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News and Notes Archive


From Deputy Commissioner Ken Slentz
March 23, 2012



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


Agreement Reached on Teacher and Principal Evaluations

On Thursday, February 16, Governor Andrew Cuomo, New York State Education Commissioner John King, and New York State United Teachers President Richard Iannuzzi announced a groundbreaking agreement on a new statewide evaluation system that will make New York State a national leader in holding teachers accountable for student achievement. Board of Regents Chancellor Merryl Tisch and Commissioner King believe the newly agreed upon teacher and principal evaluation system was made possible by a collaborative willingness to implement a process that will help improve teaching and learning.

The budget legislation that Governor Cuomo proposed on February 16 would amend Education Law section 3012-c to resolve the issues in New York State United Teachers, et. al v. Board of Regents, the litigation challenging these regulations. At its March meeting, the Board of Regents approved a revised amendment to section 100.2(o) of the Regulations of the Commissioner of Education and the addition of a new Subpart 30-2 to the Rules of the Board of Regents to conform to the statutory changes and reflect the agreement to settle the litigation. These changes will substantially impact the conduct of Annual Professional Performance Reviews for the 2012-13 school year.

The Department has released its Summary of Revised APPR Provisions 2012-13 (also known as the “purple memo”) with anticipated changes from the enactment of amendments to Education Law §3012-c proposed in February. The Department will provide additional guidance and information about the APPR plan process in mid-April.


February Meeting of the Board of Regents

See the February 2012 Committee Reports for a summary of all Board of Regents actions and discussions, including charter school actions.

At its meeting on February 13-14, the Board of Regents acted in support of the following initiative:

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

  • School Employee Training to Implement the Dignity for All Students Act

    The Board discussed proposed amendments to regulations that would establish standards for a program to train school employees and administrators to promote a positive school environment that is free from discrimination and harassment; and to discourage and respond to incidents of discrimination and/or harassment on school property or at a school function. Following a public comment period, the proposed amendments will be presented to the Board for action.

    See the Regents item on School Employee Training to Implement the Dignity for All Students Act for more information.

  • Career and Technical Education and Student Achievement Measures

    The Board discussed the establishment of a rigorous and aligned Career and Technical Education (CTE) system allowing students who receive a technical endorsement in selected areas and who earn a minimum of 65 on all required Regents exams to be counted with full credit for accountability purposes.

    Staff recommended that additional steps be taken to more formally align this standard with the Regents’ Aspirational Performance Measures by convening an expert advisory panel to review CTE programs and assessments. At a future Board meeting, this panel will make recommendations about which CTE diploma endorsements should be considered for students to meet the Aspirational Performance Measures.

    Staff also recommended that a more robust set of data be made available to educators and researchers by making necessary changes to the student longitudinal data system to properly capture and report CTE data; that the expansion of allowable integrated credits continues to be explored; and that periodic updates be provided to the Board throughout the year.

    To provide a better sense of how CTE programs are implemented in the field, the panel listed below discussed the quality and rigor in CTE approved programs; technical assessment administration; and how the assessments are valid and reliable measures of CTE student achievement.

    • Bernard Pierorazio, Superintendent, Yonkers Public Schools
    • Thomas Rogers, District Superintendent, Nassau BOCES
    • George Zion, Affiliate Director, Rochester Institute of Technology
    • Hans K. Meeder, President, Meeder Consulting Group, LLC

    The panel discussion focused on the benefits of CTE programs for all students and the positive impact they have on college readiness.  Panelists discussed the need to get more students interested and engaged in CTE programs.  This could be accomplished by providing recognition for both the students and the programs; making it a high-level program so students feel they are taking challenging courses and preparing for college; and changing the overall perspective of CTE.

    See the Regents item on Career and Technical Education and Student Achievement Measures for more information.

    Additional information about the panel discussion

    Panel presentation

  • National Arts Standards Revision Update

    The Board was updated on the release of new national arts education standards scheduled for early 2013 by the National Coalition for Core Arts Standards (NCCAS).  The standards will describe what students should know and be able to do as a result of a quality curricular arts education program.  The primary goal of NCCAS is to help classroom educators better implement and assess standards-based arts education in their schools.  The revised arts standards will address 21st century skills, guide the preparation of the next generation of arts educators, and embrace new technology, pedagogy, and changing modes of learning.  As the standards rollout continues, the Offices of P-12 and Cultural Education will work closely to better leverage the expertise, resources, and general support that Cultural Education can offer arts education.  Staff will provide updates in the coming months as the Board of Regents moves toward considering these standards for adoption.

    See the Regents item on the National Arts Standards Revision for more information.

  • Tenured Teacher Hearings (Education Law §3020-a Reform)

    The Board discussed the Governor’s proposed changes to the 3020-a process and how those changes align to the Board’s legislative priority on this issue.

    See the Regents item on Tenured Teacher Hearings for more information.


March Meeting of the Board of Regents

See the March 2012 Committee Reports for a summary of all Board of Regents actions and discussions, including charter school actions.

At its meeting on March 19-20, the Board of Regents acted in support of the following initiatives:

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

  • Strategic Plan for School Turnaround

    The Board was given an overview of the Department’s Strategic Plan for School Turnaround, connecting Race to the Top, the ESEA waiver, and the Regents Reform Agenda. Staff shared the six focused tenets for school district effectiveness and plans for moving those tenets toward implementation using a diagnostic tool for school and district effectiveness. The Board also discussed goals of the proposed diagnostic tool, the peer review process, and a longitudinal study. 

    See the presentation on the Strategic Plan for School Turnaround for more information.

  • Career and Technical Education (CTE) Integrated Course Options

    The Board discussed current policy for CTE approved programs and options to include additional integrated academic credits beyond what is currently allowed.  Discussion focused on the number of integrated credits currently available through approved programs; the number of integrated credits that could be available to students with minimal revision to existing regulations; a phase-in plan and timeline; and the challenges that some districts face.

    The Board approved the phase-in plan for integrated academic credits in approved CTE programs and directed staff to identify revisions necessary in the Commissioner’s Regulations and the CTE Program Approval process to ensure a level of rigor that is aligned with college and career readiness.  The Board also directed staff to determine possible pathways for including CTE as part of New York State’s graduation requirements.

    See the Regents item on the Expansion of Career and Technical Education Integrated Course Options for more information.

  • Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC) Assessment Design and Development Update

    The Board was given an update on the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC).

    See the Regents item on the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC) Assessment Design and Development for more information.

    View the presentation on the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC).

  • Approach to Developing Statewide Computer-based Testing Transition Plan

    NYSED sought advice from the Board of Regents on the development of a strategy to transition to computer-based testing (CBT). New York State is committed to next generation assessment technology that can assess 21st century college and career readiness knowledge and skills with rich, authentic tasks. Transitioning from paper-and-pencil testing to computer-based testing (CBT) facilitates these changes as well as improvements in test delivery, test integrity, scoring validity, turn-around time on testing results, and overall costs. To transition New York State assessments to CBT, and to be positioned to adopt the computer-based PARCC assessments in 2014-15 (pending Board approval), a statewide transition plan is required.

    See the Regents item on the Approach to Developing Statewide Computer-based Testing Transition Plan for more information.

    View the table of states reporting offering CBT for their K-12 statewide assessments.

  • Teacher Performance Assessment for Initial Certification

    The Board recommended that NYSED formally commit to using a multi-state teacher performance assessment developed by Stanford University’s Center for Assessment, Learning and Equity and delivered by Pearson. The Stanford assessment would meet the Board of Regents policy goals while providing several potential advantages: stronger field credibility, more defensible validity analysis, and more sustainable ongoing rigor.

    See the Regents item on Teacher Performance Assessment for Initial Certification for more information.

  • Smart Scholars Early College High School Program

    The Board received an update on the progress of the Smart Scholars Early College High School (SS ECHS) Program and the work of the SS ECHS Advisory Council. In addition to providing policy recommendations, staff provided an update on the outcomes of the Smart Scholars Early College High Schools. Schenectady Smart Schools ECHS also made a presentation about its partnership between Schenectady County Community College (SCCC) and Schenectady High School.

    See the Regents item on the Smart Scholars Early College High School Program for more information.

    View the presentation on the Smart Scholars Early College High School Program.


Additional News

  • Presentations by Commissioner King

    Commissioner King’s presentations are now available on the NYSED website by visiting: http://usny.nysed.gov/commissioner-presentations.html

    Recent presentations include:

  • Commissioner King Restores SIG Funding for Five School Districts

    Commissioner King announced he has restored School Improvement Grant (SIG) funding for five SIG school districts.  King said the five districts -- Poughkeepsie, Syracuse, Rochester, Albany and Schenectady -- have all submitted acceptable teacher evaluation and support agreements for the 2011-12 school years in accordance with their initial applications for federal SIG funding.

    The full press release and the restoration letters are available at the following link:
    http://www.oms.nysed.gov/press/SIG.KingRestoresSIGFundingFor5SDs.html

  • Looking for Information about Teacher Certification, Fingerprinting, or School Personnel?

    Find it on the Office of Teaching Initiatives website! The Office of Teaching Initiatives has implemented a redesigned home page. The redesigned home page emphasizes links to the web pages you use the most. Different navigation and graphic design elements have been incorporated to bring new life to the home page and to get you to important information within one click. Please use the customer feedback link on the home page to submit feedback on the new design.

    The website is available at the following link:
    http://www.highered.nysed.gov/tcert/

  • Approved List of Teacher and Principal Practice Rubrics Has Been Updated

    The New York State Education Department, as part of its implementation of the provisions of Education Law §3012-c regarding annual professional performance reviews (APPR) of classroom teachers and building principals, is pleased to post updated lists of Approved Teacher Practice Rubrics and Approved Principal Practice Rubrics that meet the criteria established in our Request for Qualification (RFQ).

    Please visit http://usny.nysed.gov/rttt/teachers-leaders/practicerubrics/  to see the additional providers.

  • Nominations are Now Open for the Presidential Awards for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching

    The Presidential Awards for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching (PAEMST) are the Nation's highest honors for teachers of mathematics and science. Awards are given to mathematics and science teachers from each of the 50 states and four U.S. jurisdictions and alternate between elementary and secondary teachers. Awardees from each state from across the nation meet the President of the United States and are honored for an entire week in Washington, DC. Once a teacher is nominated or registers, the teacher will receive an email invitation to continue the application process. The application consists of three components: Administrative, Narrative, and Video. The invitation will include a user name and password for accessing the online application system. PAEMST winners are announced and honored the year following the receipt of the application. Nominations close on April 1, 2012.

    For more information, please visit:
    http://www.p12.nysed.gov/ciai/mst/paemstaward.html

  • U.S. Department of Education Launches New Data Tool to Help High School Officials Increase FAFSA Completion and College Accessibility

    The U.S. Department of Education has released a new tool that will help high school counselors and school leaders by giving them a resource to monitor FAFSA completions and better help students access higher education. School officials can now track FAFSA submission and completion statistics at individual high schools on the FAFSA Completion website external link icon. This will help school officials ensure that their students are filling out the FAFSA and therefore are able to determine their eligibility for federal student aid – a key factor in families’ college decisions.

    More information is available at the following link:
    http://www.ed.gov/news/press-releases/education-department-launches-new-data-tool-help-high-school-officials-increase- external link icon

  • NCLB Title III - 2012 Survey of Immigrant Children and Youth

    The State Education Department annually collects the number of immigrant children and youth in New York State, as defined by Section 3301(6) of NCLB. The data are used each year to determine local educational agency eligibility and allocations for the Title III, Part A Immigrant Education grant program. As a result, each school district and charter school must count the number of immigrant children and youth and report to the Department by March 30, 2012. To report the number of immigrant children and youth in your school district or charter school, please visit:
    http://www.p12.nysed.gov/biling/bilinged/

    If you have any questions, please call the Office of Bilingual Education and Foreign Language Studies at 518-474-8775 or obefls@mail.nysed.gov.

  • 2012 Explore New York Recreational Reading Lists

    The New York State Library is pleased to announce the 2012 Explore New York Recreational Reading Lists as part of “Summer Reading at New York Libraries.”

    All of the reading lists are available for download and printing at:
    http://www.nysl.nysed.gov/libdev/summer/explore.htm

    The New York State Library, in partnership with the New York Library Association’s Youth Services Section and Section of School Librarians, created these reading lists to celebrate the history, culture, and diversity of New York State.

    The four lists are designed for reading enjoyment, to provide a “flavor” of New York, and spark an interest in the fascinating story of the State.

    Each of the four lists covers one reader age group and features the age-appropriate Summer Reading at New York Libraries Slogan:

    “Dream Big READ” for Picture Books and Elementary (2 lists)
    “Own the Night” for Tween and Teen (2 lists)

    Each year, the New York State Library creates bookmarks to accompany the lists. The bookmarks are available for download and printing from the Summer Reading website.

    The Explore New York recreational reading lists were first created in 2009, prompted by the Quadricentennial of Henry Hudson and Samuel de Champlain’s voyages along the river and lake that bear their names.

    The availability of titles in “Braille format” and “recorded format” are noted for use by students who have a disability which affects their use of print materials. In addition, titles that are available in commercial audio formats are noted when available.

    Summer Reading at New York Libraries is funded through the Federal Library Services and Technology Act, with funds awarded to the New York State Library by the Federal Institute of Museum and Library Services. The New York State Library is a program of the Office of Cultural Education in the New York State Education Department.

  • New York State Library Launches ‘Teen NY’ Facebook Page

    The New York State Library has announced the launch of “Teen NY” Facebook page external link icon. The new Facebook page shares exciting information for teens, librarians, parents, and all those in New York State who work with teens. The “Teen NY” Facebook page can be accessed through the Summer Reading at New York Libraries website at:
    http://www.nysl.nysed.gov/

    “Teen NY” is your source for updates on the 2012 Summer Reading at New York Libraries Teen Video Challenge, teen online magazines, summer programs for teens, library programs for teens, and a wealth of other resources.

    Please share this page with teens and everyone you know who works or lives with teens.

    Consider making the “Teen NY” Facebook page a “favorite page” of your library’s Facebook page! (Instructions are available at:
    http://www.facebook.com/help/?faq=228066643876158 external link icon)

    For more information on the “Teen NY” page, contact Karen Balsen, Library Development Specialist & Youth Services Coordinator, New York State Library, at kbalsen@mail.nysed.gov or (518) 486-2194.

  • New York State Library Announces 2012 ‘Summer Reading at New York Libraries’ Audio Spot

    Each year, schools and libraries use audio announcements to encourage children and families to join the summer reading program at their local public library. The 2012 Audio (radio) spot promoting Summer Reading at New York Libraries, “Dream Big READ!,”external link icon is now available for download from http://www.summerreadingnys.org/ external link icon.

    Use these fun, foot-tapping music downloads to enhance summer reading experiences at libraries, at home, or anywhere. Play them for your students as they get ready to visit the library or sit down to read a book. Add them to your blogs, podcasts, and websites and enjoy them as a download to your computer.

    The 30-second spot is available in both English and Spanish.

  • New York Research Analysis Documents Positive Impact of School Libraries on Student Achievement

    The New York Comprehensive Center (NYCC)/RMC Research Corporation, in consultation with the New York State Education Department, the New York State Library, and the New York Library Association, has produced a new publication entitled “Informational Brief: Impact of School Libraries on Student Achievement.”  This comprehensive brief provides a current and rigorous research analysis which demonstrates the positive impact that school libraries and school librarians have in advancing student learning.

    The Executive Summary notes that “Based on the conclusions from the research cited in the brief, it is clear that school libraries play an important role in student achievement, curriculum development, and instruction. Through political and fiscal state support, effective school library programs can serve as consistent drivers for student achievement in times of constant change and churning educational reform.”  The full NYCC publication and the executive summary may be found at:
    http://www.nysl.nysed.gov/libdev/slssap/index.html

    By referencing numerous studies conducted throughout the United States, the brief illustrates the importance of school libraries in the lives of all students, particularly when it comes to literacy, college and career readiness, assessment and graduation rates.  The brief is framed around the New York State Board of Regents Reform Agenda. The Executive Summary will be published in the Spring edition of “In Transition,” the journal of the New York State Middle School Association.

    The New York Comprehensive Center (NYCC) is one of 16 regional comprehensive centers funded by the U.S. Department of Education.  NYCC works with the New York State Education Department to support education leaders and encourage student achievement.  For more information about NYCC, visit:
    http://www.nycomprehensivecenter.org/ external link icon

    The New York State Library has served New Yorkers, state government, and researchers from throughout the United States for more than 185 years.  One of the nation’s leading library development agencies and research libraries, the New York State Library is a program of the New York State Education Department and is located in Albany, New York.  For more information about the New York State Library, visit:
    http://www.nysl.nysed.gov/

  • 2012 Summer Reading at New York Libraries Early Literacy Partner Manual

    The New York State Library has announced a new literacy resource for child care providers, “2012 Summer Reading at New York Libraries Early Literacy Partner Manual.”

    This new manual will assist child care providers and teachers of young children in partnering with a public library, or public library system, to help families gain the full advantage of public library resources and programs during the summer months. Developed by the New York State Library in partnership with the Collaborative Summer Library Program and public library system youth services consultants, the manual contains information on public library summer programming for the young child along with extensive book lists related to the Summer Reading at New York Libraries 2012 slogan, “Dream Big READ.”

    For more information, please contact Karen Balsen, “Summer Reading at New York Libraries” coordinator, at kbalsen@mail.nysed.gov or 518-486-2194.

  • NYSED Business Portal Opens Race to the Top Budget Amendments

    The Department has recently added a Budget Amendment option to the Race to the Top (RTTT) online budgeting and reporting system that is part of the NYSED Business Portal.  This functionality will allow participating LEAs to make adjustments to their approved annual budgets as may be needed during the school year. Please contact the RTTT Performance Management Office at (518) 474-5520 if you have questions or would like assistance in filing budget amendments for the Race to the Top grant.

  • Pesticide Awareness

    Pesticides can be dangerous to human health if used improperly and there are various laws, rules, and regulations governing their application on school property. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation, and the New York State Education Department are working to increase environmental awareness for students, faculty, staff, and parents regarding the benefits and potential dangers of pesticides used for pest control in school settings.

    To learn more and to learn of alternative methods of pest control, please visit:
    http://www.p12.nysed.gov/facplan/documents/NYStateSIPMLetter_Final_021312.pdf

  • Annual Registration of All Students Classified as Legally Blind for Procurement of Special Media Materials Produced by the American Printing House for the Blind

    The forms and instructions for the annual census for the American Printing House for the Blind program administered by the New York State Resource Center of new students who are legally blind are now available.

    Please find more information at the following link:
    http://www.p12.nysed.gov/specialed/publications/APHregistration-2012.htm

  • Placements of Students with Disabilities in Approved Out-of-State Residential Schools and Emergency Interim Placements

    A new memorandum provides updated procedures, forms, and policy relating to a school district’s responsibility to submit timely and complete applications for approval of State reimbursement of tuition costs for placements of students with disabilities in out-of-State approved residential programs and emergency interim placements.

    Please find more information at the following link:
    http://www.p12.nysed.gov/specialed/publications/outofstateplacementsEIP.htm

  • Revised New York State Procedural Safeguards Notice: Rights for Parents of Children with Disabilities, Ages 3-21

    The mandatory New York State Procedural Safeguards Notice was recently revised. None of the changes were substantive; references to the Office of Vocational and Educational Services for Individuals with Disabilities (VESID) were replaced with the Office of Special Education; and the mailing address and website links were updated.

    Please find more information at the following link:
    http://www.p12.nysed.gov/specialed/publications/psgn-cover-jan12.htm

    Translations of the Procedural Safeguards Notice are available at:
    http://www.p12.nysed.gov/specialed/publications/psgn1211.htm

  • Notice of Intent: Education Data Portal

    NYSED intends to release requests for proposals (RFPs) for products and services to develop, test, deploy, and support an Education Data Portal (EDP). NYSED expects to issue the EDP Data Dashboards RFP in March 2012. The EDP Content Management and System Services RFP is expected to be released approximately four weeks later. Specific submission requirements will be delineated in the RFPs themselves.

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

  • RFP #12-016: Technical Assistance Center for the Universal Service Discount (e-Rate) Program

    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. Eligible applicants are organizations with experience in the administration of the E-Rate Program.

    More information is available at the following link:
    http://www.p12.nysed.gov/compcontracts/12-016/

  • 2012-2015 Learning Technology Grant Application

    The purpose of the Learning Technology Grant is to provide progressive integration of instructional technology in classrooms and school libraries and to provide sustained professional development to increase the skills of teachers and school librarians in the use of instructional technology.

    More information is available at the following link:
    http://www.p12.nysed.gov/funding/2012-15learntech/

Have you engaged today? Go to EngageNY.org for the most up to date information on the common core standards and resources for implementation.


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Last Updated: July 3, 2012