State Education Department Releases Revised Draft Every Student Succeeds Act Plan

Revisions Made in Response to the More Than 1,000 Comments
Received on the Draft ESSA Plan

Revised Draft Plan Continues to Emphasize Fostering Equity in Education for All Students and Expands Measures for School Accountability & Student Success

The New York State Education Department today presented revisions to the draft Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) plan (revised summary available here) to the Board of Regents. Since releasing the draft plan in May, the Department received more than 1,070 public comments, both in writing and verbally at the 13 public meetings held across the state, and made revisions to the draft plan in response to those comments.

The revised draft plan continues to emphasize fostering equity in education for New York’s students; expands measures for school support and accountability and student success; and requires school-level improvement plans for the lowest performing schools overall as well as schools with the lowest performance for certain student populations. The plan also includes strategies for supporting the professional growth of educators and ensuring that all students, including English language learners/Multilingual learners, immigrant students, migratory youth, homeless youth, and neglected and delinquent youth, have access to a well-rounded, culturally responsive education that supports their academic and social-emotional development. The Department detailed highlights of the plan to the Board of Regents at its May meeting.

“The Board of Regents and I take our responsibility to improve teaching and learning in New York’s schools very seriously, and we were awed by the young people and other members of the public that came to our public meetings to share their thoughts on New York’s draft ESSA plan,” Board of Regents Chancellor Betty A. Rosa said. “We heard you, and our revised ESSA plan is better because of it. Through ESSA, New York is poised to take a more holistic approach to accountability that looks at multiple measures of school and student success. This approach allows us to continually evolve and adapt so we can ensure that our systems are culturally responsive and place an emphasis on educating the whole child.”

“At each of the 13 public meetings we held on our draft ESSA plan, parents, educators and students all spoke passionately about certain aspects of our plan – from school accountability and transfers schools to the importance of social and emotional supports and physical education – and we listened,” Commissioner Elia said. “The revised draft plan includes changes as a result of this public feedback. In September, we will submit to the U.S. Department of Education a plan to help all of New York’s children lead successful lives and to move us forward in our efforts to improve equity of educational outcomes in our State. We thank all of the hundreds of stakeholders and members of the public who helped shape this plan throughout our process over the past year.”

The Department received more than 800 written comments and 270 verbal comments at the meetings during public comment period. In addition to hosting 13 public hearings on the plan from May 11 through June 16, NYSED also held more than 120 stakeholder and public meetings between October 2016 and May 2017 to gather input to help inform the development of the draft plan.

The revised full draft plan and a summary are posted on the Department’s ESSA webpage. The summary document outlines the Department’s stakeholder engagement process and highlights key proposals from the full plan.

Key Revisions to the Draft ESSA Plan
Based on the feedback received during the public comment period, the Department made key revisions to the draft ESSA plan, which included to:

  • Reduce grades 3 – 8 English Language Arts and Mathematics testing days from 3 days to 2 each to reflect the recent Board action;
  • Use out-of-school suspensions as a school accountability indicator starting in 2018-19
  • Measure middle school students’ readiness for success in high school once two years of data becomes available;
  • Equally weight achievement and growth at the elementary and middle school level;
  • The Commissioner will partner with districts to determine the most appropriate interventions for transfers schools identified as Comprehensive Support and Improvement Schools and not automatically place them in receivership if these schools are re-identified;
  • Require all school improvement plans to provide adequate evidence of parent and family involvement in plan development;
  • Consider ways to support school boards and promote legislation to intervene when school boards are not meeting students’ basic educational needs;
  • Emphasize the State’s commitment to promoting a well-rounded education that includes physical education and the arts, including revising Commissioner’s regulations pertaining to physical education;
  • Include greater emphasis on the State’s commitment to cultural responsiveness;
  • Add a provision to promote the social and emotional support services by specialized instructional support personnel as part of a well-rounded education;
  • Emphasize the State’s use of technology to support personalized learning; and
  • Place greater weighting on the English Language Proficiency indicator for schools that are held accountable for this indicator.

More details on the specific changes to the draft ESSA plan can be found here.

Stakeholder Engagement

For the past year, NYSED has engaged diverse groups of stakeholders to solicit recommendations on how to craft an ESSA plan that best meets the needs of the state’s students, schools and communities. In support of these efforts, NYSED established an ESSA Think Tank with representatives from more than 100 organizations, including district leaders, teachers, parents, and community members. The Department also consulted with national education experts regarding ESSA, including Linda Darling-Hammond (Learning Policy Institute) and Scott F. Marion (National Center for the Improvement of Educational Assessment).

In addition, NYSED held more than 120 fall and winter regional in-person meetings across the state in coordination with the state’s 37 Boards of Cooperative Educational Services (BOCES) and the superintendents of the state’s five largest City School Districts, which were attended by more than 4,000 students, parents, teachers, school and district leaders, school board members, and other stakeholders.

Next Steps

The plan will next be submitted to the governor, who has 30 days to review the plan. Following the governor’s review, the Board will be asked at its September meeting to take action to approve the ESSA plan so that on September 18, 2017 the State Education Department can submit the plan to the USDE for review and approval. After the plan is approved by the USDE, the Department will work with BOCES District superintendents, superintendents, the ESSA Think Tank and other stakeholder groups to develop and provide guidance on implementing the ESSA plan. Further, NYSED is developing summary documents for parents and teachers to explain the changes in the ESSA plan.

Follow the Commissioner on Twitter: @NYSEDNews(link is external)
New York State Board of Regents
The State Education Department / The University of the State of New York / Albany, NY 12234
Office of Communications / (518) 474-1201

For More Information Contact:
Jonathan Burman or Jeanne Beattie
(518) 474-1201

2017 Regional Workshop: Trustees in the Know

Register Online Today! 

2017 Regional Workshop: Trustees in the Know
Saturday, August 12, 2017
Plainview-Old Bethpage Library,
999 Old Country Road, Plainview NY 11803

9:00 – 2:30 One-hour presentations with optional 15 minute Q&A


9:00 Registration and Coffee, Opening remarks at 9:45

10:00-11:00   Cybersecurity for Libraries – What must trustees do to ensure patron privacy and protection?

Presenter: Rob Caluori, Director of Information Technology, Westchester Library System

The Internet is fraught with threats to personal privacy from eavesdroppers, hackers, greedy vendors, and greedier advertisers. The presenter will define the online risks for library patrons and explore the library’s responsibility to protect personal information.  The presenter will clarify the issue of net neutrality and focus on the impact to libraries of the challenges and changes to net neutrality.

Rob Caluori is the Director of Information Technology at Westchester Library System.  He has a MS from Pace University in Information Systems, a CAS from Long Island University in Library Administration, and is currently a student at SUNY Albany, completing an MS in Information Science.

11:15-12:15 Due Diligence: Trustee Liability, Policy & Pitfalls

Presenter Joe Eisner, Retired library program director and chair of the Plainview-Old Bethpage Public Library Board

Do trustees have adequate knowledge of existing laws, regulations and opinions to execute their responsibilities? How do newly enacted laws affect library operations and budgetary requirements? “Ask Joe” by submitting specific questions in advance to

Joe is a retired public library director and current chair of the Plainview-Old Bethpage Public Library Board. He is the compiler of the Handbook of Library Laws and Regulations in New York State. Although not an attorney, Joe is considered an expert on the use of library facilities by outside groups, relations with municipal funding officials, personnel matters, and library policy. “Ask Joe” is a monthly feature of the LTA website.

12:30 : Lunch and Remarks

1:15 – 2:15 : Envisioning Library Spaces :Making Better Use of the Space You Already Have

Presenter: James D. Lothrop, AIA, FASID, Partner, Lothrop Associates LLP

What changes to existing facilities and furnishings will better serve existing patrons and encourage a greater number and more diverse population to use  library services. Visual examples will provide a backdrop of possibilities to respond to community expectations in developing library five-year plans and construction grant submissions.

Jim Lothrop is a Registered Architect and Certified Interior Designer.   With over forty years experience, Jim oversees and maintains quality design standards as Design Partner in Lothrop Associates. Jim is a Fellow with the American Society for Interior Designers (ASID). His leadership in design ranges across a wide variety of project types for library clients. He has served on the ASID National Board of Directors, was past president of the ASID New York Metro Chapter, and Co-Chair of the National Industry Advisory Council.

Helping All Trustees Succeed Curriculum Endorsed by Statewide Organizations

The Library Trustees Association of New York State, the New York Library Association and Public Library System Directors Promote Trustee Education

NEW YORK STATE, May 12, 2017– The Library Trustees Association of New York State (LTA) , the New York Library Association (NYLA) and the Public Library Systems Directors Organization of New York State (PULISDO) have all unanimously endorsed the use and promotion of the Helping All Trustees Succeed (HATS) Curriculum.

“Strong library boards build enduring libraries,” said Lauren Moore, PULISDO Chair. “ That’s why the public library systems of New York State have worked together to create a curriculum that will ensure that all library trustees have the skills they need to govern their libraries.”

The curriculum was developed by a team of Public Library System consultants with stakeholder input. Stakeholders included public library trustees, public library directors, the Library Trustees Association of New York State, the New York State Division of Library Development, the New York Library Association along with members of PULISDO. Thirteen percent of New York’s 6,000+ trustees responded to a survey to help shape the content of the curriculum.

“No one is born knowing how to be a public library trustee,” commented HATS Team Mentor and Mid-Hudson Library System’s Coordinator for Library Sustainability, Rebekkah Smith Aldrich, “and with responsibilities for the governance, finances, facilities and retention of the public’s good will we need to give these honorable volunteers a fighting chance to do the best they can for the communities they serve. Library service is too important to leave to chance.”

The curriculum includes five modules to help Public Library Systems provide relevant, up-to-date continuing education opportunities for public library trustees. The module topics include an orientation, legal issues, financial and fiduciary responsibilities, planning and advocacy and the most common habits of highly effective boards.

“The Library Trustees Association (LTA) is the only NYS regents chartered association for trustees, founded in 1949. Our mission is to represent, assist, honor and educate trustees as providers of universal library service. We are pleased to have worked with the HATS team on the curriculum and to have partnered with them on presentations and the sharing of information,” said Tim Gavin, Executive Director of the Library Trustees
Association. “We encourage trustees throughout the state to attend HATS programs and we look forward to continuing to partner with the HATS team in future endeavors and as they refine their curriculum. The more education that trustees receive, the easier their roles will be, the stronger and more vibrant their libraries and communities will become, and the more recognition NY will receive as role models for the rest of our nation.”

Public library systems will each take the lead to customize the curriculum and offer regional workshops for local library trustees. PULISDO continues to create opportunities to support public library system staff in the implementation of the curriculum, ensuring that this curriculum continues to be relevant, accurate and a cornerstone for trustee education in New York State.

“NYLA is pleased to offer its endorsement of the HATS curriculum, and to support the goal of providing robust training opportunities to all those who serve as public library trustees across New York State, said Barbara Stripling, President of the New York Library Association, “The HATS program is a welcome positive step toward that goal.”

To learn more about upcoming trustee education offerings in your region please contact your public library system.


Team HATS:
Rebekkah Smith Aldrich, Mid-Hudson Library System (Team Mentor)
Lisa Erickson, Nioga Library System
Jennifer Ferriss, Southern Adirondack Library System
Ron Kirsop, Pioneer Library System
Grace Riario, Ramapo Catskill Library System
Amanda Travis, Onondaga County Public Library System

Team HATS got their start thanks to the ILEAD USA Program offered through The New York State Library.

If you would like more information about this topic, please contact:
Lauren Moore, Chair, PULISDO

Clifton Park-Halfmoon Public Library Vinciguerra Citizen Laureate Award: Ed and Francine Rodger

The Clifton Park-Halfmoon Public Library’s Vinciguerra Citizen Laureate Award was presented to Ed and Francine Rodger at a reception on December 10th, 2016.  The reception was also to celebrate the 10th anniversary of the 475 Moe Road library building.

Background of Award

The Vinciguerra Citizen Laureate Award was established in 1999 to honor Stephen and Beatrice Vinciguerra for their generous donation of land on which the library was built.  The Award was intended to be bestowed on future individuals whose contribution to the library was above and beyond the normal expectations of a volunteer.  It has only been awarded to the Vinciguerras in 1999 and to Joe Conroy in 2007.


Ed & Francine Rodger-CPH Library Citizen Laureate Award 12-2016

Ed and Francine Rodger

In December 2016, the Clifton Park-Halfmoon Library celebrated the 10th anniversary of the opening its current building on Moe Road in Clifton Park.  As part of the anniversary celebrations, long time library supporters and library trustees, Ed and Francine Rodger were presented with the library’s prestigious Vinciguerra Citizen Laureate award.  This award was established in 1999 and is bestowed on individuals whose contributions to the library are above and beyond the normal expectations of a volunteer.  It has only been awarded to two other people prior to the Rodgers.

Ed and Francine have been involved with the library for nearly 50 years.  As far back at the late 1960’s Francine was a volunteer, doing membership drives to help develop a library for the community.  The first library opened to the public in 1969, and soon after in 1972 Francine was appointed to the library board and served until 1985.  Ed has been on the library board since 1997 and his current term runs until the end of 2020.  Between Francine and Ed, there will have been a Rodger on the library board for 36 years of the library’s 50 year history.

During their terms, both Francine and Ed have each served as president, treasurer and vice-president of the board, and they have worked tirelessly to make sure  the library services that are provided are exemplary.

Several years ago in conjunction with the 40th anniversary celebrations, the Friends of the Library commissioned an artist to create renderings of the different locations of the library over the years.    And when we received the images, Ed noted that one was missing – an image of the very first purpose built library that opened 1981.

This particular library had a special significance for Ed and Francine.  Not only was Francine the president of the board and then treasurer  during door-to-door campaigns that raised a quarter of a million dollars for the construction, but the Rodgers, along with another local family, personally guaranteed the 250,000 dollar mortgage for the library building.

Francine continued to serve on the Board throughout the campaign to establish a tax district in 1985, which provided a sound financial footing for the future of the library. Francine resigned from the Board in 1985, but continued to be involved in committees and volunteering.

In 1997 Ed was appointed to the board to fill the term of a resigning trustee and has subsequently been elected four times, and is beginning his 21st consecutive year as a library trustee.  Ed has been the president of the board at two different times as well as the vice president and treasurer.

Current Board President, Jason DiGianni, on behalf of the Clifton Park-Halfmoon Public Library Board of Trustees, presented the Citizen Laureate Award to Ed and Francine Rodger on December 10, 2016.

In addition to the award, the Local History Room will be named in honor of Ed and Francine.  It will be the Ed and Francine Rodger Local History Room.  

State Education Department Proposes Public Library Construction Aid Regulation Changes to Expand Scope of Eligible Projects

45-Day Public Comment Period Begins April 12

Proposed amendments to the State Aid for Library Construction regulations expand and further define the types of public library construction projects that are eligible to receive State aid, the State Education Department announced today. A 45-day public comment period on the proposed amendments begins April 12.

“Public libraries are centers of communities,” Board of Regents Chancellor Betty A. Rosa said. “These regulation changes will enable public libraries to apply for State aid for a wider range of necessary projects that ultimately benefit children and adults.”

“We must continue to invest in public libraries that are vital educational centers and central gathering places for so many communities,” State Education Department Commissioner MaryEllen Elia said. “With these regulation changes, libraries can receive aid for necessary technology projects, like broadband installation, and receive more funding for projects that serve economically disadvantaged communities.”

The proposed amendments align the Commissioner’s regulations with recent statutory changes the State Legislature made to Education Law §273-a. The proposed amendments include the following significant changes:

  • clarifies eligible costs, including the acquisition of vacant land and purchase and installation of assistive listening devices and systems for the deaf and hearing impaired;
  • makes the installation and infrastructure of broadband services an approved project cost; and
  • enables approved projects serving economically disadvantaged communities to be funded up to 75 percent of eligible project costs.

A Notice of Proposed Rule Making will be published in the State Register on April 12, 2017 and public comment will be received until May 30, 2017. Following the public comment period, it is anticipated that the proposed rule will be presented for permanent adoption by the Board of Regents at the July 2017 meeting. If adopted, the proposed amendment would become effective on August 2, 2017.

The proposed regulation can be viewed here:

For More Information, Contact:
Antonia Giuliano
(518) 474-1201

New York State Board of Regents
MaryEllen Elia
Commissioner of Education
The State Education Department
The University of the State of New York / Albany, NY 12234
Office of Communications

A Visit to our May Regional Training site: Broome County Memorial Library

The Broome County Public Library opened in October 1904. Originally called the Binghamton Public Library, it was created with a gift of $75,000 from Andrew Carnegie. The building was designed to serve as both a public library and a community center. On the first floor was a collection of 14,000 books and the second floor housed the library’s auditorium, the Binghamton Museum of Fine Arts (now part of Roberson Museum) and the Broome County Historical Society

In 2000, the library opened in a modern building at its current location of 185 Court St.  The new building went back to its original roots as not only a library, but a community center, offering all types of classes and meeting room space.  Over 300,000 people visit the library each year to attend a meeting, check out a book or use a computer.

 The computer lab was repurposed as the Creation Station and houses computers with digital photography software.  There is also a sewing machine, a Cricut die cut machine.  Classes in knitting and beading/jewelry making can be found in the Creation Station as well as yoga and drawing.

 A library garden accentuates the property with an originally designed sculpture and gazebo as centerpieces.  This gives patrons and community members a quiet place to contemplate or read during nice weather.

  Broome County Public Library hosts poetry classes and beginning computer classes. These are taught by students and faculty from Binghamton University.  BCPL partnered with SUNY Broome to bring the BIG READ to the community in early 2017.  The featured book will be “The Things They Carried” by Timothy O’Brien.  Mr. O’Brien will be coming to Binghamton to discuss his book and the Vietnam experience in March.

 In 2012, Literacy Volunteers of Broome and Tioga Counties moved into the building to serve their students and teachers in a central location.  This is a perfect union of literacy training and libraries.  The group holds 3 classes per week in mathematics, reading and English conversation besides offering one-on-one tutoring for adult beginning readers.

The Friends of the Broome County Public Library hold 8 book sales a year and staff a Friends Gift Shop.  The Gift Shop is chock full of toys, like Gumby and Pokey, and higher quality used books.  The Friends are an integral part of the library and fund adult and children’s summer reading programs.  They also purchase a whole host of other library equipment, shelving, books and databases.

 Of course, none of this would be possible without a dedicated group of library trustees.  They keep the library on target and functioning, creating policies and supporting the community.  We are lucky to have such a great synergy with our partners, friends, community leaders and trustees.

New Collaboration Offers Leadership Opportunity for Public Libraries in New York State

The New York Library Association (NYLA), and Westchester Green Business have announced a new collaboration that will strengthen libraries and their communities for decades to come by providing a clear path forward toward environmental sustainability for participating libraries.

Through funding awarded through Governor Andrew M. Cuomo’s Cleaner, Greener Communities (CGC) Program, Westchester Green Business has opened access to their groundbreaking program that has helped dozens of businesses, nonprofits and the award-winning Hendrick Hudson Free Library make operational decisions that result in more sustainable, resilient futures for themselves and their communities, to all public libraries in New York State. This collaboration helps bring to life the Resolution on the Importance of Sustainable Libraries unanimously passed in 2014 by the Council of the New York Library Association.

The CGC program is a statewide initiative, administered by the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA), that encourages communities to incorporate sustainability goals and principles into local decision-making, and then form partnerships to transform markets, leading to a reduction of greenhouse gas emissions and generation of economic development benefits.

“Participation in the certification program not only provided us the opportunity to evaluate and enhance our sustainability efforts,” said Hendrick Hudson Free Library director Jill Davis, “but it allowed us to become part of a greater movement which has created unique partnerships and educational possibilities.”

The program, Green Business Certification, provides a turnkey system to successfully integrate sustainable practices into library operations. Library leaders will learn exactly where resources are being wasted and identify opportunities to increase efficiency and save money. Proprietary performance tools are used to calculate the economic and environmental impacts of energy, travel, waste, water and refrigerants in a library, while staff surveys gauge behavioral impacts.

Dani Glaser, Westchester Green Business Program Director commented, “It is an honor to have been selected by NYLA to provide the benchmarking platform for their Sustainability Initiative. Libraries are uniquely positioned to make a significant impact influencing patrons, communities, and libraries across the nation about the importance of sustainability.”

Check out this short video: to learn more about the program and its benefits for libraries from Jill Davis, the director of the award-winning Hendrick Hudson Free Library, the first library in the state to become certified under this program. She is joined by Dani Glaser, Westchester Green Business Program Director who provides introductory information about the program.

Thanks to this collaboration any public library in New York State may join this program and benefit from the 10% discount for non-profit organizations.

Check out the 2017 Membership Rates and access the Membership form here:

Ask Joe Eisner: If a library staff member is appointed to serve as board secretary, is that a conflict of interest?

LTA Members:Get Questions Answered
Do You Have a Library Question Which Requires an Answer?
Ask Joe Eisner (click to learn more)

As part of LTA’s expansion of service to aid and assist library trustees and directors, LTA offers members an opportunity to confer with Joe Eisner, free of charge.

Joe can be contacted toll-free at 1 (866) 720-8969 or by email at (Question are handled with discretion.)

For more information about Joe Eisner’s experience and background, please click on the “Ask Joe Eisner” tab under “Resources and Links” on LTA’s website.

Please note: The following should not be construed as legal advice, for which the services of counsel should be obtained:

Question: If a library staff member is appointed to serve as board secretary, is that a conflict of interest?

Answer: No. An association or public  library board may appoint as secretary to the board any of the following:

1. current staff member, whether full or part time- there would be neither a conflict of interest nor a seeming impropriety in such an appointment.  In addition to their regular salary, a current staff member may be paid a stipend on a monthly basis, or in a lump sum, by voucher subsequent to each board meeting at which the person is performing  as secretary.

In the case of a public library, whether municipal or school district (SDPL), if the person appointed is a current staff member, whether full or part-time, there may be no need to report the arrangement to the local Civil Service Commission. (It would be prudent to consult with the Commission to verify this.)

If desired, the library board could seek Civil Service Commission  approval of a job title for this part-time position of board secretary, which might also involve paying the incumbent in the same manner as all other library employees are paid, including accounting for them on the annual report form which in conformance with Civil  Service Commission procedures is assumed to be submitted to the Commission.

SDPL’s submit such reports directly to the local Commission.  In the case of municipal libraries, depending on local practice, the report is submitted either by the library  directly or by the municipality in behalf of the library if the municipality includes library employees with municipal employees in the municipality’s  annual report to the Commission.

If the library staff is represented by a collective bargaining agent (CBA), it would be prudent to appoint as secretary to the board a staff member who is not represented by the CBA: example- anyone occupying a position which is identified in the CBA contract as “management/confidential”. That could include the library director.

2. current or past library board member- if the latter, the board may opt to compensate that person for the time involved in attending board meetings, and subsequently transcribing the minutes. A current library board member cannot be compensated for this function.

3.member of the public-  need not be a resident of the community and who may be compensated for such service.

Please note: If you have any additional questions about this topic, please contact Joe Eisner at the e-mail/phone above.