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.
"NYSED" redirects here. For the umbrella organization for numerous executive agencies of New York state government, see New York State Executive Department.
Education Department

The State Education Building in Albany
Department overview
Jurisdiction New York
Department executive
Key document
Education in the United States
Education portal
United States portal

The New York State Education Department (NYSED) is the department of the New York state government[1] 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. It is headed by the regents of the University of the State of New York (USNY) and administered by the Commissioner of Education.

Its regulations are compiled in title 8 of the New York Codes, Rules and Regulations. 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.[2]


The State Education Department has the following main branches,[3] each under the direction of the Commissioner of Education:

Pre-Kindergarten through College (PK-16)

The Cultural Education Center, home of the Office of Cultural Education

Office of Cultural Education (OCE)

The Office of Cultural Education (OCE) operates three major cultural institutions with stewardship responsibilities for collections—the New York State Archives, the New York State Library, and the New York State Museum—and the Office of Educational Television and Public Broadcasting. All three collection-holding institutions, which are housed in the Cultural Education Center, ensure that valuable information, knowledge and collections under their care, are preserved and made available for current and future generations.

In addition to collection stewardship and public programs, OCE also administers chartering, technical assistance, program coordination and grant and aid programs serving libraries, museums and historical societies, public radio and television stations, historical records repositories and local governments.[4]

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 more than fifty professions defined in Title VIII of the Education Law.[5]

Adult Career and Continuing Education Services (ACCES)

The Office of Adult Career and Continuing Education Services (ACCES) is divided into three primary areas: Vocational Rehabilitation (including Independent Living Administration); Adult Education, including General Educational Development (GED) Testing; and Proprietary School Supervision.

The Vocational Rehabilitation component (ACCES-VR) encompasses many of the services that were previously part of Vocational and Educational Services for Individuals with Disabilities, or VESID. ACCESS-VR's homepage describes them saying,

Adult Career and Continuing Education Services-Vocational Rehabilitation (ACCES-VR) offers access to a full range of employment and independent living services that may be needed by persons with disabilities through their lives. Through its administration of vocational rehabilitation and independent living programs, VR coordinates policy and services relating to:

  • transition services for students with disabilities from school to adult services;
  • vocational rehabilitation services for working age individuals with disabilities;
  • independent living services for people with disabilities of all ages; and
  • business services for hiring a qualified diverse workforce.[6]

Learning standards

The general education and diploma requirement regulations (Part 100 Regulations, 8 NYCRR 100) require that every public school student be provided an opportunity to receive instruction in order to achieve the New York State Learning Standards.[7] The creation of new Common Core State Standards are now being introduced and phased in. The new standards and related new assessments will be inline by 2014-2015.

The Board of Regents adopted the Common Core State Standards (CCSS) for Mathematics and CCSS for English Language Arts & Literacy in History/Social Studies, Science, and Technical Subjects on July 19, 2010, with the understanding that the state may add additional expectations.[8][9][10][11][12] It incorporated New York-specific additions on January 10, 2011, creating the Common Core Learning Standards (CCLS).[13][14] The Board of Regents adopted a new social studies curriculum (the New York State Common Core Social Studies Framework) at their April 2014 meeting.[15]

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 that students take a Social Studies standardized test; this has been discontinued.

Regents exams

Main article: Regents Examinations

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.[16] 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). On July 22, 2013 (and again at their October 21–22, 2013 meeting), the Board of Regents adopted regulations that established requirements to transition to the new Regents Examinations in English Language Arts (ELA) and in mathematics which measure the Common Core Learning Standards (CCLS).[17]

Data collection and assessment

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)[18] 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. The state's Education Data Portal partners with inBloom to integrate student data.[19]

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 statewide level.

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.

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.


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.

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:

This initial teacher certification is temporary and will expire after five years. Candidates may expect to pay, as of 2014, up to eight-hundred dollars for certification tests and requirements.

To obtain a Professional certificate, the applicant must have completed a NYS-approved teacher education program at a college/university and hold a master's 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 100 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 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

Applicants who hold a certificate from another state, or who have completed an approved program that would lead to a teaching certificate in another state, may be eligible for a New York teaching certificate through interstate reciprocity.[21]

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. These certificates are still Permanent--valid for life, unless revoked for cause, by the New York State Education Department.

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 physicians, nurse practitioners, accountants, and social workers.

See also


  1. Education Law § 101. "There shall continue to be in the state government an education department. [...] The head of the department shall continue to be the regents of The University of the State of New York, who shall appoint, and at pleasure may remove, the commissioner of education. The commissioner shall continue to be the chief administrative officer of the department. [...]"
  2. "Contact NYSED." New York State Education Department. Retrieved on November 13, 2008. "New York State Education Department 89 Washington Avenue Albany, New York 12234"
  3. "About the New York State Education Department". New York State Education Department web site. Retrieved 14 December 2008.
  4. "Cultural Education: Archives, Library, Museum and Public Broadcasting". NYS Office of Cultural Education web page. New York State Education Department. Retrieved 22 November 2011.
  5. "The Licensed Professions in New York State". NYS Office of the Professions web site. New York State Education Department. Retrieved 3 March 2016.
  6. ACCES-VR, accessed November 22, 2011
  7. "Welcome to the Office of Curriculum and Instruction". New York State Education Department. Retrieved 17 July 2015.
  8. Lewin, Tamar (21 July 2010). "Many States Adopt National Standards for Their Schools". The New York Times.
  9. "Common Core Background". New York State Education Department. Retrieved 17 July 2015.
  10. Secretary of the Board of Regents of The University of the State of New York, SUMMARY OF THE JULY MEETING OF THE BOARD OF REGENTS OF THE UNIVERSITY OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK Held at the State Education Building Albany, New York July 19 and 20, 2010 and P-12 Education Committee Meeting Held at the State Education Building Albany, New York as well as various video conference sites August 9, 2010, retrieved 17 July 2015
  11. Common Core State Standards Initiative, New York State Education Department, retrieved 17 July 2015
  12. Secretary of the Board of Regents of The University of the State of New York, SUMMARY OF THE DECEMBER MEETING OF THE BOARD OF REGENTS OF THE UNIVERSITY OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK Held at the State Education Building Albany, New York December 14 and 15, 2009, retrieved 17 July 2015
  13. NYS P-12 Common Core Learning Standards, New York State Education Department, retrieved 17 July 2015
  14. Secretary of the Board of Regents of The University of the State of New York, SUMMARY OF THE JANUARY MEETING OF THE BOARD OF REGENTS OF THE UNIVERSITY OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK Held at the State Education Building Albany, New York January 10 and 11, 2011 (PDF), retrieved 17 July 2015
  15. Wall, Patrick (29 April 2014). "New York approves new social studies curriculum guidelines, with Common Core influence". Chalkbeat.
  16. "School Administrator's Manual 2008". New York State Education Department Web Site. New York State Education Department. Retrieved 2009-01-06.
  17. 8 NYCRR 100.5(g). See, e.g., English Language Arts (ELA) and Mathematics Common Core Learning Standards (CCLS), New York State Register, Vol. XXXV, Issue 45 (November 06, 2013), Rulemaking I.D. No. EDU-33-13-00022-E.
  18. "NYSSIS User Guide" (PDF). NYSED web site. Retrieved 24 February 2011.
  19. EngageNY Portal Privacy Parent FAQ, NYSED Race to the Top
  20. "Eastern Suffolk BOCES Service Guide 2010-2011" (PDF). Eastern Suffolk BOCES web site. Retrieved 24 February 2011.
  21. "Applicants from Other States (Interstate Reciprocity)". NY Teacher Certification web page. New York State Education Department. Retrieved 22 November 2011.


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