialists

Key Strategies:

  1. Review early childhood education policy and practice so that all children get a good start.
  2. Make prekindergarten universal.
  3. Build capacity to educate children with disabilities in the least restrictive environment.
  4. Promote greater accessibility in the design of curriculum materials and instructional practices.
  5. Increase the pre-employment training and employment opportunities for vocational rehabilitation consumers.
  6. Increase access to postsecondary education for historically underrepresented students.
  7. Oversee the renewal of the State Museum exhibition and education programs.
  8. Expand the Documentary Heritage program.
  9. Expand the Department's use of the Internet for customer service, data collection and reporting, dissemination of information, and educational content.
  10. Develop a technology strategy based upon recommendations approved by the Regents from the USNY Technology Policy and Practices Council.
Regents Goal 5
Regents Goal 5 —
Resources under our care will be used or maintained in the public interest.

Performance Measures:

  • Progress on securing site, architectural work and construction plans for a new cultural education facility compared to planned timetable
  • Progress on the renewal of State Museum exhibits and renovations of the State Library compared to plan milestones
  • Ratio of vocational rehabilitation funds expended to wages earned, taxes paid, and public assistance savings for consumers who are rehabilitated
  • Percentage of the Department's priority information technology projects which are on time and on budget
  • Cycle time for selected Department services
  • Percentage of customers indicating they are satisfied with selected SED services
  • Percentage of the Department's discretionary funds that are awarded to low-performing schools and high need districts

Key Strategies:

  1. Transition the Department's financial systems to web-based technology to improve efficiency and reliability.
  2. Ensure the Department's operations are effective, efficient, and are in compliance with State and federal laws and regulations.
  3. Improve the articulation between the Department's financial systems and those of other NYS agencies.
  4. Reduce cycle time for specific Department services.
  5. Maintain secure controls over the information contained in the Department's databases.
  6. Complete priority information technology projects to improve key Department services and enhance information available for policy decision-making.
  7. Complete renovations of the State Library and State Museum.
  8. Implement the new research and collections facility plan.
Regent Goal 6

Regents Goal 6 — Our work environment will meet high standards.

Performance Measures:

  • Percentage of Department staff participating in professional development programs and the percentage of those staff who rate those programs as useful to their jobs
  • Demographic trends in the Department workforce
  • Percentage of Department employees who indicate satisfaction with quality of the work environment
  • Percentage of OSHA and PESHA occupational workforce standards that Department facilities meet

Key Strategies:

  1. Expand professional development offerings for all staff based on Department and employee needs.
  2. Enhance workforce planning and opportunities for staff rotations so that the Department is prepared for the future.
  3. Increase staff diversity.
  4. Improve the health, security, and safety of the Department's facilities statewide.

Extending and Using the Plan

Check Performance and Find Ways to Improve

Staff is using performance measures to assess the quality of our services. Where results fall short, we are identifying opportunities to improve. We have already found ways to do our work faster, cheaper, and with better results for our customers. Clearly, however, we can — and must — do more.

Report on Results

This plan is the yardstick to measure performance for both the State Education Department and for the entities that constitute The University of the State of New York. Within the Department, we are using performance data to inform decisions and hold management accountable. The Commissioner continues to conduct quarterly performance reviews for each area of the Department. Performance agreements for individual managers now include quantifiable expectations about desired results. The Board and Department staff will build upon current efforts to communicate widely about efforts, progress, and results as evidence of our willingness to be held publicly accountable.

Align Budget Request and Legislative Program

This plan forms the rationale for the Department's annual State budget request, the Regents State legislative program and federal education policy positions.

Communicate and Advocate our Strategic Directions

The plan's goals are the hallmark of all our communications, thus reinforcing our priorities and building the foundation for a statewide consensus around a framework for educational reform.

Modifying the Plan

This is the fourth strategic plan. As we did with all the other editions, we will revise the plan as we build a record of further accomplishment.

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