Tag Archives: New York State Education Department

NY Public Historians: Looking Back, Looking Ahead

albany_state_education_buildingApril 11, 2013 marks the 94th anniversary of Governor Al Smith’s signing the law that established New York’s system of local government Historians (Laws of 1919, Ch. 181). Smith was a history-minded leader.

As an Assemblyman, he had sponsored the bill in 1911 that moved the State Historian’s office to the State Education Department and initiated the state’s local government records program. In 1919, his first year as governor, he was preparing to reorganize and modernize state government.

His approval of the Historians’ Law was a milestone event. New York was, and still is, the only state in the nation to declare preservation and dissemination of local history to be a public purpose so important that it is embodied in statute.
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Should We Teach NY State and Local History?

If you have an opinion on whether or not New York State and local history should be taught in our public schools, now is the time to speak up.

As noted on September 17 here at the online news magazine New York History, the State Education Department has released a draft version of the “New York State Common Core K-8 Social Studies Framework” for review and comment until October 11 [online]. There is a link there for people to submit comments. After revision, the document will go to the Board of Regents for adoption as state education policy. Continue reading

Comments Sought on NY Social Studies Curriculum

The draft “New York State Common Core K-8 Social Studies Framework” has been issued and is available online [pdf].  The New York State Education Department is inviting comments until October 11, 2012.

The K-8 Framework was designed to integrate existing New York State Learning Standards and curricula into a single document with an emphasis on Key Ideas and Conceptual Understandings for each grade-level. This differs from the 1996 New York State Learning Standards, where Content Understandings were provided at each grade level.

Common elements across all grades, derived from National Council for the Social Studies themes, Common Core Literacy Skills, and Social Studies Practices, are expected to unify the framework, strengthen the progression of skills across the K-8 continuum, and establish a consistent design approach that aligns with the demands of the Common Core Learning Standards.

This K-8 Framework document hopes to ensure:

  • Students develop an understanding of concepts and key ideas, driven by an in-depth analysis of primary and secondary source documents and an examination of patterns of events in history.
  • Students are assessed on their understanding of key ideas, as well as conceptual understandings.
  • Students are instructed across the K-12 spectrum using a coherent set of themes, key ideas, and concepts.
  • Districts and teachers have the ability to select the best pathways to teach and illustrate conceptual understandings and key ideas.

Public feedback on the draft is expected to be incorporated into final recommendations to the New York State Board of Regents. Once approved by the Board, the framework is expected to guide future development of P-12 curriculum modules for social studies, as described in New York State’s Race to the Top (RTTT) application (online at http://usny.nysed.gov/rttt/). The framework can also be used for the development of local school district social studies curricula, and for the development of future statewide social studies assessments.  (For the 2012-13 school year, curriculum and assessments will be based on the existing standards and core curriculum guidance, available at http://www.p12.nysed.gov/ciai/socst/).

Comments may be submitted until 11:59 PM EDT on Thursday, October 11, 2012 via any of the following methods:

Online survey: https://www.research.net/s/GCWFVLV

E-mail: ssframework@mail.nysed.gov

Phone: (518) 474-5922

Mail:

New York State Education Department
Office of Curriculum and Instruction
Attn.: Comment on Draft New York State Common Core K-8 Social Studies Framework
89 Washington Avenue, Room 320 EB
Albany, New York 12234

You can read all of our reporting on the Social Studies Core Curriculum here.

Peter Feinman: Social Studies Conference Commentary

The New York State Council for the Social Studies annual conference was held March 22-24 in Saratoga Springs. Several of the sessions were related to the new common core curriculum in social studies.

The primary presenter was Larry Paska of the New York State Education whom Bruce Dearstyne identified in a post last week as the point person in the state for the project. Also speaking was Regent James Dawson. Continue reading

Social Studies Curriculum Revisions

During the recent spate of posts on this site regarding the New York State Social Studies curriculum revision, some commentators asked whom to contact. The person is charge of this initiative is Dr. Lawrence Paska, Coordinator of Curriculum and Instruction, NYS Education Department, 89 Washington Avenue, Room 318 EB Albany, NY 12234. 518-474-5922. lpaska@mail.nysed,gov Continue reading

Social Studies Curriculum:Will Standardization Hurt Local History?

The movement to evaluate teacher performance took a new turn recently. According to a press release from Governor Cuomo dated February 16, 2012: “Governor Andrew M. Cuomo, New York State Education Commissioner John King, and New York State United Teachers President Richard C. Iannuzzi today announced a groundbreaking agreement on a new statewide evaluation system that will make New York State a national leader in holding teachers accountable for student achievement.” Continue reading

New Netherland Research Center Opened

A ribbon-cutting ceremony today officially opened the New Netherland Research Center (NNRC) on the 7th floor of the New York State Library in Albany. The NNRC will focus attention on New York State’s rich collection of historic Dutch Colonial documents and facilitate access to them for future scholars, teachers and students both here and abroad.

The New Netherland Research Center, which will provide access to the colonial Dutch documents held by the New York State Archives and New York State Library Manuscripts and Special Collections, is the first step in an international effort to launch a collaborative digitization project to share collections and archives from former Dutch colonies.

During the 2009 Quadricentennial celebration of Henry Hudson’s voyage opening up the New World to Dutch settlement, Dutch dignitaries, including the Prince of Orange and Princess Maxima of the Netherlands, visited the Cultural Education Center’s 1609 Exhibition.

At that visit the government of the Netherlands committed to a grant of €200,000 (approximately $275,000) to the New Netherland Institute to continue and expand the New Netherland Project by establishing a New Netherland Research Center. This gift, with matching support from the Institute, are expected to transform what started out as a translation project into a collaborative research initiative with international scope and context.

Modern technologies are hoped to make New York’s collections, along with those in other similar or complementary repositories, available digitally and to promote a more complete story of the Dutch global reach during the colonial period and its lasting impact on today’s world.

The NNRC is the culmination of a decades-long translation effort, the New Netherland Project, at the New York State Library. Dr. Charles Gehring is the project’s Director and principal translator. Dr. Janny Venema is Assistant Director. Both have worked to unlock the wealth of information in these collections by making them available in English. They have also written extensively and spoken widely on the scope and legacy of our early Dutch heritage.

Seventeenth century collections of government records in the New York State Archives and non-government documents in the Library’s Manuscripts and Special Collections constitute the world’s largest collection of early Dutch language documentation of the New World colonies. Encompassing what is now a large part of the northeastern United States, the early Dutch colony, its language, culture and laws, lie at the roots of much of our nation’s modern history. Scholars regularly explore the collections for insights into 17th century life in New Netherland. Russell Shorto relied heavily on Gehring and Vanema and the New York State collections in writing his book The Island at the Center of the World: The Epic Story of Dutch Manhattan and the Forgotten Colony that Shaped America.

The New York State Library is a program of the New York State Education Department’s Office of Cultural Education.

Documentary Heritage Program Grants Offered

The Documentary Heritage Program (DHP) is a statewide program established in 1988 under Education Law, §§ 140, 207- L. 1988, ch. 679. The DHP is administered by the New York State Archives to ensure the identification, sound administration and accessibility of New York’s historical records.

One component of the DHP is the grants program. DHP Grants are designed to encourage more comprehensive documentation of New York State’s history and culture by supporting projects that identify, survey, collect, and make available important records relating to groups and topics traditionally under-represented in the historical record. DHP is administered by the New York State Archives, a unit of the New York State Education Department (NYSED).

Eligible Applicants

Eligible applicants include not-for-profit community organizations, archives, libraries, historical societies, and similar institutions within New York State and consortia or partnerships of such agencies. Also eligible are service providers such as historical service agencies, colleges and universities, professional associations, or other not-for-profit institutions or systems that provide services to historical records programs.

Funding

A total of $92,000 is expected to be available for grants projects. Grants will be available in amounts up to $25,000. Applicants may seek support for personnel- purchased services, including qualified consultants- supplies- materials and equipment costing less than $5,000- and travel as required to directly support project activities and outcomes.

Important Dates

Grants in this cycle are for up to 12-month projects, from July 1, 2011 through June 30, 2012. Applications must be postmarked by Tuesday, February 1, 2011. Tentative date for the announcement of grant awards is June 30, 2011.

Grant Project Types

Documentation projects identify and ensure the systematic preservation of papers and records that shed light on the people, groups, events or changing political, economic or social conditions of New York State. The ultimate goal of a documentation project is to contribute to the building of a comprehensive and equitable historical record in repositories which make unique original source materials available to researchers and citizens. Typically consisting of three phases – planning, surveying, and collecting, documentation projects usually take at least two years to complete. Cost sharing of at least 20% is required.

Arrangement & Description projects – Arrangement and description are the processes used to obtain physical and intellectual control over materials held in historic records repositories. Arrangement is the process of organizing materials with respect to their provenance and original order, to protect their context and to achieve physical and/or intellectual control over the materials. Description is the creation of an accurate representation of a unit of archival material by the process of capturing, collating, analyzing, and organizing information that serves to identify archival material and explain the context and records system(s) that produced it. The objective of archival description is the creation of access tools that assist users in discovering desired records. Cost sharing of at least 50% is required.

Ineligible Projects

Several types of historical records projects are not eligible for funding under the DHP. These include:

· Projects that do not demonstrate a primary focus on New York State

· Digitization (projects to create digital records)

· Item-level description and/or indexing

· Oral history and/or video taping

· Newspaper collections (these are not considered to be historical records under the DHP law)

· Preservation (i.e., the physical work to conserve, restore, or repair records, or reproduction for preservation purposes such as microfilming)

Topical Priorities

In order to insure that the DHP addresses the New York State Historical Records Advisory Board’s mandate to identify, survey, collect, and make available historical records that relate to under-documented groups or subjects, the State Archives has identified and given priority to specific topical areas for DHP funding. These topics are listed in Priority Levels One and Two below. Although applications for projects that focus on any under-documented group or subject are eligible for funding, they will receive fewer points during grants review than those in Levels One and Two.

Priority Level One

· Population groups in the 20th and 21st centuries
· Economic change in the 20th and 21st centuries
· World Trade Center disaster, September 11, 2001
· Education policy

Priority Level Two

· Environmental affairs
· Mental health

Priority Level Three

· Other under-documented topics in New York State history

Application Process

Grant application forms may be obtained by emailing the State Archives dhs@mail.nysed.gov or by visiting the State Archives Web site www.archives.nysed.gov and clicking on Grants and Awards.

For further information contact:

Pamela Cooley/Documentary Heritage Program
New York State Archives
Room 9C71 Cultural Education Center
Albany, NY 12230
Telephone: 518-474-6276
Email: dhs@mail.nysed.gov

New Netherland: Scholar in Residence Programs

The New Netherland Research Center (NNRC), a joint endeavor of the New Netherland Institute (NNI) and the Office of Cultural Education, New York State Education Department (NYSED/OCE), with financial support from the Government of the Netherlands, announces a Senior Scholar in Residence program and two NNRC Student Scholar Research Grants for 2011.

Student Scholar Research Grants

The grant covers a period of up to three months in residence and provides a stipend of $5,000. A time frame for fulfilling the grant requirements will be established in consultation with the Director of NNRC. No housing or travel funds are provided but
office space is included.

Scholars beyond the undergraduate level and actively working on a thesis, dissertation, or scholarly article are invited to apply. Research must be conducted at the New York State Library and Archives, Albany, NY, in the field of New Netherland history and the Dutch Atlantic World utilizing the Records of New Netherland. Candidates must indicate their research topic in their application. Genealogical research topics are excluded. Considering that much of the secondary, as well as the primary, source materials are in 17th century Dutch, it would be to the student scholar’s advantage to have a working knowledge of the language.

The $5,000 stipend is payable in equal installment upon submission and acceptance by the Director of NNRC of a monthly progress report. At the conclusion of their residency, the student scholar must submit a written report based on their work and deliver a public lecture on their research findings prior to receipt of their final installment.

Applications, consisting of a curriculum vita, two letters of recommendation, and a cover letter outlining the research topic and work plan, must be submitted to the Grants Committee, New Netherland Institute, Box 2536, Empire State Plaza Station, Albany, NY 12220-0536.

Applications must be submitted by October 1, 2010 with awards announced on December 1, 2010.

Senior Scholar in Residence Program

Pre–and post-doctoral students, including independent, non-university-affiliated persons, are invited to apply for a 12-month residency beginning not earlier than January and not later than September 2011 with the specific time frame to be established in consultation with the Director of NNRC. The proposed research will occur at the New Netherland Research Center in Albany, utilizing the resources of the New York State Library and Archives for research in the field of Dutch Colonial America and the Atlantic World. Scholars are expected to include the primary sources of the Records of New Netherland in their research, so a reading knowledge of seventeenth-century Dutch is necessary.

The recipient will be required to produce a minimum 5000 word manuscript based upon his or her research in the primary sources in the field, with NNI/ NNRC having the first option to publish it and holding the copyright. In addition, a public lecture on an aspect of the research for delivery at Siena College, Loudonville, NY, is also mandated. Both requirements must be met no later than the final month of residency and are subject to the approval of the Director of NNRC.

No housing or travel funds are provided, but office space at NYSED/OCE is included.

The stipend is $30,000, to be distributed monthly in equal installments upon submission of a written progress report acceptable to the Director of NNRC. The final payment will be contingent upon meeting the terms cited above.

The application must consist of two copies of a curriculum vitae- one copy of a thesis, dissertation, published article(s) or book- two letters of recommendation- and a cover letter outlining your research interest and work plan. It should be submitted to the Grants Committee, New Netherland Institute, P.O. Box 2536, Empire State Plaza Station,
Albany, NY 12220-0536.

Applications must be received by September 15, 2010. The grant will be awarded and announced by November 1, 2010.

NY Awarded $9.5M to Exapand Library Broadband

The New York State Education Department (NYSED) has been awarded $9.5 million in a matching grant from the U.S. Department of Commerce National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) to expand computer access in public libraries across New York State. The funding is being provided through the American Reinvestment and Recovery Act (ARRA) Broadband Technology Opportunities Program (BTOP).

The grant will support the State Library’s Broadbandexpress@yourlibrary project to help low-income, unemployed, underemployed, and other vulnerable populations in upstate New York. High unemployment rates, a distressed economy, and a lack of affordable public access to high-speed broadband services, education, training and technical support have been particularly acute in geographically isolated upstate communities. The grant will enable the State Library and its public library partners to purchase equipment to expand the public’s access to computers and teleconferencing.

Broadbandexpress@yourlibrary will provide more than 860 computers in 30 libraries and five mobile training centers across 41 economically distressed upstate New York counties with populations totaling 6,655,824 (2008 census). This grant will allow libraries to extend hours, provide 24/7 access to job search resources, and serve an estimated 50,000 additional users per week system-wide.

New York State Education Commissioner David Steiner said, “Libraries are vital to our communities and our economy. The increased broadband capacity, training and online resources funded through this grant will provide more New Yorkers with access to essential online information for work, healthcare, education, and citizenship as well as E-government resources.”

“What librarians and libraries do everyday is vitally important work,” said State Librarian and Assistant Commissioner for Libraries Bernard Margolis. “Yet, even though New Yorkers turn to their public libraries more in difficult economic times, libraries themselves have suffered cuts and reductions to their valuable services. This grant will enable our libraries to continue to do critically important work and to expand the opportunities, education, and services that high speed Internet provides to the unserved and underserved in our communities.”

The New York State Library, within NYSED, worked with partner libraries throughout the state and the New York State Office of the Chief Information Officer/Office for Technology (CIO/OFT) to submit the proposal for the grant. In order to participate in this matching grant, partner libraries must make an in-kind contribution to support the project. The total in-kind match is $5.4 million. (A list of partner libraries accompanies this release.)

“CIO/OFT is very proud to continue supporting the innovative Broadbandexpress@yourlibrary project,” said Dr. Melodie Mayberry-Stewart, New York State CIO, Director of the Office For Technology, and Chair of the Broadband Development and Deployment Council. “In these tough economic times, access to free resources is critical for New York’s citizens. Many times, computers located in libraries are the only point of broadband contact for many citizens. Those who do not own a computer or have access to the internet often go to the library, where it is available for free. And for those who have never used a computer help is available. These grants will help ensure our libraries can continue to provide high-speed, reliable internet services and digital literacy training programs for our communities.”

The Broadband Technology Opportunities Program, funded by ARRA, provides matching grants to support the deployment of broadband infrastructure in unserved and underserved areas, enhance and expand public computer centers, and encourage sustainable adoption of broadband service. Funded at $4.7 billion, BTOP will also advance ARRA’s objectives to spur job creation and stimulate long-term economic growth and opportunity.

The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act provided a total of $7.2 billion to fund projects that will expand access to and adoption of broadband services. NTIA plans to announce all grant awards by September 30, 2010.

The New York State Library is the largest state library in the nation. In addition to its research collection of more than 20 million items, the State Library provides leadership and support to libraries and library systems throughout the state, maintains a Talking Book and Braille Library serving more than 39,000 New Yorkers, offers 24-hour access to an online catalog, and provides residents with 24/7 access to NOVELNY, New York’s first virtual library. The State Library is located in the Empire State Plaza in Albany. For information call 518/474-5355 or go to www.nysl.nysed.gov.