Discussion of new educational standards in New York has led to frequent references to "Engage New York."  What exactly is EngageNY?  Are sample exam test questions, and homework help, for the new Common Core available?

As part of the New York State Board of Regents Reform Agenda new requirements have been established in the form of the New York State P-12 Common Core Learning Standards, known as the "Common Core."

EngageNY is an initiative launched by the New York State Education Department.  It was designed to help parents and educators grasp the new standards set forth by recently implemented changes in the educational system.

The website found online at www.engageny.org includes a Parent's Backpack Guide to the Common Core.  It shows parents and guardians what they should be looking for in their child's backpack, and what they can do to help their children continually improve.

Need help with a homework problem?  There is a video library online that might be able to provide help.

On the site as well are links to activities that children can do alone or with their caregivers. Interactive-based learning applications ("apps") can be downloaded for those with iPhones and tablets - an educational alternative to video games after school.

Now as to whether or not there are sample test questions on the site, the answer is "yes."  For grades three through eight there are questions and answers along with explanations as to how those answers would be scored.  The samples are downloadable.  A disclaimer on the site clearly explains that the sample "...is NOT intended to show how operational tests look or to provide information about how teachers should administer the test; rather, its purpose is to provide an overview of how the new test reflects the demand of the CCSS."

EngageNY details the "Assessment, Analysis, and Action" plan now utilized by the state. Since the Common Core was adopted by New York in 2010, it has been subjected to increasing scrutiny, especially after the first set of standardized test scores under the new program was released for the 2013-2014 year.  Those scores were, as expected, significantly lower than in previous years.