• Engage with EngageNY.org


    In the midst of all the changes we are expected to implement, there is a resource that can be of great help to educational leaders, teachers, and parents.  This brief article is an attempt to offer a few tips to help navigate through the sea of information NYSED has organized on EngageNY.org


    Start at the Homepage


    If you use an RSS feeder, you can subscribe to the website (see lower left corner for Twitter, Facebook, Vimeo and RSS).  If not, set aside a time each week to surf the website to keep current.  The upside: This Commissioner is attempting to keeping us digitally informed.  The downside: If we don’t look for it, we may not know about it. Toward the bottom on the page, are three sections:  “Featured Classroom Resources,” “Latest News and Events,” and “Featured Professional Development.”  These are three very good places to start.


    The links listed across the top:  “Common Core Curriculum and Assessments,” “Teacher/Leader Effectiveness,” “Data Driven Instruction,” “Video Library,” “Network Teams and Turn-Key Training,” and “Parent and Family Resources” lead to good information.  A word of advice is, look at all of them. As you go to each page, notice on the left that there are sections called “Menu” and “Latest Updates.” The “Menu” has the information needed by category in the area you have chosen to look at.  The “Latest Updates” are the same on each page, telling you what has recently been posted.  Don’t always count on that and spend some time looking for posts with recent dates – in case they have posted something new and failed to consider it important enough to post on “Latest Updates.”


    Look on Every Page


    It is important for us to see what NYSED is talking about, so simply concentrating on one area will leave you with gaps.  For example if you are currently focused on Common Core implementation, it is still important to keep checking on the “DDI” and “Teacher/Leader Effectiveness pages.”  It is also important to keep up with the information they are sharing with parents.  It can also be helpful for us to use that information and not have to develop our own.  Most of us do not attend Network Team training sessions, but we can gain information by looking at the materials used at those sessions.  We are free to use them ourselves as well.


    The Website Changes Daily


    On January 29th a new post gave information about Common Core and assessment changes.  What follows are the three important pieces of information from that post.


    1. This year our 3-8 students will be tested with an assessment aligned to the Common Core.  Some Regents Exams will be aligned to the Common Core in 2013-2014 and the rest in 2014-2015.


    2. There will still be multiple choice and constructed response questions.


    3. In 2014-2015 PARCC will have assessments in ELA and Math that measure the Common Core State Standards BUT The Board of Regents will decide later whether to adopt them.


    The good news is we are no longer waiting for memos or emails to keep us informed of changes in expectations, rules, and regulations. This website can keep us better informed and offer resources that help guide our work as we lead through this era of inconceivable challenge.


    Jill Berkowicz writes the blog “Leadership 360” for EdWeek with Ann Myers