Sunday, March 30, 2008

Letter to the NYS Board of Regents

"Excelsior: Ever Upward" -Motto of the State of New York

Chancellor Bennett, Regent Cohen, Dr. Sullivan, and members of the Regents Steering Committee,

As you stated in your March 19 news release, the revision of New York State Learning Standards is "critically important...Meeting the standards should ensure that students are prepared for college, work and citizenship. " You have requested recommendations from a variety of stakeholders, including educators.

I am a certified School Library Media Specialist and have taught in New York for more than 20 years. My concern is that our students are not acquiring the technical skills necessary for success in school, work, and daily living in the 21st century.

Many districts struggle with budget deficits and classroom teachers work tirelessly to prepare children for mandated testing. There is little time or money for curricular add-ons. However, technology should not be an add-on; it is most beneficial when embedded in all curricula and accessible to every learner.

Unless our standards endorse necessary communication and collaboration tools, like student email accounts, blogs, wikis, and podcasts, individual districts will continue to block them and teachers will have little incentive to pursue professional development training in these areas.

Your recommendations will affect education in the State of New York for a decade or more. We need to ensure that the final product will be as comprehensive as possible. Please give our students the tools they need to acquire, manipulate, create and communicate information.

In addition to mailing my comments to the Steering Committee, I am posting this message on my blog to encourage others to enter into this dialog about our state Standards.

Thank you for offering us this opportunity to work for change.

Comments and recommendations to the Regents Steering Committee for Standards Review may be sent to:


Cathy Nelson said...

Great letter Diane. I hope you get a response soon. I hope more will follow suit too.

Gail Desler said...


I thought you might like to see California's revised definition of technology literacy and integration:
CDE’s Definitions of Technology Literacy and Curriculum Integration

1. Technology Literacy is the ability to use appropriate technology responsibly to communicate, to solve problems, and to access, create, integrate, evaluate, and manage information to improve learning of state content standards in all subject areas and to acquire lifelong knowledge and skills in the 21st century.

2. Curriculum Integration involves the infusion of technology as a tool to enhance the learning of state content standards in a content area or multidisciplinary setting. Technology integration enables students to learn in ways not previously possible. Effective integration of technology is achieved when students are able to select technology tools to help them obtain information in a timely manner, analyze and synthesize the information, and present it professionally. The technology should become an integral part of how the classroom functions – as accessible as all other classroom tools.

Good luck with your efforts,
Gail Desler

diane said...


Thank you for the definition. I'm hoping to attend a local Standards Revision conference and will bring a copy of your message with me.

Wish there were clear, mandated national standards.