From Commissioner John B. King, Jr.
July 29, 2011
Quick links to headlines in this edition of News and Notes:
- July Meeting of the Board of Regents
- Guide to Charter Schools in New York State
- Best Practices Related to School District Cost Savings
- New York State’s Regents Advisory Council on Libraries (RAC) 2020 Vision
- Regents Adopt SEDL Guidelines
- Emergency Cancellations of Extended School Year Special Education Classes Due to Excessive Temperatures
- Alignment of New York State’s Accountability Systems under IDEA and NCLB
- Approved Preschool Special Education Programs Providing Special Education Itinerant Teacher Services
- Final RTTT Scopes of Work Are Now Posted
- Awards Posted for Clinically Rich Teacher Preparation Pilot Program RFP
- Letter to ARRA Grant Recipients
- List of Approved Teacher and Principal Practice Rubrics
- RFP: School Innovation Fund: New Schools / School Redesign Partnership
- Application for Teacher Resource and Computing Centers
- New York State Education Department Wins $113 Million in Federal Grants to Increase Public School Choice Options
At its meeting on July 18-19, the Board of Regents acted in support of the following initiatives:
Guidelines and Resources for Social and Emotional Development and Learning
The Board adopted guidelines and resources for social and emotional development and learning for voluntary implementation by school districts. The guidelines were developed through extensive collaboration with the Department’s Office of Student Support Services along with educators from around the State. The guidelines incorporate social and emotional development into elementary and secondary school education programs, as prescribed in paragraph (b) of subdivision one of section three of the Children’s Mental Health Act of 2006. The guidelines are a living document and will likely change over time.
See the Regents item on Guidelines and Resources for Social and Emotional Development and Learning for more information.
The final, adopted guidelines are available at http://www.p12.nysed.gov/sss/sedl/SEDLguidelines.pdf.
Registration of Public Schools
The Board voted to register the public elementary, intermediate, and high schools listed in the Regents item, as required by Section 100.2(p) of the Regulations of the Commissioner of Education.
See the Regents item on Registration of Public Schools for more information.
Amendment to Section 155.17 of the Regulations of the Commissioner of Education Relating to School Safety Plans
The Board voted to amend Section 155.17(e) of the Regulations of the Commissioner of Education to require that certain information relating to school safety be included in the school emergency response plan, which is confidential, rather than the district-wide school safety plan, which is available to the public.
Modification of Program Design and Evaluation Process for the Graduate Level Clinically Rich Principal Preparation Pilot Program Request for Proposals
The Board approved the modifications relating to the evaluation and design of the Graduate Level Clinically Rich Principal Preparation Pilot Program Request for Proposals. Department staff will confer with the Board on issues for discussion and advance any revisions to the design and evaluation process for this program at the September Board meeting and release the RFP later that month.
See the Regents item on the Modification of Program the Design and Evaluation Process for the Graduate Level Clinically Rich Principal Preparation Pilot Program Request for Proposals for more information.
The Board of Regents also discussed and considered policy questions for several crucial issues:
Appeals Process for Local Diplomas
The Board discussed proposed amendments to regulations to clarify that the local diploma option continues to be available under the appeals process for general education students.
Specifically, section 100.5(d)(7) allows a general education student who fails to attain a score of 65 or above on a required Regents examination for graduation to appeal his or her score if the student:
- has scored within three points of 65 on a required Regents exam for graduation and has a course average of at least 65 in the subject area of the examination;
- has received academic intervention services by the school in the subject area of the examination;
- has an attendance rate of at least 95 percent for the school year during which the student last took the examination;
- has attained a course average in the subject area of the examination that meets or exceeds the required passing grade by the school; and
- is recommended for an exemption to the passing score by his or her teacher or department chairperson in the subject area of the examination.
Students who successfully appeal one Regents Exam receive a Regents diploma, and students who successfully appeal two Regents Exams receive a local diploma.
The proposed amendments will be brought back to the Board for further discussion, and final adoption is planned for October.
See the Regents item on the Appeals Process for Local Diplomas for more information.
PARCC Assessment Update
The Board was updated on the PARCC Assessment Design process and discussed recommendations proposed to the PARCC Governing Board that adjustments be made to address concerns regarding costs and unintentional negative impacts on instruction resulting from the four separate testing administrations of the original design. The Governing Board has approved the recommendation to allow the first two components of the PARCC assessment to be optional. The approved design still requires two separate test administrations for the final summative score: performance-based assessment tasks to be administered toward the end of the school year; and a separate component of innovative, machine-scored tasks to be administered at the end of the school year.
See the Regents item on the PARCC Assessment Update for more information.
The Guide to Charter Schools in New York State contains informational topics, including charter school creation and accountability. It can be helpful to parents, teachers, charter schools, school districts, and anyone else interested in a quick overview of some basic facts about charter schools.
Best Practices Related to School District Cost Savings
School districts, BOCES, and charter schools are asked to submit their best practices for cost savings strategies here: http://www.forms2.nysed.gov/p12/mgtserv/costsavings.cfm
This will encourage other school officials to implement cost saving measures and will help the Department learn about effective ways to reduce costs while maintaining services.
The New York State Board of Regents has asked the Regents Advisory Council on Libraries (RAC) to take a visionary look at the future of library services and to develop a set of innovative policy recommendations to improve library services to the people of New York State. New York State’s RAC is asking New Yorkers to tell them what library services they will need in their local communities by 2020. Libraries and library systems are being asked to engage their customers and the general public by August 5 in discussing and answering the question, “What’s Your Vision for New York’s Libraries in 2020?” Input and ideas will help inform the development of state policies and a new statewide plan for library services. All comments, suggestions, insights, ideas, and recommendations are welcome.
Comments from the some 95 individuals and library and education organizations that responded in Phase One of the information gathering process are now posted on the RAC website at: http://www.nysl.nysed.gov/libdev/adviscns/rac/responses/. The RAC encourages members of the library and education communities that were unable to participate during Phase One to send their thoughts on the ten questions posted on the RAC webpage by August 5.
Jeffrey W. Cannell, Deputy Commissioner for Cultural Education, New York State Education Department, encourages libraries and library systems of all types to actively engage their respective communities in this second and critical phase of information gathering about future library service needs for all New Yorkers.
A downloadable 2020 Vision “widget” for placement of a brief survey on local websites is available at: http://www.nysl.nysed.gov/libdev/adviscns/rac/
For more information about the Regents Advisory Council on Libraries and to see a timetable for the development of the new statewide plan, please visit the State Library’s website at: http://www.nysl.nysed.gov/libdev/adviscns/rac/
The Board of Regents adopted the “Educating the Whole Child, Engaging the Whole School: Guidelines and Resources for Social and Emotional Development and Learning (SEDL) in New York State” on July 18, 2011. The SEDL Guidelines, which focus on the development of the whole child, can serve as a foundation for success in academic learning, ensuring that students in P-12 schools are ready for college and careers. Visit http://www.p12.nysed.gov/sss/sedl/ to learn more.
Emergency Cancellations of Extended School Year Special Education Classes Due to Excessive Temperatures
Information is available to address questions related to an approved extended school year preschool and/or school-age special education program's determination that it is necessary to cancel a day of instruction due to extremely hot weather conditions.
Please find more information at the following link: http://www.p12.nysed.gov/specialed/publications/ESY-summerheatcancel.htm
A joint memorandum from the Offices of Special Education and Accountability describes steps taken to align their respective accountability systems when identification of a school and/or district is a result of poor performance of the subgroup of students with disabilities.
Please find more information at the following link: http://www.p12.nysed.gov/specialed/spp/aligningaccountability-july2011.htm
Approved Preschool Special Education Programs Providing Special Education Itinerant Teacher Services
A joint memorandum from the Offices of Special Education and Operations and Management Services clarifies the relationship needed between preschool programs approved to provide Special Education Itinerant Teacher services and the special education teachers providing those services.
Please find more information at the following link: http://www.p12.nysed.gov/specialed/publications/SEIT-jointmemo.htm
The Race to the Top Final State Scope of Work and the Final LEA Scopes of Work and Activity Level Budgets are now posted at http://usny.nysed.gov/rttt/scopeofwork/.
The New York State Education Department is pleased to announce the institutions that have received preliminary funding for the Clinically Rich Teacher Preparation Pilot Program. These institutions will provide the services outlined in the RFP for the period of July 2011-September 23, 2014. The listing of the preliminarily funded institutions includes the contact information for the director of the pilot programs. Interested parties may contact the institution directly for further information on the program.
The list of institutions preliminarily awarded funds is available at the following link: http://www.p12.nysed.gov/compcontracts/rttt/teacherprep/instlist.pdf
A letter to District Superintendents, School Superintendents, and Other ARRA Grant Recipients has been released to ask recipients to finalize their grants before the September 30 deadline, review a list of unclaimed balances, and revisit the guidelines for accounting requirements.
The letter is available at the following link: http://usny.nysed.gov/arra/documents/letter071511.html
The New York State Education Department, as part of its implementation of the provisions of Education Law §3012-c regarding annual professional performance reviews of classroom teachers and building principals, is pleased to post its lists of Approved Teacher Practice Rubrics and Approved Principal Practice Rubrics that Local Education Agencies (LEAs) can select for use in their evaluation system.
The list of approved rubrics is available at the following link: http://usny.nysed.gov/rttt/teachers-leaders/practicerubrics/
The purposes of the School Innovation Fund are to increase high school graduation, college persistence, and college graduation rates by increasing the availability of new high quality seats for students at most risk for dropout, disengagement, and poor academic performance.
Through this grant application, NYSED seeks to identify Local Education Agencies (LEAs) and key partner organizations that are jointly committed to the rigorous work required to redesign and turnaround schools into high performing, high quality organizations.
Please find more information at the following link:
The New York State Education Department is pleased to post the 2011-2012 continuing application for Teacher Resource and Computing Centers. This application requires close alignment of programs, activities, and outcomes with the NYS Regents Reform Agenda which has the College and Career Readiness of our students and increased effectiveness of our teachers as its central goals. To help meet these goals, applicants are encouraged to incorporate rigorous activities around the implementation of the NYS P-12 Common Core Learning Standards, incorporating data analysis and application into the teaching cycle and the implementation of the new APPR as required under Education Law 3012-c to strengthen teaching and learning. By linking applicants’ activities to the work of the Race to the Top Network Teams, Teacher Centers will play a critical role in building and sustaining the capacity of our students and teachers to meet the goals set forth in the Regents Reform Agenda.
More information and the application are available at the following link: http://www.p12.nysed.gov/ocifs/teachercenterapplication.html
New York State Education Department Wins $113 Million in Federal Grants to Increase Public School Choice Options
The U.S. Department of Education has awarded the State Education Department grants totaling more than $113 million over five years to increase public school choice options in New York. The grants will provide start-up funding for new public charter schools to open across the state. Specifically, New York’s successful grant application calls for the state to use its funding to provide incentives to open schools that serve high-needs students; to replicate and expand quality schools and networks that have proven results; and to turn around the state's lowest performing schools.
The full press release is available at the following link: http://www.oms.nysed.gov/press/CharterSchGrant.113Million.html