Albany, NY — The New York State Education Department (NYSED) missed a Freedom of Information Law deadline to disclose statewide English and mathematics test results for grades 3-8, forcing the Empire Center to file a lawsuit for a court to order release of the data.

The delay—and pending lawsuit—is another chapter in NYSED’s efforts to conceal data concerning learning loss that occurred during the COVID-19 pandemic. The obstruction continues even though New York City and some other districts released assessment data last month on their own.

“It’s sad that we’ve come to expect such delays and obfuscations when it comes to releasing public records in New York—but this is perhaps a new low,” said Tim Hoefer, president and CEO of the Empire Center. “Our children’s learning outcomes should be of first and foremost concern. Withholding this data not only makes NYSED look like it’s hiding something, it prevents needed public debate about the status of education in New York.”

The Empire Center originally requested the assessment data on September 8, 2022, asking for statewide aggregate data broken down by several demographic categories. NYSED missed the October 11, 2022 deadline, violating the state’s FOIL.

In previous years, NYSED posted student assessment data on its own website, generally between August and mid-September.

The Empire Center, based in Albany, is an independent, not-for-profit, non-partisan think tank dedicated to promoting policies that can make New York a better place to live, work and raise a family.

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