Scope and Content Note

Gordon Ambach served as the NYS Commissioner of Education from 1977-1987, and in several other capacities from 1967-1977. Papers in this series document several unique aspects of his work. The records on Harvard Seminar on Equality of Educational Opportunity Report (SEEOR) and Yonkers desegregation show Ambach’s efforts to implement an effective racial integration program, and to study the ability of states to do so, as well as the consequences. His work with organizations important to education at both the state and federal level, such as the NY Board of Regents and the U.S. Office of Education, is well represented. Finally, the speeches and meetings that Ambach undertook as part of his duties as Commissioner are included.

As the Executive Director of the CCSSO from 1987-2001, Ambach’s responsibilities included working with other educational organizations to advocate for certain education policies. The records of his work on advisory boards for education consortiums are therefore prominent in this series. Additionally, records of one of his most foremost concerns, the development of educational standards and assessments, show his relationship and cooperation with these other organizations. The records of the International Association for the Evaluation of Educational Achievement (IEA) show one of the foremost examples of these types of collaborations. Other education issues, including international education, learning technology, and school choice, are also well documented. Ambach’s efforts at the CCSSO to influence federal education legislation through testimony and lobbying are also included. Finally, Ambach’s records of the CCSSO’s administration, such as correspondence, speeches, publications and papers of the Executive Director, display his role in the organization.

Ambach’s personal papers detail his personal biography, his work and appearances outside of NYSED and the CCSSO, and his relationships with various contacts and colleagues developed over the years. They also include correspondence with officials in the federal government.