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Next Stop for ERS: New York State

Georgia, Michigan, Tennessee: and now, New York State.

Over the past two years, we have had the privilege to work with several state-level education agencies to strengthen their support for districts, and to spread best practices among a network of peer districts. We are excited to add another important partner to that list.

Starting this past fall and continuing through the summer of 2015, ERS is partnering with the New York State Department of Education (NYSED) and eight districts across the state to support their efforts toward more strategic resource use.  We will take on two strands of work:

  • Cohort Support for Districts: Help eight districts analyze how they’re currently using resources to meet student needs, and identify where they could re-align resources to more effectively meet their goals
  • Analysis of State-Level Data Systems: Partner with the state to identify how the data they collect can guide districts in making more strategic resource choices

Since the 2008 recession, districts across the country have been striving to meet student needs within an environment of constrained resources. Against this backdrop, NYSED has taken the lead in promoting cost-effective resource practices, such as encouraging the use of cost-efficient shared services across districts and municipalities. But the state was also eager to provide some districts with targeted, hands-on support in how to best put people, time, and money to work for students, and to develop a systemic approach to improving resource allocation throughout the state.   

This is where the partnership with ERS begins.  The work will provide a diverse group of districts with:

  • Training on actionable strategies to meet students’ needs, such as strategic school design
  • Analysis of data to help districts understand how they are using resources throughout their system today
  • Support to develop strategic plans that will move people, time, and money to where it’s most needed to improve student achievement 

At the state level, ERS will recommend improvements to data collection and processing to help NYSED identify best practices across districts and support their widespread adoption. In particular, we will focus on how the state itself can conduct similar analyses of district’s data and resource allocation in the future.

The work is exciting on multiple fronts. Our work with NYSED is at the very forefront of efforts to evolve the role of state education agencies to become providers of timely, targeted, strategic information to support districts.  Furthermore, this is the first time that ERS will be working with eight different districts across one state simultaneously, which we take to be a tremendous opportunity for impact and learning. We hope that this experience can serve as a model of strategic resource planning for other districts throughout the state.  As we embark on this journey together, we are excited for the transformational change in New York districts and schools which we believe leads to improved student achievement.  

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