State Education Reform Commission calls for investments in technology, rewards for high performing teachers
Wednesday, January 15, 2014 - 11:27 am

A final report from the NY Education Reform Commission, released today, calls for investments in technology and rewards for high performing teachers.

The commission was tasked with identifying ways to increase the quality of education across the state. Recommendations from the commission’s final report include:

• Expanding early education -The commission recommends the state build upon, and bring to scale, the success of the first-ever state-funded full-day pre-kindergarten program and commit to developing a clear plan to expand access to high-quality full-day pre-k, starting with New York’s highest-need students.

• Expand the use of technology in schools - The commission recommends the state provide incentives and enact a program to improve access to technology in schools, especially our highest-need schools, as a way to help complement teaching and academic programs in order to improve student achievement.

• Reward the best and brightest educators - A quality teacher is perhaps the best thing a student can have to be successful in life. The commission recommends creating a Teacher Excellence Fund to reward teacher excellence and attract and keep talented educators in the classroom, particularly in our lowest-performing schools. This will build upon the Commission’s preliminary recommendations to improve teaching including the teacher bar exam, raising the standards for entry into SUNY and CUNY teacher preparation programs, and the Master Teacher Program.

• Replicate programs that connect high school to college - The commission recommends that the state provide incentives such as college scholarships in high needs fields like STEM, and other financial assistance to cover the cost of college for high-performing students, especially underrepresented students, as well as expand innovative “Early College High School” programs, like P-TECH, so that at-risk students have a chance to attain both a high school diploma and an affordable college degree.

Strategically invest in higher education - The commission recommends expanding the state’s strategic investment in public higher education to further incentivize providing access to all students and setting them up for success in careers, including incentivizing paid internships as well as increasing access to college degree programs though innovative methods, like online learning.

Focus on efficiencies - The commission recommends that the state expand opportunities for shared services, reduce obstacles to the school district merger process, and provide mechanisms for the creation of regional high schools.

Click here to view the commission’s full report.