New York's economic recovery and future strength is dependent on a top-quality education system that prepares our students to succeed in the 21st century economy. While tremendous progress has been made over the last two years, there remains much more work to be done to meet the educational needs of our children and prepare them for the future. Drawing on the work of the New NY Education Reform Commission, the Governor announced a comprehensive strategy to transform and modernize public education.
More Learning Time: Research shows that students who have more time to learn have higher academic achievement than their peers. This is apparent in schools across the country, where quality learning time has been successfully and creatively expanded, resulting in significant student performance gains, especially in low-income communities. To help close the achievement gap, the Governor announced steps for our students to spend more time learning.
· Extending the School Day and/or Year: The Governor proposed a new competitive grant program for schools that develop initiatives to improve student achievement that include extending learning time by at least 25 percent and a high quality plan to achieve better outcomes for students.
· Full-Day Pre-Kindergarten for the Highest-Needs Students: With decades of research showing that early childhood education has a major and long-lasting impact on a child's future success, the Governor announced plans for the state to invest in high quality, full-day pre-kindergarten, beginning with New York's highest-needs students.
Better Teachers and Principals: Research suggests that teachers account for one-third of a school’s total impact on student achievement and that principal leadership accounts for 25 percent. The Governor announced that a district’s school aid increase will continue to be contingent on local adoption of an appropriate teacher evaluation system agreed to by school districts and union leadership. In addition, the Governor today announced steps for the state to better recruit and retain the best and brightest to educate students, provide teachers and principals with the support they need to be successful, and continue to recognize and reward successful educators throughout their career.