Office of Accountability

OA E-News Update

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January 2014

...a monthly update on the New York State Education Department’s Office of Accountability (OA) activities relevant to school districts, schools, the education community and other stakeholders.

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Double Testing Waiver

On December 20, 2013, the United States Department of Education granted NYSED a one-year waiver from a provision of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) to allow Local Educational Agencies (LEAs) to only administer the Regents Examination in Algebra I (Common Core) or Geometry to students in grades 7 and 8 who take the corresponding mathematics coursework during the 2013-2014 school year, thus eliminating the requirement that these students take the corresponding grade level mathematics and the need for “double-testing” in these grades.

The waiver serves to relieve students, teachers, and schools from having to prepare students in seventh and eighth grade who are receiving instruction in Algebra I or Geometry for multiple end-of-year assessments. The memo that was sent to the field regarding “double testing” can be found at:

http://www.p12.nysed.gov/accountability/waivers/documents/DoubleTestingFieldMemo11-25-13_1.pdf

Results for students who take only the Regents Examination in Algebra I (Common Core) or Geometry in grade 7 or 8 will be incorporated into the Performance Index for the school in which the student is enrolled. However, the results on the Regents Examination in Algebra I (Common Core) or Geometry taken in grade 7 or 8 will not count towards the participation rate or the Performance Index in mathematics for the high school in which they later enroll.

The Regents item on “double testing” can be found at: http://www.regents.nysed.gov/meetings/2014/January2014/114p12a1.pdf

Updated field guidance regarding “double testing” will be posted shortly at: http://www.p12.nysed.gov/accountability/memos.html

The DTSDE Certification Program is designed to build the expertise and capacity of staff within Focus Districts to conduct the DTSDE review process. Selected candidates will participate in monthly professional development during the 2013-2014 school year that will engage the participants in school visits to closely examine a discreet DTSDE protocol, sub-statement of practice, or Tenet.

Applications and additional information about these programs can be found at: http://www.p12.nysed.gov/accountability/forms.html

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Posting of ESEA Waiver Renewal Application for Public Comment

In November 2013, the United States Department of Education (USDE) offered states with approved ESEA Flexibility Waivers the opportunity to participate in a streamlined renewal process for the 2014-15 school year. Under this process, states with approved waivers may submit amendments to the state’s approved plan to take effect in 2014-15 as part of the renewal process. If the state is submitting amendments, it must consult with stakeholders before submitting them as part of its flexibility renewal request.

This month, Department staff received the Board of Regent’s approval to post amendments related to New York’s request to USDE to renew its ESEA Waiver for public comment.  If you would like to submit a comment regarding the renewal application or one or more of the amendments, please send them by email to eseasupport@mail.nysed.gov. The public comment period will be from January 16 through January 27, 2014.

Please identify in the subject line the amendment(s) on which you wish to comment. For example, if you wish to comment on the proposed amendments pertaining to "Revising the AMOs for Grades 3-8 English language arts and mathematics" and "Testing for English language learners," then please put "Public Comment on Amendments 4 and 5" in the subject line of your email.

The amendments are posted for public comment on the Department’s website, at:

http://p1232.nysed.gov/accountability/documents/ESEAFlexibilityRenewalforPublicComment011614_1.pdf

The Regents item regarding the ESEA Flexibility renewal can be found at:

http://www.regents.nysed.gov/meetings/2014/January2014/114bra6.pdf

More information about the renewal of the ESEA Flexibility Request can be found at:

http://www.p12.nysed.gov/accountability/ESEAFlexibilityRenewal.html

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RFP Release: 1003(g) School Improvement Grant (SIG) Round Five

NYSED has announced the release of Round Five of the SIG grant opportunity for eligible Local Education Agencies (LEAs) with one or more eligible Priority Schools. An eligible Priority School is a Priority School that the LEA has designated as implementing a whole-school change model beginning in 2014-2015, and that is not receiving a 1003(g) SIG or a School Innovation Fund (SIF) grant at the time of application. For each eligible Priority School proposing to implement a Turnaround, Restart, Closure or Transformation model, LEAs are eligible for up to $1.0 million, commensurate to school size and need, for the full grant term that includes three years of implementation.

The primary purpose of the 1003(g) SIG is to provide Local Education Agencies (LEAs) with an opportunity to support the implementation of a whole-school change model in its Priority Schools. This grant allows for three models to do so: Turnaround, Restart and Transformation. A secondary purpose of the 1003(g) SIG is to support the school closure process. In certain cases the LEA, in collaboration with the local community, may conclude the best option for its students is to close the existing school and transfer students to existing higher achieving options within the district.

For more information about 1003(g) SIG Round Five please visit: http://usny.nysed.gov/rttt/rfp/ta-14/home.html

Complete applications must be submitted electronically through the Review Room portal available at the following link: https://nysed-schoolturnaround.fluidreview.com/.

Complete applications must be submitted electronically through the Review Room portal (https://nysed-schoolturnaround.fluidreview.com) no later than 3:00 pm, on February 28, 2014.

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RFP Released: School Innaovatop Fund Grant (SIF) Round Three

NYSED has announced a new SIF grant opportunity that is open to Local Education Agencies (LEAs) with one or more eligible Priority Schools. An eligible Priority School is a Priority School that the LEA has designated as implementing a whole-school change model beginning in 2014-2015, that is not receiving a 1003[g] School Improvement Grant (SIG) or a School Innovation Fund (SIF) grant at the time of application. Schools currently receiving, or those that have received a SIF-Round One or SIF-Round Two grant are not eligible to receive a SIF-Round Three grant.

The purposes of the School Innovation Fund are to increase high school graduation, college and career readiness of high school graduates, college persistence, and college graduation rates by increasing the availability of new high quality seats for students at most risk for dropout, disengagement, and poor academic performance.

For more information about SIF Round Three please visit: http://usny.nysed.gov/rttt/rfp/sif-round3/home.html

Complete applications must be submitted electronically through the Review Room portal (https://nysed-schoolturnaround.fluidreview.com) no later than 3:00 pm, on February 28, 2014.

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Selection of Districts for Participation in the DTSDE Professional Learning Community Initiative (PLC)

The NYSED and Regents Research Fund are pleased to announce the selection of the following ten districts into the DTSDE PLC Initiative:

  • Cobleskill-Richmondville District
  • Brockport Central School District
  • Wyandanch Union Free School District
  • Newburgh Enlarged City School District
  • Mount Vernon School District
  • Wellsville Central School District
  • Kingston City School District
  • New Hyde Park Central School
  • Rochester City School District
  • Yonkers City School District

PLC Districts will be joining this initiative with participating schools from their districts to examine specific DTSDE tenet(s) or a statement(s) of practice for which the district is seeking to build greater capacity or expertise to help fulfill the goals and expectations of the district’s existing DCIP. 

The PLC will help participating districts develop strategies successfully adopt organizational systems, structures, and best practices that will create a culture of success for the district and school community by focusing on two concepts that undergird turnaround concepts, adult development, and systems thinking.

The PLC will provide participating districts with the opportunity to engage in a rich learning experience and exchange with other districts, national and state experts, as well as organizations dedicated to education reform and innovation that will support the district's implementation of key district-wide turnaround goals and initiatives. The PLC will convene for both face-to-face sessions and web-based interactive sessions from January to May. 

More information about the PLC can be found at:

http://www.p12.nysed.gov/accountability/RevisedReadinessAssessmentversionfinal.docx


Selection of Districts for Participation in the DTSDE Certification Program

The NYSED and Regents Research Fund are pleased to announce the selection of 13 district leaders who will participate the DTSDE certification program from the following five participating districts:

  • Wyandanch Union Free School District
  • Buffalo Public Schools
  • Yonkers City School District
  • Rochester City School District
  • Brockport  Central School District

The DTSDE Certification program is designed to build the expertise and capacity of staff within selected districts to conduct the DTSDE review process. The selected candidates will participate in monthly professional development during the 2013-2014 school year that will engage the participants in school visits to closely examine a discreet DTSDE protocol, sub-statement of practice, or Tenet. Upon completion of the DTSDE Certification Program in July, candidates will be certified and have gained the knowledge, expertise, and skill sets to successfully lead a DTSDE review, write a high-quality DTSDE report, deliver quality professional development aligned to the DTSDE, and implement their District’s DTSDE capacity plan.

More information about the DTSDE Certification Program can be found at:

http://www.p12.nysed.gov/accountability/documents/RevisedCertificationPackefinal.doc

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Reminder: DTSDE School Review Surveys

Schools and districts receiving DTSDE reviews must submit specific documents prior to the visit. One of these documents is the DTSDE Survey. For reviews taking place in the 2013-14 school year, the survey along with other documents should be submitted no later than four weeks prior to the visit.  Failure to conduct a DTSDE survey may result in a suspension or reduction of a district’s 1003(a) School Improvement Grant funding.

The surveys are a part of the pre-documentation review conducted by the Integrated Intervention Team (IIT) in order to gain a better understanding of the perceptions and support that are provided by the school to teachers, students, and parents. The surveys should uncover trends and practices at the school that will lead to the development of an inquiry trail for specific events by the review team.

More information regarding the submission of surveys as part of the DTSDE School and District Review process can be found at:

http://www.p12.nysed.gov/accountability/diagnostic-tool-institute/DTSDESurveyInformation.html

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Reminder: Deadline for the Registration of Public Schools

The Department requires a school district intending to open a new public school, close an existing public school, modify the grade organization of an existing public school, or change the location of a school for the 2014-2015 school year to submit the appropriate forms no later than March 3, 2014. The documents can be found at: http://www.p12.nysed.gov/irs/newschool/

In addition to the submission of forms, regulations also require districts to submit a copy of the Board of Education resolution stating all changes that have been requested for each school in the district.

After the district submission is received, the Commissioner will review the submissions before recommending approval to the Board of Regents.  The district must satisfactorily demonstrate that the school will be operated in an educationally sound manner; is in compliance with applicable statutes, rules and regulations relating to public schools; and will operate in accordance with applicable building codes and pursuant to a certificate of occupancy. Action on petitions submitted by March 3, 2014 will be reviewed by the Board of Regents at its July 2014 meeting.

School Registration submissions and inquiries regarding the process can be sent to: accountinfo@mail.nysed.gov

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February 2014

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Last Updated: September 2, 2014