From Deputy Commissioner Ken Slentz
February 6, 2012
Quick links to headlines in this edition of News and Notes:
- Commissioner King: Your Critical Role
- Commissioner King's 2012-13 P-12 Budget Presentation
- State Education Department Releases Draft ESEA Waiver; Requests Public Comment
- January Meeting of the Board of Regents
- Update on Submission of Reports Concerning Lawyers who Provide Legal Services to BOCES and School Districts (Education Law §2053)
- Federal 21st Century Community Learning Center (CCLC) Funding
- Education Department Announces Auditions for the New York State Summer School of the Arts
- Public Comment - Proposed Amendment to Sections 200.4 and 200.16
- Annual State Application under Part B of IDEA as Amended in 2004 for Federal Fiscal Year 2012
- 2011-12 Application for Exception to the One Percent Cap on Proficient or Above Scores Based on Alternate Achievement Standards
- Guidelines for Determining a Student with a Disability’s Need for a One-to-One Aide
- National Missing Children's Day Poster Contest
- Call for Volunteer Peer Reviewers for 2012 Charter School Applications
- New York State Tax Cap
- 2012-2015 School District Performance Improvement Competitive Grant Program
- RFP: Longitudinal Data System Training Institute and Technical Assistance Center
- RFP: Angelo Del Toro Puerto Rican/Hispanic Youth Leadership PR/HYLI
- RFP: Transcribing New York State Exams and Related Materials into Braille
On January 9, Commissioner King sent a letter to over 240,000 educators across the state about implementing the Common Core.
On January 23, Commissioner King gave his 2012-13 P-12 budget testimony at the Joint Legislative Budget Hearing. See his presentation here:
New York’s draft of its request for a waiver of Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) requirements is now ready for review and public comment. By submitting this request, New York is requesting flexibility through the waiver of specific ESEA provisions and their associated regulatory, administrative, and reporting requirements.
In submitting a waiver request, New York will be seeking to:
- Incorporate into New York’s accountability system a growth component and standards that are better aligned with college- and career-readiness.
- Create a more coherent system of classification of school and districts with performance categories better matched to New York’s needs.
- Better align supports and interventions for identified schools and districts with key components of the Regents’ Reform Agenda, such as implementing the Common Core State Standards (CCSS), creating a system of data-driven inquiry in schools, and promoting teacher and principal effectiveness through systemic professional development aligned to principal and teacher evaluations.
- Develop additional measures of school success and begin the immediate use of some of these for identifying Reward Schools.
See the January 2012 Committee Reports for a summary of all Board of Regents actions and discussions, including charter school actions.
At its meeting on January 9-10, the Board of Regents acted in support of the following initiatives:
New York State’s Next Generation Accountability System
The Board directed the Commissioner and the Department to issue for public comment a draft Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) Waiver Application based upon the materials provided to the Board of Regents at its November 2011, December 2011, and January 2012 meetings. The Board discussed the following recommendations:
- that the growth to proficiency trajectory be three years rather than four;
- that for determination of Focus School designation, New York City be analyzed based on a community school district performance;
- that the gap reduction computation for Safe Harbor remain a 10% closure target; and
- that for transfer high schools that may be considered for Priority designation, New York will compare the combined performance indexes generated through use of the regular and transfer high school cohort definitions.
See the Regents item on New York State's Next Generation Accountability System for more information.
The January 2012 draft waiver application has been released for public comment. To see the waiver and submit comments, please visit:
Skills and Achievement Commencement Credential for Students with Severe Disabilities
The Board voted to adopt the amendment of sections 100.5, 100.6, 100.9, and 200.5 of the Regulations of the Commissioner of Education to replace the current individualized education program (IEP) diploma with a Skills and Achievement Commencement Credential for students with severe disabilities who have taken the New York State Alternate Assessment (NYSAA).
See the Regents item on the Skills and Achievement Commencement Credential for Students with Severe Disabilities for more information.
The Board of Regents also discussed and considered policy questions for several crucial issues:
Dignity for All Students Act
The Board discussed proposed amendments to regulations that would require school district and BOCES codes of conduct to include provisions to comply with the Dignity for All Students Act. Specifically included in the proposed amendments are:
- provisions prohibiting discrimination and harassment against any student by employees or students on school property or at a school function and provisions for responding to such acts of discrimination or harassment;
- a bill of rights and responsibilities of students focusing on positive behavior and a safe and supportive school climate; and
- guidelines and programs for in-service education programs for all district staff members.
Following a public comment period, the proposed amendments will be presented to the Board for action. See the Regents item on Codes of Conduct for more information.
The Board also discussed proposed amendments to regulations to revise provisions relating to courses of instruction in civility, citizenship, and character education to ensure compliance with the Dignity for All Students Act. The proposed amendment does not apply to charter schools. Following a public comment period, the proposed amendments will be presented to the Board for action. See the Regents item on Instruction in Civility, Citizenship, and Character Education for more information.
The Board was referred to the Department’s online guidance that relates to bullying and cyberbullying. While cyberbullying is not included in either of the proposed amendments, school districts can include provisions in their codes of conduct. See the Department’s Guidance on Bullying and Cyberbullying for more information.
Special Education Impartial Hearings
The Board discussed proposed amendments to regulations to ensure that special education impartial hearings are conducted in an efficient and expeditious manner and in accordance with federal regulations governing the timeline requirements to conduct these hearings. The proposed rule addresses the following procedural issues:
- certification and appointment of IHOs;
- consolidation of multiple due process requests for the same student;
- prehearing conferences;
- withdrawals of requests for due process hearings;
- extensions to the timelines for an impartial hearing decision; and
- a timeline to render a decision.
Following a public comment period, the proposed amendments will be presented to the Board for action.
See the Regents item on Special Education Impartial Hearings for more information.
Potential Revisions of High School Graduation Requirements to Provide Safety Net Options for Students with Disabilities
The Board discussed recommendations for the establishment of new safety net diploma requirements. The discussion focused on several options for consideration by the Regents including the provision of alternatives within the existing safety net to students scoring at least 55 on all five of the currently required Regents exams; and allowing students to substitute courses aligned with the Career Development and Occupational Studies (CDOS) Standards and/or integrated/specialized career and technical education courses or other courses that prepare students to achieve their postsecondary goals for currently required courses and credits. The Board endorsed the convening of a workgroup to develop recommendations for a revised graduation safety net for students with disabilities.
The Board was given an update on legislative proposals related to P-12, including proposals for Mandate Relief and Flexibility; Board of Regents Intervention in Chronically Underperforming Schools; BOCES as Regional Leaders; and the DREAM Act.
Due Process Procedures for Criminal History Record Checks of Prospective School Employees and Applicants for Certification
The Board discussed the proposed amendment to section 87.5 of the Regulations of the Commissioner of Education to eliminate oral argument in appeals by prospective school employees of clearance denials resulting from criminal history record checks.
Update on Submission of Reports Concerning Lawyers who Provide Legal Services to BOCES and School Districts (Education Law §2053)
Section 2053 requires all school districts and BOCES to submit to the Attorney General, the State Comptroller, and the State Education Department information concerning all lawyers who provide legal services to the districts or BOCES for each fiscal year. A single electronic filing system, accessed through the NYSED Business Portal allows districts and BOCES to only have to submit data once that can then be accessed by all three agencies. For more information, please visit: http://www.p12.nysed.gov/mgtserv/2053/
A current round of Federal 21st Century Community Learning Center (CCLC) funding will sunset on June 30, 2012. This will result in available funding and the issuance of a new competitive Request for Proposals (RFP). In past years, the 21st CCLC RFP was issued in January, with a tentative program start date of July. For the 2012 cycle, the RFP will be released in the spring. Programs are expected to be funded as of September 1, 2012, with a grant period of 4.75 years.
The change in the 21st CCLC funding period results from President Obama’s Elementary Secondary Education Act Waiver Package, which allows States to request flexibility in how federal funds are utilized. The package contains an optional waiver that would allow States to use 21st CCLC funds to support expanded learning through actions such as extending the school day, week, or year for all students; or provide additional time for teacher collaboration and planning. Work is already underway to determine how 21st CCLC programs may optimize the waiver, if utilized, while maintaining the integrity and mission of school and community partnerships, educational enrichment, youth development, and family literacy opportunities. In the coming weeks we will be sending a survey to the field to garner public feedback, so interested stakeholders will have an opportunity to have input into this process as well.
For more information, please contact Betsy Morcom-Kenney, 21st CCLC State Coordinator, at: 518-486-6090.
Education Department Announces Auditions for the New York State Summer School of the Arts
Auditions for the 2012 New York State Summer School of the Arts (NYSSSA) begin in January and will be held throughout New York State. See a complete schedule of audition sites, application materials, and program information.
NYSED has proposed to amend sections 200.4 and 200.16 of the Regulations of the Commissioner of Education relating to preschool and school-age individual evaluations. Written comments on the proposed amendment will be accepted for 45 days after its January 4, 2012 publication in the New York State Register.
For more information, please visit: http://www.p12.nysed.gov/specialed/comment/announce-evaluations.htm
New York State’s Annual State Application Under Part B of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) for Federal Fiscal Year 2012 has been posted for public review for 60 days. Written public comment on the IDEA Part B Application will be accepted for 30 calendar days starting January 18, 2012.
For more information, please visit: http://www.p12.nysed.gov/specialed/idea/announce-partB-comment.html
2011-12 Application for Exception to the One Percent Cap on Proficient or Above Scores Based on Alternate Achievement Standards
During the 2011-12 school year, local educational agencies (LEAs) may request an exception from NYSED to exceed the 1.0 percent cap in counting as proficient and advanced the scores of students with the most significant cognitive disabilities based on alternate academic achievement standards. The application by which LEAs may request an exception from NYSED is now available.
For more information, please visit: http://www.p12.nysed.gov/specialed/applications/1percent-2012.htm
A memorandum to provide guidance to assist Committees on Preschool Special Education and Committees on Special Education in determining a student with a disability’s need for a one-to-one aide is now available.
For more information, please visit: http://www.p12.nysed.gov/specialed/publications/1-1aide-jan2012.htm
The New York State Police, in cooperation with the U.S. Department of Justice’s Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Child Protection Division, is promoting participation in the yearly National Missing Children's Day Poster Contest. Information, including a letter from State Police Superintendent Joseph A. D'Amico, fact sheet/instructions, prior winning posters, an application, and a participation certificate, is available at http://www.amber.ny.gov .
Any questions regarding this contest should be directed to NYSP Investigator Mary Beth Horn of the Special Victims Unit at 518-464-7138 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
The NYSED Charter School Office is seeking up to 20 volunteer peer reviewers to assist in the review of Full Applications received during NYSED’s 2012 Round 1 charter school application review cycle. Peer reviewers are individuals with professional knowledge and experience working in educational organizations, which may include traditional public schools, charter schools, or parochial schools, as well as individuals with legal, finance, and non-profit management experience. We value the participation of charter school operators in the review process, and this is a unique professional development opportunity. Full information, materials, and instructions for applying can be found at http://www.p12.nysed.gov/psc/startcharter.html#z. If you are interested in serving, please submit your materials before February 10, 2012.
The State Education Department and the Office of the State Comptroller will hold an online informational training on complying with the New York State Tax Cap (Chapter 97, Laws of 2011) on Wednesday, February 15, 2012 from 2:00 – 4:00 p.m. Sign on begins at 1:15 PM.
If you would like to participate in the webinar on February 15, please visit the following link for more information:
The 2012-2015 School District Performance Improvement competitive grant program provides grants to public school districts that: have demonstrated the most success in increasing student performance, narrowing the achievement gap, and increasing academic performance among students with the greatest educational needs and; that have submitted a high quality plan that shows the most promise of building upon this success. For purposes of this RFP, students with the greatest educational needs are defined as African American students; Hispanic students; students with disabilities, including students who have been declassified in the previous two years; English Language Learners, including students who have been deemed to have achieved proficiency during the previous two years; and economically disadvantaged students, including students that receive free or reduced-priced lunch.
For more information, please visit:
NYSED is seeking proposals for the Longitudinal Data System Training Institute and Technical Assistance Center to provide materials, training, and assistance to Regional Data Centers in support of the Department’s collection and reporting of enrollment, assessment, State, and No Child Left Behind accountability, career and technical education, graduation rate, post-graduation plans, teacher/principal evaluation, and school staff data for school districts, public schools, charter schools, BOCES, and nonpublic schools in New York State.
For more information, please visit:
NYSED is seeking proposals from qualified applicants to plan and conduct the Angelo Del Toro Puerto Rican/Hispanic Youth Leadership Institute (PR/HYLI), in conjunction with the New York State Assembly/Senate Puerto Rican and Hispanic Task Force (Task Force). Every year, the Task Force plans a statewide adult “SOMOS” conference for interested individuals to share their concerns on issues affecting the Latino community, and to suggest legislative action on programs that will address those concerns. The New York State Assembly sponsors the PR/HYLI in conjunction with the larger conference.
For more information, please visit:
RFP: Transcribing New York State Exams and Related Materials into Braille
NYSED is seeking proposals for transcribing New York State Exams (i.e., Regents Exams, Regents Competency Tests, and elementary and intermediate-level exams) and related materials (including but not limited to science reference tables, scoring materials, and mathematics tables) into Braille. Proposals will only be accepted from applicants that bid on all tests and ancillary materials in all content areas (English, Mathematics, Science, Social Studies). Eligible applicants include companies that have a minimum of three (3) years of professional experience in providing timely, error-free Braille transcriptions of secure standardized achievement tests and test-related materials, including the preparation of transcript text and graphics for illustrations. Subcontracting will not be allowed for this contract. NYSED will award one (1) contract with a term of five (5) years and three (3) months. The contract period will be from June 1, 2012 through August 31, 2017.
For more information, please visit:
Have you engaged today? Go to EngageNY.org for the most up to date information on the common core standards and resources for implementation.