C&I

Curriculum and Instruction

Section 80-5.12 of Commissioner’s Regulations: Experiment in Organizational Change (or, as it is commonly called, "Experimental Middle School Status")


The purpose of this communication is to clarify the "authorization" permitted under Section 80-5.12 of Commissioner’s Regulations (Experiment in Organizational Change) and to provide guidance to districts interested in submitting an application for an Experiment in Organizational Change.  When a school district is granted an Experiment in Organizational Change (or, as it is commonly called, "Experimental Middle School Status") the only assignments permissible pursuant to this regulation are:

  1. A certified elementary school teacher (i.e., a teacher of the common branch subjects) may provide instruction in one or more of the common branch subjects exclusive of those defined as special subjects in grades seven and/or eight of a middle or intermediate school; and
  2. A certified teacher of a secondary academic subject may provide instruction only in the academic subject for which he or she is certified in grades five and/or six of a middle or intermediate school.

In addition, according to Commissioner’s Regulations adopted in May 2005, a school district may not continue the assignment of a teacher in any teaching assignment covered by an Experiment in Organizational Change (Section 80-5.12) for more than five years unless the teacher has obtained the teaching certificate or certificate extension appropriate for such an assignment with one exception:

A person who holds a permanent or professional certificate in English language arts (7-12), languages other than English (7-12), mathematics (7-12), biology (7-12), chemistry (7-12), earth science (7-12), physics (7-12), or social studies (7-12) and whose teaching assignment during three of the five years of an experiment approved by the Commissioner on or before February 1, 2004 is in the subject of the certificate held but is in grades 5 and/or 6, may be issued a statement of continuing eligibility pursuant to which such person may continue to teach in such assignment without the certificate extension required for such an assignment.

Persons requiring additional information about Section 80-5.12, an Experiment in Organizational Change, should contact:

Charles McCarthy
Office of Teacher Certification, Room 5N
NYS Education Department
Albany, NY  12234
E-mail: cmccarth@mail.nysed.gov
Telephone: 518-474-3901

Making Application for an Experiment in Organizational Change
(or, as it is more commonly called, "Experimental Middle School Status")
Pursuant to Section 80-5.12 of Commissioner’s Regulations

School districts applying for an Experiment in Organizational Change pursuant to Section 80-5.12 must submit the following documentation to the State Education Department:

  1. The educational rationale – how it will benefit students – for the proposed Experiment in Organizational Change.
  2. The procedures for evaluating the impact and effectiveness of the proposed Experiment in Organizational Change.
  3. Assurance the teachers affected by the proposed Experiment in Organizational Change meet the qualification requirements related to the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001.
  4. A letter or other correspondence from the teacher bargaining unit indicating that it is aware of the district’s intention to apply for an Experiment in Organizational Change and that it does not object to the submission of the application.
  5. Proof the proposed Experiment in Organizational Change has been approved by the Board of Education (in the case of New York City, the Chancellor) upon the recommendation of the professional staff of the district.

Approval for an Experiment in Organizational Change ("Experimental Middle School Status") pursuant to Section 80-5.12 of Commissioner’s Regulations is granted to school districts, not individual schools, for a period of five years.  Permission to assign teachers in accordance with the terms of the approved Experiment in Organizational Change may be renewed for a five-year period on evidence, satisfactory to the Commissioner, of instructional benefit to the students.

Application requests for an Experiment in Organizational Change (or, as it is more commonly called, "Experimental Middle School Status") pursuant to Section 80-5.12 of Commissioner’s Regulations should be sent to:

Charles McCarthy
Office of Teacher Certification, Room 5N
NYS Education Department
Albany, NY  12234

The Regulations of the Commissioner of Education

80-5.12 Experiment in organizational change. For applications for the approval or for the renewal of approval of teaching assignments in connection with an experiment in organizational change, the requirements of subdivisions (a), (b), and (c) of this section shall apply.

  1. Any school district which proposes an experiment concerned with organizational changes that alters the definition of the elementary, junior or senior high school may be granted approval of a five-year period to employ a certified teacher (or appropriately licensed teacher in the cities of New York and Buffalo) for any teaching assignment, within the scope of the experiment, for which the teacher is deemed, by the superintendent, or other legally authorized body, qualified by education and experience provided:
    1. the proposed experiment is approved by the Board of Education upon the recommendation of the professional staff of the school district;
    2. the proposed experiment is approved by the Commissioner of Education;
    3. the proposed experiment includes appropriate procedures for evaluation;
    4. the teacher meets the qualification requirements of section 120.6 of this Title, relating to the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001; and
    5. a school district may not continue the assignment of a teacher in any teaching assignment covered by an experiment in organizational change for more than five school years unless the teacher has obtained the teaching certificate or certificate extension appropriate to such assignment or the teacher meets the requirements of subdivision (c) of this section.
  2. Permission to assign teachers in accordance with the terms of the experiment may be renewed for a five-year period on evidence, satisfactory to the commissioner, of instructional benefit to the students.
  3. A person who holds a permanent or professional certificate in English language arts (7-12), language other than English (7-12), mathematics (7-12), biology (7-12), chemistry (7-12), earth science (7-12), physics (7-12), or social studies (7-12) and whose teaching assignment covered by an experiment in organizational change during three of the five years of an experiment approved by the Commissioner on or before February 1, 2004 is in the subject of the certificate held but is in grades 5-6, may be issued a statement of continued eligibility pursuant to which such person may continue to teach in such assignment without the extension prescribed in section 80-4.3 (b) of this Part to teach the subject in grades 5-6. In order for such person to be eligible for the statement of continuing eligibility, his or her experience in teaching the subject in grades 5-6 must have occurred on or after July 1, 1993. A statement of continued eligibility shall be limited to the specific permanent or professional certificate that was extended to authorize such service but shall be valid for service in any school district. Applications for the statement of continued eligibility must be filed with the department.
Last Updated: May 14, 2009