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News and Notes Archive


From Senior Deputy Commissioner John B. King, Jr.
May 23, 2011



Dear Colleagues,

I hope this message finds you well as you enter this busy time at the end of the school year. As summer approaches, I would like to share with you an important transition now underway at the State Education Department.

As was announced at the May Regents meeting, I will assume the role of Commissioner of Education in June, following David Steiner’s departure and his return to his former position as Dean of the Hunter College School of Education. As I embark upon this new role on June 15, I want to thank you for the support you have provided me as Senior Deputy Commissioner of Education. I am deeply heartened by the trust placed in me by the Board of Regents and by my colleagues at the Department and across the State. I look forward to continuing to work with you as we persist in our efforts to close the achievement gap and ensure that New York’s students graduate from high school prepared to succeed in college and careers.

Sincerely,

Dr. John B. King, Jr.

For more information, please visit
http://www.oms.nysed.gov/press/BORElectsJohnKingCOE.html.


Quick links to headlines in this edition of News and Notes:


Regents Adopt Rules for Evaluating Teacher and Principal Effectiveness

The New York State Board of Regents adopted regulations that will implement a statewide teacher and principal performance evaluation system that includes multiple measures of educator effectiveness. The regulations, which will take effect during the 2011-2012 school year, are required by legislation enacted last year. The new law establishes a comprehensive evaluation system for all classroom teachers and building principals in New York. These evaluations will play a significant role in a wide array of employment decisions, including promotion, retention, tenure determinations, termination, and supplemental compensation, and will be a significant factor in teacher and principal professional development.

Regents Chancellor Merryl H. Tisch said, "With the help of our partners in the field, we have taken a critical step today in developing a fair and equitable system for evaluating the performance of New York’s teachers and principals – a system that will enhance the quality of education across the State."

State Education Commissioner David M. Steiner said, "This new evaluation system will help educators improve their craft by focusing professional development and coaching on their specific needs and recognizing outstanding teaching. It will help ensure that we have an effective teacher in every classroom and an effective leader in every school."

Senior Deputy Commissioner John B. King said, "As we shift to the work of implementation, our focus remains leveraging evaluations to drive improved teaching and learning."

Under the new system, each teacher and principal will receive an annual professional performance review (APPR) resulting in a single composite effectiveness score and a rating of "highly effective," "effective," "developing," or "ineffective." The composite score will be determined as follows:

  • 20% -- student growth on state assessments or a comparable measure of student achievement growth (increases to 25% upon implementation of a value-added growth model);
  • 20% -- locally-selected measures of student achievement that are determined to be rigorous and comparable across classrooms (decreases to 15% upon implementation of a value-added growth model); and
  • 60% -- other measures of teacher/principal effectiveness.

If a teacher or principal is rated "developing" or "ineffective," the school district or BOCES is required to develop and implement a teacher or principal improvement plan. Tenured teachers and principals with a pattern of ineffective teaching or performance, defined as two consecutive annual "ineffective" ratings, may be charged with incompetence and considered for termination through an expedited hearing process. The law further provides that all evaluators must be appropriately trained and that appeals procedures are to be locally established.

The evaluation system’s three components are designed to complement one another:

  • Statewide student growth measures will identify those educators whose students’ progress exceeds that of similar students, as well as those whose students are falling behind compared to similar students.
  • Locally-selected measures of student achievement will reflect local priorities, needs, and targets.
  • Teacher observations, survey tools, and other measures will provide educators with detailed, structured feedback on their professional practice.

Taken together, this information will be used to tailor professional development and support for educators to develop and improve their instructional practices, with the ultimate goal of ensuring that there is an effective teacher in every classroom and an effective leader in every school.

The regulations adopted at the May 2011 Board of Regents meeting reflect many of the recommendations of the Regents Task Force on Teacher and Principal Effectiveness as well as input received from numerous stakeholders, including conversations with Governor Cuomo, during the development of the regulations. In April, the Task Force submitted to the Board of Regents a comprehensive report containing recommendations for implementing New York’s performance evaluation system. The sixty-three member Task Force – composed of teachers, principals, superintendents of schools, school board representatives, school district and BOCES officials, and other interested parties – has been meeting regularly since September 2010. The Regents discussed various topics related to the evaluation system at their meetings in January, February and March 2011, and they discussed and reviewed the Task Force recommendations at their April meeting. At the April 2011 Regents meeting, the Task Force presented its recommendations to the Board. Thereafter, the Department presented its recommendations, which incorporated most of the Task Force’s recommendations. The Regents then directed Department staff to prepare draft regulations consistent with the day’s discussions. The Department posted those draft regulations online, seeking and receiving extensive public comment from both Task Force members and the field.

As a result of the input received from stakeholders, the Department made several key improvements to the regulations:

  • The language was revised to eliminate the limitation in the draft regulations on the use of the same measure of student growth on state assessments for both the state assessment subcomponent and the locally-selected measures subcomponent. Allowing the optional use of measures based on state tests for both growth and locally-selected measures provides flexibility to districts.
  • With regard to the 60% of teacher effectiveness that is based on "other measures": The language in the draft regulations was revised to assign at least 40 of the 60 points to classroom observations and to require multiple observations.
  • With regard to the 60% of principal effectiveness that is based on "other measures": The language in the draft regulations was revised to require that at least 40 of the 60 points be based on a broad assessment of the principal’s leadership and management actions by the building principal’s supervisor or a trained independent evaluator. The draft language was further revised to require that any remaining points be based on the results of one or more ambitious and measurable goals set collaboratively with principals and their superintendents (or their designee).
  • With respect to scoring ranges: the language in the draft regulations was revised to adjust the scoring ranges so that teachers and principals must earn better than "ineffective" ratings on at least one of the two student growth/achievement subcomponents as well as the "other 60%" measure in order to earn an overall rating higher than "ineffective." In addition, if both student achievement subcomponents are "ineffective," the overall rating will be "ineffective."

The Regents and the Department will immediately begin a series of steps to ensure the successful implementation of the regulations.

  • The Department has issued two Requests for Qualifications (RFQs) seeking teacher and principal evaluation rubrics and third party student assessments that meet state criteria and will release later this summer the resulting lists of state-approved tools for districts to choose from. Please see the RFQs at the following link: http://usny.nysed.gov/rttt/rfq/
  • The Department is also seeking, through competitive bidding, an expert provider to construct statistical measures of student growth attributed to each educator to be used as one component of evaluation. Please see the RFP at the following link: http://usny.nysed.gov/rttt/rfp/gt-07/
  • In addition, the Department invited labor and management representatives from around the state to participate in a conference about collaboration toward implementing the new evaluation regulations hosted at Cornell University’s Industrial Labor Relations school in June. The conference is sponsored by the school management and labor associations in the state.

Implementation Timeline

  • 2011-2012 School Year – New performance evaluation system takes effect for classroom teachers of common branch subjects, ELA or math in grades 4 through 8, along with their respective building principals. The Department recommends that, to the extent possible, districts and BOCES begin the process of rolling this system out for the evaluation of all classroom teachers and building principals in the 2011-2012 school year.
  • 2012-2013 School Year – New performance evaluation system goes into effect for all teachers and building principals.
  • 2012-2013 School Year and thereafter – Implementation of teacher and principal improvement plans, as appropriate; implementation of a Regents-approved value-added growth model to be used for the teacher and principal performance evaluation system.

A copy of the regulations is available at the following web address: http://www.regents.nysed.gov/meetings/2011Meetings/May2011/511bra4.pdf

The regulation was adopted as an emergency measure and will be published in the State Register for public comment on June 8, 2011. Public comment will be received for 45 days after publication.

See the webcast of the meeting at: http://usny.nysed.gov/webcasts.html#May16PM.


Deficit-reducing Changes to the New York State Assessment System

At its May 2011 meeting, the Board of Regents approved several deficit-reducing actions that impacted the New York State assessment system. Their decision included the elimination of Regents Exams in French, Italian, and Spanish.

The Department shares your disappointment with the elimination of these exams. We are committed to providing students with an education that prepares them for college, careers, 21st century citizenship, and lifelong learning through challenging curriculum in all content areas, including languages other than English (LOTE). We will continue to require that students complete at least two units of study in LOTE at some time during the grades kindergarten through nine. In addition, we encourage high school students to pursue a sequence in LOTE in order to earn a Regents diploma with advanced designation. In December 2010, the Board approved amendments to CR 100.5(b)(7), allowing students to meet the assessment requirement in those languages for which no Regents exam is available by passing a locally developed exam aligned to the Checkpoint B learning standards for LOTE.

If you have any further questions regarding the elimination of these exams, please contact the Office of Assessment Policy, Development and Administration by email at EMSCASSESSINFO@mail.nysed.gov or by phone at (518) 474 5900. Thank you for all of the work you do on behalf of the students of New York State.

Please find more information about Options for Funding the Regents Examination System below.


May Meeting of the Board of Regents

At its meeting on May 16-17, the Board of Regents acted in support of the following initiatives:

  • Options for Funding the Regents Examination System

    The Board directed staff to take the action steps listed in Chart A and Chart B in the Regents item, including:

    • Identifying additional production cost reductions, leveraging other funding streams, and making necessary changes in workforce.
    • Reducing the number of assessments printed and shipped (Regents and NCLB) to better align with the number of exams actually needed to administer. If a district chooses to order surplus exams for practice purposes, they will be responsible for the additional cost.
    • Reviewing all vendor contracts to improve cost effectiveness and canceling contracts and in-source exam activities where possible and when it is less costly.
    • Expanding the distribution of related exam materials (i.e. teachers guides, scoring instructions) electronically.
    • Eliminating the January administration of Regents exams.
    • Postponing the development of ELA 9 and ELA 10.
    • Continuing the elimination of Grades 5 and 8 Social Studies exams (eliminated in 2010-11).
    • Eliminating the Regents Italian, French, and Spanish exams.

    The Board endorsed the long-term action steps proposed by staff, which include:

    • Revising the current practice of the public release of exams after administration. Exams will be kept secure to allow items to be reused, thus producing savings on development costs.
    • Modifying the current practice of the Department printing and shipping exams to explore other options if cost effective.
    • Piloting online testing to gauge the capacity of the Department and the field to administer exams electronically and to measure security risks.

    See the Regents item on Options for Funding the Regents Examination System for more information.

  • Mandate Relief and Flexibility

    The Board approved the mandate relief and flexibility option recommendations, as described in Appendix A of the Regents item, several of which were reviewed at the February meeting. The Board also issued a vote of support for Department staff to seek further public comment on the special education options, as described in Appendix B of the Regents item.

    See the Regents item on Mandate Relief and Flexibility for more information.

  • Tenure and Seniority Rights for Teachers Performing Instructional Support Services in a BOCES

    The Board approved an amendment to Subpart 30-1 of the Rules of the Board of Regents and section 80-1.8 of the Regulations of the Commissioner of Education. The amendment authorizes teachers employed by a board of cooperative educational services (BOCES) that perform instructional support services to accrue tenure and seniority rights in new tenure areas within the BOCES that are aligned with their instructional support duties.

    The Board voted to amend subdivision (b) of section 30-1.2 of the Rules of the Board of Regents; to renumber subdivisions (c) and (d) of section 30-1.2 to subdivisions (d) and (e); to add a new subdivision (c); to amend the renumbered subdivision (d); to add a new subdivision (e); to amend subdivisions (b) and (d) of section 30-1.9 of the Rules of the Board of Regents; to amend section 80-1.7 of the Regulations of the Commissioner of Education; and to amend subdivision (a) of section 80-1.8 of the Regulations of the Commissioner of Education.

    The amendments and additions will be effective May 20, 2011 as an emergency action in order to allow a teacher employed by a BOCES to accrue tenure and seniority rights for the performance of instructional support services in one of the newly-created tenure areas so that BOCES can make budgetary and employment decisions before the new school year.

    See the Regents item on Tenure and Seniority Rights for Teachers Performing Instructional Support Services in a BOCES for more information.

  • STEM Regulations

    The Board approved a proposed amendment to allow individuals with advanced degrees in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) and related teaching experience at the postsecondary level to obtain a teaching certificate in Earth Science, Biology, Chemistry, Physics, Mathematics, or a closely-related field. The Board voted to renumber paragraphs (45) through (47) of subdivision (b) of Section 80-1.1 to paragraphs (46) through (48); to add a new paragraph (45); to amend subparagraph (i) of paragraph (2) of subdivision (a) of section 80-3.3; to amend section 80-3.7; and to add section 80-5.22 to the Regulations of the Commissioner of Education.

    The amendments and additions became effective May 17, 2011 as an emergency action to address the demonstrated shortage of certified teachers in science and mathematics in grades 7-12.

    See the Regents item on STEM Regulations for more information.

  • Technical Amendment of Section 100.2(ee)(2) of the Regulations of the Commissioner

    The Board voted to amend paragraph (2) of subdivision (ee) of section 100.2 of the Regulations of the Commissioner, concerning Academic Intervention Services. The emergency adoption became effective on May 17, 2011, and the permanent adoption will become effective June 1, 2011.

    See the Regents item on the Technical Amendment of Section 100.2(ee)(2) of the Regulations of the Commissioner for more information.

The Board of Regents also discussed and considered policy questions for several crucial issues:

  • Common Core Transition Strategy

    The Board discussed strategies to revise the State’s assessment programs to ensure that they measure the knowledge and skills that are required for students to stay on track to college and career readiness from elementary school through graduation. The strategies discussed include:

    • Possible revisions to the existing state standards in Science and Social Studies/History to ensure that they reflect rigorous expectations in each grade level and that they reflect a learning trajectory that ensures students graduate college- and career-ready.
    • Creation of four domain-specific advisory panels and an implementation panel to provide advice on each step in the assessment design and validation process.
    • Assessment design activities including conducting an analysis of the gap between the knowledge and skills currently measured by each of our exams and the knowledge and skills our exams need in order to ensure students are on track for college and career readiness.
    • Creation of an ongoing empirical validation strategy to collect a variety of evidence regarding our assessments to be used to evaluate the quality and improve the rigor of our assessments.
    • Changing the score scale to one which is consistent with the 3–8 testing program scale and reports student performance as a performance category.

    Staff will begin the research and work necessary to build on this comprehensive assessment transition strategy and will return at a later date with a proposal for a coherent sequenced system that is aligned with the New York State Common Core Learning Standards.

    See the Regents item on the Common Core Transition Strategy for more information.

  • Earning Additional Course Credit through Integrated CTE Courses

    The Board discussed staff recommendations to provide additional integrated options in grades 9-10, where currently most BOCES districts offer CTE courses in middle-level and grades 11-12. Specific career pathways available in grades 11-12 in approved CTE programs could be expanded downward to reflect specific academic and technical skill sets necessary to provide the foundational content knowledge needed for success in college and careers. The Board discussed a multi-year phase-in approach with the option for some districts to begin as early as the 2011-12 school year, by identifying existing CTE courses at the high school level that have the potential for integrated academic enhancement. Staff will begin to further develop the implementation plan and come back to a future meeting to update the Regents.

    For more information, see the Regents item on Earning Additional Course Credit through Integrated CTE Courses.

  • Career and Technical Education Approval Process

    The Board discussed the Regents-approved CTE policy permitting students to earn up to one unit each of required credit in English, science, and mathematics, and the combined unit of economics and government through integrated CTE courses in approved CTE programs. This allows students to pursue career and technical education through coursework that also offers credit for commencement-level academic skills and content. Department staff will review the existing Regents CTE policy to identify ways to expand access to high-quality CTE programs. Staff will return to the Regents at a future date with considerations for policy decisions.

    See the Regents item on the Career and Technical Education Approval Process for more information.

  • Graduation Rate Reporting

    The Board discussed several approaches to developing valid and rigorous aspirational performance standards that are aligned with college and career readiness. Among the approaches discussed were the Regents Diploma with Advanced Designation, the ELA/Math Aspirational Performance Measure and using additional course and achievement differentiation for Math. Since fewer students pursue advanced math courses, the latter approach will need further development. In the next few weeks, the Department will release the graduation rate for students who entered grade 9 in the 2006-07 school year. This release will make clear the percentage of students in the cohort – by school and district – that met the following aspirational performance standards discussed in the meeting (which can be viewed as possible indicators of potential postsecondary success): Regents Diploma with Advanced Designation and the ELA/Math Aspirational Performance Measure.

    Please see the Regents item on Graduation Rates for more information.

  • CTE Panel Presentation - Academic Integration in Approved CTE Programs

    Panel Members:

    • David Arntsen, Career and Technical Education Director, Madison-Oneida BOCES
    • Ms. Gene Silverman, Executive Director, Department of Career and Technical Education, Nassau BOCES
    • James Weimer, Principal, Emerson High School of Hospitality, Buffalo City Schools
    • Shirley Ware, Career and Technical Education Teacher, North Syracuse Central School District

    The panel presented overviews of their programs and answered questions relating to how academic integration is operationalized in their CTE approved programs. The discussion focused on current options for students to earn academic credit through integrated CTE coursework and how integrated CTE coursework improves student learning and achievement.

    See the Regents item on Integrated Academic Credit in Approved CTE Programs for more information.

  • Laboratory Requirements for Qualifying to Take a Regents Exam in Any of the Sciences

    The Board discussed the current laboratory requirements necessary for students to qualify to take a Regents Exam in any of the Sciences and recent changes and proposed additions to regulations that allow students to demonstrate achievement of the NYS Learning Standards through alternate pathways beyond traditional coursework, including online and blended learning. The Board directed staff to convene a group of science, technology, and education stakeholders, including teachers and leaders from school districts, institutions of higher education, and business and industry, to review and evaluate the science laboratory requirement; consider and appraise current available research on teaching and learning in science; and make recommendations to the Board of Regents regarding amendments to current regulations.

    See the Regents item on Laboratory Requirements for Qualifying to Take a Regents Exam in Any of the Sciences for more information.

  • School Safety Plans

    The Board discussed proposed amendments to regulations relating to district-wide school safety plans and building-level school emergency response plans. Current regulations require that the district-wide school safety plans include the minimum requirements prescribed by law; plans of evacuation and sheltering; and information on school population, number of staff, transportation needs, and the business and home telephone numbers of key officials of each educational agency within the district. Due to recent events surrounding safety and security, this confidential information will now be part of the building-level school emergency response plan, which is not shared with the general public. This proposed amendment will ensure that confidential information, including the home telephone numbers of local education officials and the tactical strategies for responding to critical events such as building evacuation and sheltering, are not disclosed to the public. These proposed regulations will be presented to the Board at the July meeting for permanent adoption.

    See the Regents item on the Proposed Amendment to Section 155.17 of the Regulations of the Commissioner of Education Relating to School Safety Plans for more information.


Additional News

  • "Bringing the Common Core to Life" Presentation

    On April 28, participants engaged with a leading author and architect of the Common Core State Standards (CCSS), David Coleman, to understand how the Core Standards for College and Career Readiness build on the work New York State has done in developing a standards-based system and their specific implications for teachers and instructional leaders state wide.

    For more information and a video of the presentation, please visit http://usny.nysed.gov/rttt/resources/bringing-the-common-core-to-life.html.

  • Common Core State Standards Resources

    The State Education Department has released several resources for implementation of the Common Core State Standards. Please visit our Race to the Top website frequently for additional updates and resources related to the Regents Reform Agenda.

    • The timeline for our phased implementation of the New York State Common Core Learning Standards (Curriculum and Assessments)
    • A sample of the Common Core State Standards resources suggested by the Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO)
    • A link to our "Bringing the Common Core to Life" Webinar featuring a talk with David Coleman, one of the authors of the Common Core State Standards. It also calls for sharing of work already done to align unit and lesson plans with the Common Core.

    Please find the resources at the following link: http://usny.nysed.gov/rttt/memos/may122011.html

  • 2011-2012 NYS Universal Prekindergarten Program

    Districts that operated a UPK program during the 2010-2011 school year are eligible to receive funding for 2011-2012. The primary purpose of this program is to provide four-year-old students with an opportunity to access high-quality prekindergarten programs that will provide the foundation to help prepare them for future school success.

    Please find more information at the following link: http://www.p12.nysed.gov/funding/2011-12upk/

  • Carl D. Perkins IV Career & Technical Education - 2011-12 Basic Grant Application for Secondary Funding

    The federal Carl D. Perkins Career and Technical Education Improvement Act of 2006 (Perkins IV) provides basic grants (Title I) to programs to improve the quality of career and technical education (CTE).

    Applications for Perkins IV funds must describe how grant monies will support the development of programs that:

    • integrate rigorous academics with career and technical instruction;link secondary education and postsecondary education to prepare students for high-skill, high-wage, high-demand occupations in current or emerging occupations; and
    • enable participating students to meet or exceed performance standards emphasized by Perkins IV.

    Please find more information at the following link: http://www.p12.nysed.gov/funding/currentapps.html#perkins

  • RFP: Evaluation of New York State Interventions in Persistently Lowest Achieving (PLA)/Schools Under Registration Review (SURR) Schools and Differentiated Accountability (DA) System

    The New York State Education Department (NYSED) is seeking proposals to evaluate the statewide implementation of school intervention models and the impact on student achievement from implementation of improvement approaches in identified Persistently Lowest Achieving (PLA)/Schools Under Registration Review (SURR) schools. The Department is also seeking services to evaluate the statewide implementation of interventions in Differentiated Accountability Improvement, Corrective Action and Restructuring phases and categories of the State accountability system and the impact on student achievement and implementation of improvement approaches in identified schools.

    Please find more information at the following link:
    http://usny.nysed.gov/rttt/rfp/ta-01/

  • RFP: New York State 21st Century Community Learning Centers (21st CCLC) Technical Assistance Resource Centers

    The Office of Student Support Services of the New York State Education Department (NYSED) is seeking to establish two technical assistance Resource Centers for the 21st Century Community Learning Centers (21stCCLC) Program. One is to be located in New York City (NYC) to provide services to NYC 21st CCLC grantees and one outside of New York City to provide services to 21st CCLC grantees in the rest of the State (ROS).

    Please find more information at the following link: http://www.p12.nysed.gov/compcontracts/10-029/

  • RFP: Technical Assistance Center for the Universal Service Discount (e-Rate) Program

    The New York State Education Department (NYSED) is seeking proposals for the provision of technical assistance and planning services related to the implementation of the Universal Service Discount (E-Rate) Program for schools and libraries in New York State.

    Please find more information at the following link: http://www.p12.nysed.gov/compcontracts/10-027/

  • RFP: Growth & Value-Added Measures of Teacher & Principal Effectiveness

    The New York State Education Department (NYSED) is seeking proposals to develop and provide Growth and Value-added Measures of Teacher and Principal Effectiveness. The requested services will include:

    • Design methodologies and produce growth and value-added measures covering teachers and principals with students in grades 4-8 taking the State English language arts (ELA) and/or mathematics assessments;
    • Design value-added methodologies and measures covering teachers and principals with students taking any existing State assessments, or new State assessments added during the contract period, that are identified by NYSED as part of the teacher and principal evaluation initiative; and
    • Design and deliver reports that effectively communicate results to parents/students, teachers, principals, schools, districts, Boards of Cooperative Educational Services (BOCES), Teacher and Principal Preparation programs, and the New York State Education Department (NYSED).

    Please find more information at the following link:
    http://usny.nysed.gov/rttt/rfp/gt-07/

  • RFQ: Teacher and Principal Practice Rubric Providers

    The New York State Education Department, as part of its requirement to implement the provisions of Education Law §3012-c, regarding annual professional performance reviews of classroom teachers and building principals, is soliciting qualification proposals from Teacher and Principal Practice Rubric providers.

    Please find more information at the following link: http://usny.nysed.gov/rttt/rfq/rubric.html

  • RFQ: Student Assessments for Teachers' & Principals' Evaluations

    In order to implement the provisions of Education Law §3012-c, regarding annual professional performance reviews of classroom teachers and building principals, the New York State Education Department (NYSED) is soliciting proposals for assessments that will be used as measures of student achievement or growth and will subsequently contribute to teachers’ and principals’ annual performance appraisals.

    Please find more information at the following link: http://usny.nysed.gov/rttt/rfq/assessment.html

  • Dignity for All Students Act Update

    The Dignity for All Students Act (Dignity Act) takes effect on July 1, 2012. The ultimate goal of the Dignity Act (Chapter 482 of the Laws of 2010) is to provide students in public elementary and secondary schools (including BOCES and public charter schools) with a safe and supportive environment free from discrimination, intimidation, taunting, harassment, and bullying on school property, on a school bus, or at a school function.

    To assist schools in implementing the Dignity Act, a Task Force has been established which includes representatives from a wide range of professional associations representing school administrators, school boards, teachers, parents, mental health professionals, as well as advocacy groups, and other State agencies.

    Over the next several months, the Task Force will be developing guidance materials to assist schools in implementing the Dignity Act, as well recommending amendments to Commissioner’s Regulations related to the goals of the Dignity Act. This will include guidance on amending codes of conduct; guidance on school training programs to raise the awareness of all employees and enable them to respond to and prevent discrimination or harassment (including bullying) on school property, at a school function, or on a school bus; as well as guidance on matters related to the identification and training of at least one staff-person to handle issues related to discrimination based on race, color, weight, national origin, ethnic group, religion, religious practice, disability, sexual orientation, gender, and sex. These materials will be disseminated to schools during the first half of the 2011-12 school year.

    As the work of the Task Force progresses, additional articles will be included in future issues of News and Notes. Questions on the Dignity for All Students Act may be directed to the Student Support Services Office at (518) 486-6090 or you may email questions to Laura Sahr at: lsahr@mail.nysed.gov.

  • No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB) - Title III - Programs for Limited English Proficient/ English Language Learners (LEP/ELLs)

    Please see the memo to the field reminding LEAs to review and follow the federal guidance when completing their NCLB Title III 11-12 application. LEAs that did not meet their AMAOs (Title III accountability) should follow the same guidance when developing their Plans. If you have any questions, please contact the Office of Bilingual Education and Foreign Language Studies (OBE-FLS) at (518) 474-8775.

    Link to memo: http://www.p12.nysed.gov/biling/docs/TitleIIIMemotoFieldApril2011-Final.pdf

  • 2011-2012 CR Part 154 - NYS Reporting Requirements for the Education of Limited English Proficient (LEP) Students

    Under CR Part 154, LEAs are required to develop a Comprehensive Plan to meet the educational needs of LEP students (CR §154.3[a]) and to submit an annual Data/Information Report as required under CR §154.3[a][f].

    Please see the link below for additional information on the 2011-2012 CR Part 154 requirements: Guidance Document, LEA General Information Form, and Part 154 Data Report Forms A-1 to A-7.

    Link: http://www.p12.nysed.gov/biling/bilinged/NEWCRPT.154.html

    The CR Part 154 Comprehensive Plan and the Data/Information Reports must be completed in full and submitted to the State Education Department (SED) no later than September 30, 2011.

  • NCLB Title III LEP 2011–12 Allocations

    NYSED is preparing to calculate 2011–12 NCLB Title III LEP allocations to Local Education Agencies (LEAs). The allocations are based on the number of limited English proficient (LEP) students in each LEA.

    LEAs should review the counts in the reports available May 5 – May 27, make corrections to inaccurate public and charter school student data in their local student management systems, and ensure that the revised data are loaded into Level 2 of the SIRS by May 27.

    If you have any questions regarding these procedures, please call the Office of Bilingual Education and Foreign Language Studies at (518) 474-8775 or the Office of Information and Reporting Services at (518) 474-7965.

    Please see the following memo for additional information:
    http://www.p12.nysed.gov/biling/docs/
    NCLBTitleIIILEPAllocationsMemoFinalApril2011.pdf

  • Annual Measurable Achievement Objectives (AMAOs) for LEP/ELL Students

    Each year, the U.S. Department of Education requires SEAs to inform LEAs about their NCLB Title III accountability based on students’ assessment results from the prior school year. The Annual Measurable Achievement Objectives (AMAOs) information for Limited English Proficient Students/English Language Learners (LEP/ELLs) students has been posted to our web page.

    Please see the AMAO memo about new requirements and new submitting dates: http://www.p12.nysed.gov/biling/docs/AMAOMemotoFieldMay2011-Final.pdf

  • Four New York State Middle Schools to be Honored at National Conference

    Three New York State middle schools will be newly designated as Schools to Watch at the National Forum to Accelerate Middle Grades Reform, National Schools to Watch Conference in Washington, DC. Garden City Middle School of Garden City, Hugo Newman College Preparatory School –PS/IS 180 of Manhattan, and Carrie Palmer Weber Middle School of Port Washington will be recognized for their outstanding middle level programs. Joining these schools and receiving a second designation, will be Pioneer Middle School of Yorkshire. The schools will be honored on June 23 at a gala dinner featuring US Secretary of Education, Arne Duncan.

    These schools are among 98 schools across the nation to be honored this year. New York is one of 19 states that participate in Schools to Watch, adopting the name Essential Elements Schools to Watch (EE-STW) as the state title for the program. Each school was selected for its academic excellence, its responsiveness to the needs and interests of young adolescents, and its commitment to helping all students achieve at high levels. In addition, each school has strong leadership, teachers who work together to improve curriculum and instruction, and a commitment to assessment and accountability to bring about continuous improvement. New York is home to 18 of the 287 Schools to Watch in the nation, all of which continue on a trajectory of improvement in academic excellence, social equity, and developmental responsiveness. For more information on Schools to Watch and the Essential Elements Schools to Watch program, please visit:
  • Response to Intervention (RtI) Guidance and Clarification

    The United States Department of Education (USDOE), Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP) has issued guidance and clarification regarding the relationship between Response to Intervention (RtI) and evaluations pursuant to the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA).

    Please see the memo at the following link: http://www.p12.nysed.gov/specialed/RTI/federalguidance-511.htm

  • Local Diploma Safety Net Options for Students with Disabilities

    A memorandum is available to remind school districts of the upcoming change in the local diploma options for students with disabilities and school personnel should ensure that the State’s policy on safety net diploma options is clear to parents of students with disabilities.

    Please see the memo at the following link: http://www.p12.nysed.gov/specialed/publications/localdiplomaoptions-may2011.htm

  • New York State Laws and Regulations that Differ from Federal Requirements

    The New York State Education Department has taken steps to conduct a comprehensive and thorough review of its laws and regulations that apply to the education of students with disabilities. The summary, as required by 20 United States Code (USC) § 1407(a)(2), provides a list of New York State laws and regulations that differ from federal requirements in effect on the date of the analysis.

    Please see the memo at the following link: http://www.p12.nysed.gov/specialed/publications/partb-analysis-cover.htm

  • Out-of-State Placements

    A memorandum containing important information concerning placements of students with disabilities in approved out-of-State residential schools and emergency interim placements for the 2011-12 school year is available to remind school districts of their responsibilities to submit timely and appropriate documentation for approval of State reimbursement for placements of students with disabilities in out-of-State residential programs in accordance with State regulations and the procedures of the Commissioner.

    Please see the memo at the following link: http://www.p12.nysed.gov/specialed/applications/outofstate-memo.htm

  • Revised Funding Structure for the State-Supported Schools for Blind and Deaf Students (4201 Schools)

    In contrast to the current funding structure in which the State directly pays the State-supported schools for blind and deaf students (4201 schools) for allowable costs, Chapter 58 of the laws of 2011 amended sections 4204, 4204-a, 4204-b and 4207 of the Education Law to require school districts, beginning with the 2011-12 school year, to pay tuition for the ten-month school year based on a per pupil charge to the 4201 schools in the first instance. The school district that is responsible for paying tuition is the student’s district of residence at the time the student is admitted to the 4201 school. The State will reimburse a school district for the positive difference between its tuition payments and basic contribution. The State will reimburse a school district during the last quarter of the 2011-12 school year for tuition incurred through December 31, 2011 provided the school district submits a claim to the Department on or before June 1, 2012. The State will continue to pay the 4201 school directly for their deaf infant program costs and ten-month school year maintenance (room and board) costs. The State will also continue to pay the Dormitory Authority for the debt service costs of the 4201 schools. The funding structure for the summer school special education programs of the 4201 schools remains the same.


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Last Updated: June 30, 2011