Office of Accountability

OA E-Blast Update

January 2014|February 2014|March 2014|May 2014|June 2014|September 2014|October 2014

Archived E-Blast Updates


November 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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Pathways to Graduation

The Board of Regents voted to direct staff to prepare amendments that it could adopt to establish multiple, comparably rigorous assessment pathways to graduation for all students; establish a two-year Global History and Geography course requirement, and modify the design of the Global History Regents Exam. Prior to adoption, there will be a period for public comment.

Currently, students are required to pass five Regents exams in high school in order to graduate – one each in English, science, math, as well as the U.S History and the Global Studies and Geography exams. 

The new regulations, which are scheduled to be presented for action by the Board of Regents in January 2015, will include a “4+1” option that permits a student to meet graduation assessment requirements by passing Regents examinations in English language arts, math, science, and social studies, plus an additional Regents examination or a comparably rigorous examination approved by the Commissioner.

The 4+1 option will  apply to  students who first entered ninth grade in September 2011 and thereafter OR students who are otherwise eligible to receive a high school diploma in June 2015 and thereafter AND have passed four required Regents exams (or Department-approved alternative assessments) in English, mathematics, science and social studies.

The new regulations will create graduation pathways in the Humanities; Science Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM); Biliteracy/Languages Other Than English (LOTE); Career and Technical Education (CTE), and the Arts; students pursuing any of these pathways must pass one of the following assessments in place of the fifth assessment currently required for graduation:

  • One additional social studies Regents exam or Department-approved alternative (Humanities Pathway); or
  • One additional Regents exam in a different course in mathematics or science or a Department-approved alternative (STEM Pathway); or
  • A pathway assessment in a Language Other Than English (LOTE) approved by the Commissioner (which could include a Biliteracy Pathway); or
  • A career and technical education pathway assessment approved by the Commissioner, following successful completion of an approved CTE program (CTE Pathway); or
  • An arts pathway assessment approved by the Commissioner (Arts Pathway)

To ensure that pathway assessments are of sufficient rigor, validity and reliability, the regulations establish the conditions and criteria by which these assessments may be approved by the Commissioner.

A CTE assessment that meets the approved alternative requirements for Science can be substituted for the required Science Regents exam.

The Regents Item regarding Pathways to Graduation can be found at:

The Regents Power Point presentation regarding Pathways to Graduation can be found at:

Transition to the Regents Examination in Algebra I (Common Core)

The Board of Regents voted to amend §100.5(g)(1)(ii)(a) of the Commissioner's Regulations to provide additional flexibility in the transition to the Common Core-aligned Regents Examination in Algebra I. This provision, at the discretion of the local school district, allows students receiving Algebra I (Common Core) instruction to take the Regents Examination in Integrated Algebra in addition to the Regents Examination in Algebra I (Common Core) at the June 2015 test administration.  The amended regulations allow these students to meet the requirement for graduation by passing either of the examinations.

The Regents Item regarding the examination in Algebra I (Common Core) can be found at:


Revised 1003(a) School Improvement Grant Expenditure Plan and Application

Currently the New York State Education Department (NYSED) provides 1003(a) funding for Focus Districts through two main grant programs: Basic School Improvement Grants and Leadership-STEM Grants.  NYSED also funds several supplemental programs through supplemental allocations for the Basic School Improvement Grant.  These supplemental programs are managed by NYSED with the support of the Regents Research Fund and include: Professional Learning Community (PLC), Diagnostic Tool for School and District Effectiveness (DTSDE) Certification, Reward School Mentoring for Focus and Priority School principals, and Clinically Rich Teacher Preparation internship activities for student and cooperating teachers in high needs districts.

All 1003(a) programs for Focus Districts will now be merged into a single grant and the Basic 1003(a) grant allocations that were previously approved will be doubled. Therefore, each Title I Focus District will receive the following allocation(s):

  • Title I Focus District base allocation: $100,000 per district
  • Title I Priority School: $100,000 per school
  • Title I Focus School: $60,000 per school

No new application is required to fund Leadership-STEM programs.  Supplemental program allocations will not require separate forms or verification. Districts will only be required to submit revised Allocation Charts, Program Narrative Charts and budget amendments for their approved Basic 1003(a) School Improvement Grant to access funds for all activities.  Focus Districts can now access funding to support Leadership-STEM and supplemental programs with minimal forms and processing.   

The revised 2014-15 Title I School Improvement Section 1003(a) Basic School Improvement Grant has been posted at:

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Preliminary 2014-15 School Year Allocations for Federal (NCLB) Programs NOW AVAILABLE

Allocations for the following are now available:

  • Title I Parts A & D
  • Title II, Part A
  • Title III, Part A - LEP
  • Title III, Part A - Immigrant Education
  • Title IV, Part B

Information pertaining to the preliminary allocations for Federal (ESEA) Programs is posted at:

Preliminary allocations for Title I, Parts A and D are based on the final eligible child count numbers that will be used to compute the final allocations later in the year. The final 2014-15 allocation figures, usually available by the close of the calendar year, can differ from the posted figures mainly due to revised data received from the Charter School LEAs, plus the incorporation of the reallocated monies from prior year’s unspent funds. While most of the resulting changes occur in the allocations for the LEAs that “send” their residents to a charter school, sometimes there are also small changes in the allocations for other LEAs.

If you have questions or need additional information, feel free to contact the Title I office at: CONAPPTA@MAIL.NYSED.GOV.

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USDE/New York Rural Education Achievement Program (REAP) Small, Rural School Achievement (SRSA)-Draw Downs as of October 20, 2014

New York State districts/LEAs that have received a REAP SRSA grant award in either or both of fiscal years (FY) 2012 and 2013 and have unspent balance(s) remaining for each grant should review the notification from USDE/REAPSEA, including the SRSA Spreadsheet(s).

NYS districts/LEAs that had remaining FY 2012 balances needed to obligate those grant monies by September 30, 2014 and liquidate all obligated funds by Tuesday, December 30, 2014. For the FY 2013 SRSA grant awards, grantees need to obligate award funds by Wednesday, September 30, 2015 and liquidate those obligated funds by Wednesday, December 30, 2015.

Latest News regarding Title VI, Part B – REAP can be found at:

The USDE Notification and REAP SRSA draw-downs can be found at:

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United States Department of Education (USDE) Issues New Application for ESEA Waiver Renewal

On Thursday, November 13, 2014, the USDE issued new guidance and an application for states seeking renewal of their approved Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) Waiver proposals.  New York State has the option of applying for either a three or a four year renewal.  The State Education Department is working with the ESEA Renewal Think Tank, composed of stakeholders from across the state, to develop the new application for submission to the Board of Regents for consideration. The new application, as well as accompanying guidance can be found at:  

Prior to submission of the application, the Department will seek public comment on the draft application.

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Enrollment Procedures for Immigrant Students

In response to the unprecedented numbers of unaccompanied and other undocumented immigrant children from Central and South America this year and reports that unaccompanied minors have been excluded from enrolling in certain school districts, the New York State Education Department and the Office of the Attorney General will conduct a compliance review of school districts’ enrollment policies to ensure all students receive appropriate free public education to which they are entitled.

The presentation posted at provides an overview of the requirements relating to the enrollment and provision of services to unaccompanied minors and other undocumented youth.

Additionally, a memo related to Enrollment Procedures for Immigrant Students can be found at:

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Mandatory McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act Training for the 2014-15 School Year 

To ensure that all NYS school districts are aware of their responsibility regarding the identification of eligible homeless students, as well as provide services to help these students succeed in school, NYSED is requiring school districts to participate in one of this year’s McKinney-Vento Workshops or webinars hosted by our technical assistance center, NYS-TEACHS. The dates for the workshops and webinars can be found at this website: 

The October McKinney-Vento Field memo can be found at:

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Statewide Strategic Plan for Science and Survey 

A draft Statewide Strategic Plan for Science has been collaboratively developed by the New York State Education Department, members of the Science Content Advisory Panel, the Statewide Leadership Team (Science), and representatives of the NYS Science Education Consortium. The plan would guide a comprehensive approach toward improving P-12 science education statewide, while specifically addressing a mission and vision that incorporates six critical components simultaneously: Standards, Curriculum, Professional Development to Enhance Instruction, Assessment, Materials and Resource Support, and Administrative and Community Support. 

At its October 2014 meeting, the New York State Board of Regents directed Department staff to post the Statewide Strategic Plan for Science for public review and comment. The Regents Item related to the

Statewide Strategic Plan for Science may be accessed online at:

A survey to collect feedback regarding the Statewide Strategic Plan for Science is available at:

Please review the Statewide Strategic Plan for Science by visiting:

The survey will be available until Wednesday, December 3, 2014. 

Thank you, in advance, for participating in the review of the Statewide Strategic Plan for Science.

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2015 Invitation to Apply for NYS Green Ribbon School Nomination

The aim of USDE Green Ribbon Schools (ED-GRS) is to inspire schools, districts and Institutions of Higher Education (IHEs) to strive for 21st century excellence, by highlighting exemplary practices and resources that all can employ. To that end, the award recognizes schools, districts, and IHEs that:

  1. Reduce environmental impact and costs;
  2. Improve the health and wellness of schools, students, and staff; and
  3. Provide environmental education, which teaches many disciplines, and is especially good at effectively incorporating STEM, civic skills, and green career pathways.

New York State is participating in the fourth year of the ED-GRS program. Public and non-public schools are invited to apply to the New York State Education Department Office of Facilities Planning for this national recognition, which started on Monday, October 20, 2014.

The New York State Education Department is permitted to nominate as many as five schools or school districts with any grades between Pre-K to Grade 12 to the USDE. New York State has opted not to participate in the school district award.

The 2015 NYS Green Ribbon Schools Application must be submitted online before 3:00 PM on Friday, December 12, 2014.

New York State Green Ribbon Schools application materials and submission details are located on the Office of Facilities Planning web site at the following link:

An archived webinar about the New York State Green Ribbon Schools program and application process can be found at the following link:

To receive updates about the NYS Green Ribbon Schools program, you are encouraged to complete and submit the 2015 NYS Green Ribbon Schools Program Interest Form at the following link:


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Diagnostic Tool for School and District Effectiveness (DTSDE) Institute

The next Diagnostic Tool for School and District Effectiveness (DTSDE) Institute will be held on January 8-9, 2015 at the Empire State Plaza Convention Center located in Albany, NY.

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Local Assistance Plan (LAP) Schools

LAP designations were announced in August 2014.  For districts in Good Standing, the Diagnostic Self-Review Document and Report Template should have been approved by the local board of education (or the Chancellor in New York City) and posted to the district’s website by Friday, November 21, 2014. The Diagnostic Self-Review Document and Report Template can be found online at:



January 2015

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Last Updated: January 16, 2015