Office of Bilingual Education and World Languages

Bilingual Office Project Initiatives

In an effort to support the education of English Language Learners (ELLs) and close the achievement gap that exists between ELLs and the general student population, the NYSED Office of Bilingual Education and Foreign Language Studies (OBE-FLS) is involved in the development and implementation of a number of new initiatives that align with the Regents Reform Agenda.  We encourage you to visit our website regularly for additional information about these programs.


CR Part 154 Review and Revision

As part of the Regents Reform Agenda’s goal of ensuring that all students in New York State are able to achieve college and career ready standards, we are engaging in a comprehensive review of Commissioner’s Regulation Part 154 to identify ways to strengthen and enhance them to better support ELLs.  In December 2011, the Board of Regents approved a stakeholder engagement process to gather input and compile recommendations for revised regulations to present to the Board in June 2012 for discussion and in September 2012 for action. 

Starting in February, the Department conducted focus groups with over 100 representatives of Institutes of Higher Education, Advocacy-Student-Parent-Community Organizations, Statewide Teacher Associations and Unions, Regional Bilingual Education Resource Networks, staff from Districts with Large ELL Populations, and members of the ESL-Bilingual Committee of Practitioners.  The Department will soon hold two additional focus groups with stakeholders with expertise in special education and pre-kindergarten education. 

These focus group discussions are informing the development of a survey the Department will distribute statewide in April 2012 regarding the current Part 154 regulations.  The focus group discussions and survey results will inform the development of proposed revisions to Part 154, which the Department plans to present to the Regents in June 2012. 

Development of Common Core Bilingual Standards

As schools/districts transition to the NYS P-12 Common Core Learning Standards, we must ensure that appropriate instructional supports are provided for all teachers working with ELLs to help them reach the same educational goals established for all students.  In March 2012, Board of Regents approved a plan to develop new Common Core Bilingual Standards (English as a Second Language and Native Language Arts) that are aligned to the NYS P-12 Common Core Learning Standards for English Language Arts.  

The Department is in the process of organizing a New York State Steering Committee for Common Core Bilingual Standards to help guide this work, which will include representatives of statewide ESL and Bilingual teacher associations; leaders of initiatives funded by the State Education Department that support the education of ELLs, such as the Regional Bilingual Education Resources Networks and the Intensive Teacher Institute; parent representatives and  other relevant stakeholders.

The Department will also form a national advisory group of ESL and NLA experts, and two statewide Committees of Practitioners, one comprised of teachers and administrators and the other comprised of district staff from district’s with large ELL populations.  Later this school year, SED expects to release ESL and NLA standard exemplars for comment by the field.

The Department is also working with CUNY-New York State Initiative for Emergent Bilinguals (Link to NYSIEB Project) to help the department develop these new Common Core Bilingual Standards.

The revised standards are currently scheduled to be presented to the NYS Board of Regents for approval in July 2012.

Teacher Evaluation and Student Learning Objectives(SLO)

On November 16, 2011 NYSED released two important resources for District leaders as they implement a critical component of the new teacher evaluation system: the Student Learning Objective (SLO) Road Map and the Guidance Documents.  These documents explain how NYS will assess the student learning growth of students in classrooms where there is no State assessment that can be used for a State provided growth or value added measure.

During the next months we will work with teachers throughout the state to develop SLOs for  ESL and NLA classes.  We will bring together exemplary educators from across the State who will work on the development of these exemplary SLOs and will be showcased on EngageNY.org this summer, and serve as models for educators across the State.  Please visit EngageNY.org for these and other SLO documents.

For more information on these initiatives, please contact the OBE-FLS at OBEFLS@MAIL.NYSED.GOV or by phone at (518) 474-8775

Last Updated: April 3, 2012