Office of Accountability

OA E-Blast Update

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Archived E-Blast Updates

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May 2015

...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.

REGENTS ACTIONS

REGENTS UPDATES

GENERAL ANNOUNCEMENTS

REMINDERS

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REGENTS ACTIONS

Proposed Amendment of the Commissioner’s Regulations Relating to New York State’s School and District Accountability System

At its April 2015 meeting, the Board of Regents voted to approve, as an emergency action, the proposed amendment of section 100.18 of the Commissioner’s Regulations to make technical changes to the definition of how schools and districts are credited with making Adequate Yearly Progress for the “all students” group. In addition, the action clarifies the methodology the Commissioner will use to identify Local Assistance Plan (LAP) Schools, including those that meet the established progress criteria.

This amendment was created to align the Commissioner’s Regulations with New York’s approved ESEA flexibility waiver and to clarify the methodology for identification of LAP Schools.

Adopted at the April Regents meeting, the amendment became effective April 14, 2015 and will remain in effect for 90 days.  It is anticipated that the proposed amendment will be presented for adoption as a permanent rule at the July 2015 Regents meeting.

The April 2015 Regents item regarding the proposed amendment of the Commissioner’s Regulations relating to New York State’s school and district accountability system, can be found at:

http://www.regents.nysed.gov/meetings/2015Meetings/April/415p12a2.pdf

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Proposed Amendment of the Commissioner’s Regulations Relating to Student Enrollment

At its April 2015 meeting, the Board of Regents adopted as an emergency rule the proposed revised section 100.2(y) of the Commissioner’s Regulations regarding student enrollment and procedures for unaccompanied minors and other undocumented youth.

During the 2014-15 school year, many school districts across the state experienced an influx of unaccompanied minors and other undocumented youth. It has been reported that some school districts have refused to enroll unaccompanied minors and undocumented youth if they, or their families or guardians, were unable to produce documents sufficiently demonstrating guardianship and/or residency in a district.

The proposed amendment was adopted to ensure that all New York State school districts comply with federal and state laws regarding student access to public education. It is anticipated that the amendment will be presented for permanent adoption at the June 2015 Regents meeting.

The April 2015 Regents item regarding the proposed amendment of the Commissioner’s Regulations relating to student enrollment can be found at:

http://www.regents.nysed.gov/meetings/2015Meetings/April/415p12a3.pdf

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Graduation Requirements for English Language Learners

At the April 2015 Regents meeting, the Board of Regents readopted as a second emergency action the amendment to section 100.5(d)(7) of the Commissioner’s Regulations to:

  • Extend the ability of English language learners eligible to graduate in January 2015 and thereafter who meet specific conditions to appeal for a Local Diploma.
  • Clarify that the appeal process applies to English language learners who meet one or more graduation assessment requirements via an available alternative pathway and all other conditions for appeal.

It is anticipated that the proposed rule will be presented for permanent adoption at the May 18-19, 2015 Regents meeting.

The April 2015 Regents item regarding Graduation Requirements for English language learners can be found at: http://www.regents.nysed.gov/meetings/2015Meetings/April/415brca6.pdf

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 Development of a New York Statewide School Climate Index 

At its April 2015 meeting, the Board of Regents (BOR) directed Department staff to develop a New York statewide school climate index.

A school climate index is a tool that allows school buildings and districts to effectively assess and analyze school climate through school-to-school comparisons and to identify schools most in need of programmatic interventions aimed at improving school climate.

Development of the statewide school climate index will require State Education Department staff to:

  • Incorporate changes suggested by the BOR into the statewide school climate index.
  • Present a final recommendation for a statewide school climate index at an upcoming BOR meeting.
  • Provide a summary of the fiscal and personnel resources that would be required to successfully implement the recommendations.

The April Regents item regarding the statewide school climate index can be found at: http://www.regents.nysed.gov/meetings/2015Meetings/April/415p12d4.pdf

The PowerPoint presentation regarding the New York statewide school climate index can be found at: http://www.regents.nysed.gov/meetings/2015Meetings/April/SchoolClimate.pdf

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REGENTS UPDATES

2015 - 16 Enacted Budget Education Reform Initiatives

At its April 2015 meeting, the Board of Regents discussed the 2015 -16 Enacted Budget. The budget establishes or modifies several programs that will require the Board of Regents and/or the State Education Department to take action. The areas discussed included the following:

Teacher and Principal Evaluation

  • New teacher and principal evaluation plans that:
    • Must be submitted by districts and approved by November 15, 2015 by the Department in order for districts to receive their scheduled state aid increase.
    • Are composed of two categories that determine the educators’ rating: student performance and observations.

§3020-a Disciplinary Hearing Reforms:

  • Automatic revocation of the teaching certificate of a teacher who is convicted of a violent felony in which a child was a victim, and the suspension without pay pending an expedited §3020-a disciplinary hearing of an educator charged with misconduct constituting physical or sexual abuse of a student.

Tenure:

  • Extends tenure appointments for all educators from 3 years to 4 years with probationary appointments on or after July 1, 2015.
  • Requires an education in order to be eligible for tenure after the 4-year probationary period to receive a rating of either Effective or Highly Effective in at least 3 of the 4 probationary years, including the final year.  An educator who receives an Ineffective rating in the final year cannot receive tenure, but probation may be extended by an additional year at the discretion of the school district.

Intervention in Struggling Schools – Under Education Law 211-f:

  • In Persistently Failing Schools, schools that have been in the most severe accountability status since the 2006-07 school year, the superintendent is given an initial one-year period to use the enhanced authority of a Receiver to make demonstrable improvement in student performance at the “Persistently Failing School” or the Commissioner will direct that the school board appoint an Independent Receiver and submit the appointment for approval by the Commissioner.  Independent Receivers serve under contract to the Commissioner for a period of up to three years.
  • In Failing Schools, schools that have been Priority Schools since 2012-13, the superintendent is vested for an initial two-year period with the powers of an Independent Receiver.

Testing Reduction Report:

  • Submission by the Chancellor of a testing reduction report to the governor and legislature by June 1, 2015 with recommendations to:
    • Reduce the amount of state and local student testing.
    • Improve the quality of testing and reduce test-related stress and anxiety for students and educators.

Increased Admission Standards for Graduate Teacher and Education Leadership Programs:

  • Requires graduate-level teacher and leader education programs to adopt rigorous selection criteria, including but not limited to:
    • (1) Requiring that candidates have a minimum score on the GRE or substantially equivalent admission exam,
    • (2) Requiring that candidates have a 3.0 grade point average (GPA) or higher in their undergraduate program and,
    • (3) Providing an exemption to no more than 15% of the incoming class of students from such selection criteria.

Suspension and Deregistration of Graduate Teacher and Education Leadership Programs:

  • Requires that the Department suspend a graduate-level teacher and educational leadership program’s authority to admit new students if:
    • For three consecutive years, fewer than 50 percent of students who have satisfactorily completed the program pass each examination required for certification.

Registration and Continuing Education Requirements:

  • Requires teachers, teaching assistants and educational leaders, starting with the 2016-17 school year, to:
    • Register with the Department every five years.
    • Re-register every five years.
    • Satisfy 100 hours of continuing education requirements.

The April Regents item regarding the 2015-16 Enacted Budget Education Reform Initiatives can be found at: http://www.regents.nysed.gov/meetings/2015Meetings/April/415p12d10.pdf

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New York State’s Updated Equity Plan for Effective Teachers

At the April 2015 Regents meeting, Department staff reviewed updates to New York State’s equity plan regarding the equitable distribution of effective teachers. This plan is required of all state educational agencies that receive Title I, Part A funds and must be submitted to the United States Education Department by June 1, 2015.

The Board of Regents directed that State Education Department staff continue to engage with advisory and stakeholder groups and ensure Local Education Agencies have guidance and support for the development and enhancement of comprehensive talent management systems in Strengthening Teacher and Leader Effectiveness (STLE) and non-STLE districts.

The April 2015 Regents item regarding the New York State’s updated equity plan can be found at:

http://www.regents.nysed.gov/meetings/2015Meetings/April/415p12hed2.pdf

The PowerPoint presentation regarding New York State’s updated equity plan entitled “Examining Educator Excellence” can be found at:

http://www.regents.nysed.gov/meetings/2015Meetings/April/Equity.pdf                    

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Proposed Options for the Creation of Safety Nets for Candidates who take the New Teacher Certification Examinations

At its April 2015 Regents meeting, the Board of Regents discussed the possibility of providing a safety net for candidates who take the new teacher certification examinations. The discussed safety nets will apply to the Academic Literacy Skills Test, Educating All Students examination, and the redeveloped Content Specialty Tests. In addition, the proposal will extend the safety net provisions for the Education Teacher Performance Assessment (EdTPA), a student-centered multiple measure assessment of teaching.

The Department anticipates presenting regulations regarding the implementation of new safety net provisions for one or more of the new teacher certification examinations at the May 2015 Regents meeting.

The April 2015 Regents item regarding New Teacher Certification Examinations and the Creation of Safety Nets can be found at: http://www.regents.nysed.gov/meetings/2015Meetings/April/415p12hed1.pdf

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GENERAL ANNOUNCEMENTS

Preliminary Release of Accountability Status for Focus District, Focus and/or Priority School(s) for 2015-16

On Monday, April 20, 2015, the New York State Education Department (NYSED or “the Department”) provided each Focus District with information regarding whether the district and its identified Focus and/or Priority Schools made progress based on the 2012-13 and 2013-14 assessment results.

The distributed memo provides important information about the accountability designations of a district and its schools for the 2015-16 school year and next steps that the district must take based on these designations. 

If a district wishes to substitute Focus Schools that are eligible for replacement with new Focus Schools, the Focus School Substitution Form (Attachment C in the letter) must be submitted by Friday, May 15, 2015.

Appeals regarding the third year progress calculations or the Focus School Substitution List calculations should be submitted via e-mail to accountinfo@nysed.gov no later than Friday, May 15, 2015.                                                                            

The template letter sent to superintendents of Focus Districts can be accessed at: http://www.p12.nysed.gov/accountability/documents/FocusDistrict%20Memo2015-16-Template.pdf

The memo regarding the “Preliminary Accountability Status of Identified Schools for 2015-16” can be accessed at:

http://www.p12.nysed.gov/accountability/documents/GeneralMemo2015-16-Template.pdf

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Key Stakeholder Meeting Regarding School and District Receivership

In April 2015, Chapter 56 of the Laws of 2015 added a new section 211-f to Education Law that creates a School Receivership Program to address chronically underperforming schools.  The New York State Education Department is currently developing amendments to the Commissioner’s Regulations to implement the provisions of the statute and anticipates bringing the draft regulations to the May 2015 Board of Regents meeting for discussion.

On Wednesday, May 27, 2015 from 10:00 a.m. until 4:00 p.m., in the Cultural Education Building in Albany, NY, the Department will hold a statewide meeting for districts with Priority Schools and key stakeholders to provide an overview of the School Receivership law, the draft regulations, and the $75 million School Turnaround Grant Program for which “Persistently Failing Schools” are eligible to apply. The Department seeks feedback and recommendations from the invited key stakeholders and districts with Priority Schools to inform future decisions regarding School and District Receivership.  Invitations have been sent to districts with Priority Schools to send a team of up to three persons to participate in this event.

For questions regarding the Tuesday, May 27, 2015 Key Stakeholder meeting, please contact the Office of Accountability at: ACCOUNTINFO@nysed.gov   

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ESEA Think Tank Meeting Regarding the Flexibility and Autonomy for Reward Schools

On February 9, 2015, the Board of Regents directed that State Education Department staff consult with stakeholders regarding the means by which Reward Schools may obtain greater autonomy and flexibility. This action by the Board of Regents is related to New York State’s recent submission of an Elementary and Secondary Education Act Flexibility Renewal proposal for the 2015-16 through 2018-19 school years.

Members of the ESEA Think Tank have been invited to participate in a conference call on Tuesday, May 12, 2015. ESEA Think Tank members who participate in the call will be charged with developing recommendations in providing greater flexibility and autonomy to Reward Schools.  Following this meeting, Department staff will be reaching out to districts with Reward Schools to solicit further recommendations regarding flexibility and autonomy for Reward Schools.

For questions regarding the Tuesday, May 12, 2015 meeting, or to share ideas and recommendations regarding this topic, please contact the office of accountability at: ACCOUNTINFO@nysed.gov

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The 2015-16 District Comprehensive Improvement Plan, School Comprehensive Education Plan and Strategic Plan for School Excellence are Now Available

Consistent with the USDE approved ESEA Flexibility Waiver, all Focus Districts are required to develop a District Comprehensive Improvement Plan (DCIP) that details how the district plans to improve instruction and address the identified needs of Focus, Priority, and Local Assistance Plan (LAP) Schools.

All identified Priority and Focus Schools that do not have an approved SIG (1003g) or SIF plan are required to develop a School Comprehensive Education Plan (SCEP) that details the way in which identified schools are focused on increasing the quality of instruction; improving the effectiveness of the leadership and teaching; and improving student achievement and graduation rates for all students, with emphasis on identified subgroups.

Identified schools that have been active participants in the Professional Learning Community (PLC) pilot cohort are expected to develop a Strategic Plan for School Excellence (SPSE) in lieu of a SCEP.  The SPSE details the way in which identified schools are focused on increasing the quality of instruction, improving the effectiveness of the leadership and teaching; improving student achievement and graduation rates, and moving toward excellence for all throughout a three year implementation period.

The 2015-16 Focus District Plan Templates have been posted at: http://www.p12.nysed.gov/accountability/fdip/home.html

Plans are due to NYSED no later than Friday, July 31, 2015.  Technical assistance related to the templates will be provided at the May DTSDE Institute that is scheduled to be held Thursday, May 21, 2015.  If you are unable to attend the Institute alternate support options will be made available.

**Please note the 2015-18 SPSE template is for participants of the PLC cohort ONLY.

The DCIP can be found at: http://www.p12.nysed.gov/accountability/fdip/1516DCIPTemplate.xlsx

The SCEP can be found at: http://www.p12.nysed.gov/accountability/fdip/1516SCEPTemplate.xlsx

The SPSE can be found at: http://www.p12.nysed.gov/accountability/fdip/1518SPSETemplate.xlsx          

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Diagnostic Tool for School and District Effectiveness (DTSDE) Institute and the Professional Learning Community

On Thursday, May 21, 2015 the Diagnostic Tool for School and District Effectiveness (DTSDE) Institute and The Professional Learning Community (PLC) will be held concurrently at the NYS Cultural Education Center from 9:00 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Breakfast and Lunch will be served.

The Focus District Institute training is specifically designed to focus on developing high-quality School Comprehensive Education Plans (SCEP) and District Comprehensive Improvement Plans (DCIP) within the context of utilizing evidenced-based systems to examine and improve critical district and school-wide practices.  This session will not cover DTSDE reviewer practices.

The Professional Learning Community will continue with its PLC initiative.

Questions pertaining to this training session may be sent to:  DTSDEtraining@mail.nysed.gov mailbox.      

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Diagnostic Tool for School and District Effectiveness (DTSDE) Institute and Professional Learning Community (PLCP) Training - Office Hours Opportunity

One day prior to the Thursday, May 21, 2015, Institute, on Wednesday, May 20, 2015, New York State Education Department (NYSED) staff and Regents Research Fellows will host an “Office Hours” to provide an opportunity for districts to receive individualized technical assistance directly related to the drafting of the 2015-16 DCIP and SCEPs. 

District’s interested in this opportunity should indicate the name and e-mail address of the district’s designee on the registration form for the Thursday, May 21, 2015 Diagnostic Tool for School and District Effectiveness (DTSDE) Institute.  NYSED will contact the designee in order to schedule a meeting.  Please note that this support is available on a first-come, first-served basis.

Questions pertaining to this training session may be sent to: DTSDEtraining@mail.nysed.gov mailbox.

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REMINDERSDTSDE Final Report for District-led Reviews and School Reviews with District Oversight

The Diagnostic Tool for School and District Effectiveness (DTSDE) is an annual process (Commissioner’s Regulation 100.18(h) in which all Focus and Priority Schools are required to participate.  For each Focus and Priority School that is not scheduled to receive an Integrated Intervention Team (IIT) visit this year, the district must conduct a DTSDE review as follows:

  • A School Review with District Oversight focused on the Common Core Conceptual Frame (Statements of Practice 2.3, 3.2, 3.3, 3.5, 4.2, 4.3, 4.5)
OR
  • A District-led review that is either:
  • Written to the Tenet-level covering all five Tenets
  • Written to the Statement of Practice (SOP) level covering a minimum of three Tenets, one of which must be Tenet 3
Additional information on the report writing templates and documents can be found at: http://www.p12.nysed.gove/accountability/diagnostic-tool-institute/DTSDESchoolReview Documents_000.html

The document “DTSDE Guidance for School Reviews with District Oversight and Appendix” outlines the process for the School Reviews with District Oversight.  Since the District-led reviews are expected to resemble the IIT process, there is no guidance document for those reviews; however, the report templates provide additional clarification regarding the expectations for these reviews.

Please submit your DTSDE report(s) to the District and School Review Team’s Logistics Unit via email to: DTSDEreviews@mail.nysed.gov on or before Tuesday, June 30, 2015.

Questions pertaining to DTSDE reviews may be sent to:  DTSDEReviews@mail.nysed.gov mailbox.

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Reminder – Enroll in the DTSDE Learning Lab

The New York State Education Department has developed an online Learning Management System (LMS) called the Diagnostic Tool for School and District Effectiveness (DTSDE) Learning Lab. The Learning Lab is designed to provide continued training and support to all stakeholders involved in the DTSDE School and/or District Review Process.

We are inviting everyone to enroll in the DTSDE Learning Lab, which includes the DTSDE Learning Series that provides the opportunity to access a variety of stand-alone units within a series. 

Currently, we have launched two new sections entitled: “New to the DTSDE Process” and “Audience Specific Topics.” 

Also, the Beginner’s Course in the DTSDE Self-Paced Course was launched In April 2015. 

The DTSDE Learning Lab can be found at:

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

ENROLLMENT IS OPEN NOW!  Instructions to setup an account and enroll in the DTSDE Learning Lab can be found at: http://www.p12.nysed.gov/accountability/diagnostic-tool-institute/documents/CreateAnAccountandEnrollinginDTSDELearningLabNew.pdf

NEXT PUBLICATION

JUNE 2015

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Last Updated: December 9, 2015