New York State Education Department
Department overview
FormedDecember 10, 1913; 110 years ago (1913-12-10)[citation needed]
JurisdictionNew York
HeadquartersAlbany, New York, U.S.
42°39′14″N 73°45′23″W / 42.653822°N 73.756336°W / 42.653822; -73.756336
Department executives
  • Betty A. Rosa, Commissioner of Education and President of the University of the State of New York
  • Sharon Cates-Williams, Executive Deputy Commissioner
  • Jeffrey Matteson, Senior Deputy Commissioner for Education Policy (P-12 and Higher Education)
Key document

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, vocational rehabilitation, and the licensing of numerous professions. It is headed by the Board of 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]

Each year New York spends around $32,000 per student, which is 90% more than the average in the US.[3][4][5][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 its April 2014 meeting.[15] At its December 2016 meeting, the Board of Regents approved new P-12 Science Learning Standards.[16]

Graduation rates

New York has a graduation rate of 80.2 percent (2017),[17] Compared to National Average of 84 percent.[18] This was a slight increase over previous year, but that may have been because the State eliminated one of the tests required to graduate.[17]


In 2015, New York spent $67 billion, or $22,366 per-student in elementary and secondary schools.[5][4] (U.S. Census data 2016).[3] This is 90% higher than the US average of $11,762, and significantly higher than neighboring states with similar living expenses. The spending has increased in recent years by 5.5% between 2015 and 2016 alone.[5] Schools in poor high need districts received significantly lower funding.[4][19]

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.[20] 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).[21]

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)[22] 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 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 state-accredited teaching programs in colleges or universities either in New York or another state that has a reciprocal agreement with New York. Prior to initial certification, prospective teachers must pass:

This initial teacher certification is temporary and expires 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 state-accredited teacher education program at a college/university and hold a master's degree or above, and must have completed three years of full-time teaching experience. New York no longer offers permanent certification to those who were not certified prior to February 2004. 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 percentage points 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 certified 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.[24]

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 unless revoked with cause.

Literacy requirement

In March 2017, the Board of Regents eliminated a literacy test for prospective teachers because, according to the New York Times, "the test proved controversial because black and Hispanic candidates passed it at significantly lower rates than white candidates."[25]

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.[citation needed]

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. ^ a b "2016 Public Elementary-Secondary Education Finance Data". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 25 December 2018.
  4. ^ a b c Joseph Spector (May 21, 2018). "New York's school spending is now 90% above the national average". Retrieved 25 December 2018.
  5. ^ a b c E.J. McMahon (May 21, 2018). "NY school spending tops $22k per pupil". Empire Center. Retrieved 25 December 2018.
  6. ^ Scimecca, James (2023-05-08). "NY Schools Plan To Spend Nearly $32K Per Student". Empire Center for Public Policy. Retrieved 2023-12-19.
  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. ^ "New York State Board Of Regents P-12 Committee Approves New P-12 Science Learning Standards". New York State Education Department. Retrieved 2017-01-31.
  17. ^ a b Elizabeth A. Harris (February 7, 2018). "Graduation Rate Made Little Progress, State Says". Retrieved 25 December 2018.
  18. ^ Briana Boyington. "See High School Graduation Rates By State". Retrieved 25 December 2018.
  19. ^ "New York spends more per student than any other state in the country". NY Post. Retrieved 25 December 2018.
  20. ^ "School Administrator's Manual 2008". New York State Education Department Web Site. New York State Education Department. Archived from the original on 2008-11-09. Retrieved 2009-01-06.
  21. ^ 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.
  22. ^ "NYSSIS User Guide" (PDF). NYSED web site. Retrieved 24 February 2011.
  23. ^ "Eastern Suffolk BOCES Service Guide 2010-2011" (PDF). Eastern Suffolk BOCES web site. Archived from the original (PDF) on 26 July 2011. Retrieved 24 February 2011.
  24. ^ "Applicants from Other States (Interstate Reciprocity)". NY Teacher Certification web page. New York State Education Department. Retrieved 22 November 2011.
  25. ^ Regents Drop Teacher Literacy Test Seen as Discriminatory, New York Times, March 13, 2017