Thursday, February 16, 2012
|Welcome and Get Organized|
Agenda and folder contents were reviewed.
|Next CAP meeting is May 31st and June 1st.
||A motion to accept the October minutes was made and seconded.
||Motion approved: Minutes approved
|New Venue for Next CAP Year
||The CAP meeting is being moved to the Comfort Inn and Suites in Schodack NY for the 2012-13 school year. The last meeting of the 2011-12 CAP year meeting will take place at the current venue of the Holiday Inn Express in Rensselaer NY.
|Public Comment ||Recommendations were provided for consideration regarding multiple pathways to a diploma as presented on behalf of the Coalition for Multiple Pathways to a Diploma.||
|ESEA Waiver Proposal ||
NYSED Associate Commissioner reviewed key points and sought member recommendations regarding requirements of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) waiver application which New York State will submit in February.
|Members discussed the potential impact of the waiver on students with disabilities.
|Skills and Achievement Commencement Credential (Phase I) and Proposed Phase II Credential
||SED staff provided members with information and facilitated a discussion on Phases I and II of the proposed exiting credential:
- The Board of Regents adopted the proposed amendments to the Regulations of the Commissioner of Education relating to the repeal of the individualized education program (IEP) diploma and the implementation of a Skills and Achievement Commencement Credential for Students with Severe Disabilities (Phase I).
- Phase II is under development as an optional credential to document student attainment of the Career Development and Occupational Studies (CDOS) Learning standards. The Phase II credential would also be awarded to those students with disabilities who, because of their disability, are unable to earn a regular diploma and are not eligible for the Skills and Achievement Commencement Credential.
|Members provided the following recommendations:
- Provide guidance to districts now to ensure they are prepared for 2013-14 elimination of the IEP diploma.
- Implement Phase I and II at the same time to ensure that students with disabilities not eligible for a Skills and Achievement Commencement Credential and unable to earn a regular diploma because of their disability have the opportunity to exit with a credential documenting their skills.
- Further discussion on these credentials will be included on the agenda for future meetings.
- SED staff will provide members with the documentation for the Skills and Achievement Commencement Credential and accompanying guidance.
||CAP members shared information on the following:
- Communities of Practice – A New Approach to Solving Complex Educational Problems.
- Families Together – supporting the return of local diploma for all students and keeping students safe from bullying.
|Members discussed reinstituting subcommittee work at future CAP meetings for the purpose of having more in depth topical discussions.
||Further discussion of potential subcommittee work will be included on the agenda for the next meeting.
|Safety Net Options|
- Provided information and facilitated a discussion on potential safety net options and core principles supporting these options.
- Informed members that the Board of Regents is considering a variety of pathways to a diploma for all students.
- Recommended that members read the publication “Pathways to Prosperity”.
- Member concerns/ recommendations regarding safety net options related to assessment included the following:
- Provide information to the field regarding alternatives to Regents exams that are already approved by the Board of Regents.
- Consider using more local, national and performance-based assessments.
- Regents exams are too broad. Should focus on depth rather than breadth of instruction.
- Member concerns/ recommendations regarding safety net options related to coursework and course credits included the following:
- Focus on course content and improving instruction.
- Address disconnect with students receiving high grades for coursework and at the same time not being able to master the content and pass the assessments.
- Increase credits for career and technical education (CTE) coursework with an emphasis on instruction in soft skills and career content. The challenge is to determine the standard for awarding such credits.
- CDOS Learning Standards are not being taught in most schools. Begin instruction in CDOS Learning Standards for all students in kindergarten.
- Increase the use of interest inventories and career planning for all students.
- Better integrate technology into coursework.
|SED staff will send members the publication, “Pathways to Prosperity”.
- Provided information and facilitated a discussion on the proposed Article 7 Bill:
- Proposed Preschool Changes
- Ensuring an arms length between evaluator and service provider so that the same agency can not provide both unless Department approves.
- District assuming responsibility for some preschool costs.
- Shift responsibility for notifying Committee on Preschool Special Education (CPSE) for student transition from Early Intervention (EI) to Preschool from the municipality to the service coordinator.
- Proposed continuation of variance to class size for Big 4 City School Districts to continue to allow variance to class size based on low attendance.
- Proposed changes to Mental Hygiene Law to require school districts to provide educational services to students in state operated mental health facilities.
- Proposed repeal of the requirement that SED approve and monitor EI programs.
- Provided information and facilitated a discussion on the Proposed Mandate Relief Legislation related to:
- Parentally-placed students with disabilitie
- Aligning membership of Committee on Special Education (CSE)/CPSE to be consistent with federal requirements except that the psychologist would continue to be a member of the CSE for initial eligibility determinations and the municipality representative would remain a member of the CPSE
- Repealing the BOCES space plan requirement with specific conditions
- Preschool evaluations
- Aging-out requirements
- State’s role in student placement in State-supported schools
- Changes to the statute of limitations for due process hearings
- Provided information and facilitated a discussion on proposed mandate relief regulations regarding:
- Preschool evaluations timeline
- Role of school psychologist and the determination if psychologist is needed
- Provided information and facilitated a discussion on proposed due process regulations regarding:
- Removal of inactive hearing officers from Department list
- Impartiality of hearing officers
- Consolidation of multiple hearings
- Timeliness of hearings
- Withdrawal of hearings
- Correction of timeline
|Members expressed concerns regarding proposed bill language related to:
Member comments regarding Proposed Mandate Relief Legislation:
- arms length requirement between preschool evaluators and service providers (particularly in rural areas); and
- shifting of fiscal responsibility to districts for preschool programs and services given significant cuts in district funding.
- Provides increased availability of the school psychologist to provide counseling and other important services to students with less time needed for assessments.
- Ensure the school psychologist continues to be invited to the CSE meeting, if appropriate.
- Discuss with postsecondary education and adult service agencies options other than the need for a psychological assessment for eligibility determinations.
Members generally supported the proposed mandate relief and due process regulations.
|Further discussion on aging out requirements will be included on the agenda for a future meeting.
Friday, February 17, 2012
|Annual Performance Report
||SED staff presented information on data and improvement activities for the following State Performance Plan (SPP) Indicators:
- Graduation rates
- Dropout rates
- State assessments
- Least restrictive environment (LRE) – school age
- LRE – preschool
- Preschool outcomes
- Parental involvement
- Disproportionality in special education by race/ethnicity
- Disproportionality in classification/ placement by race/ethnicity
- Timely evaluations
- Transition from EI to preschool special education
- Transition planning
- Post-school outcomes
- Correction of noncompliance
- State complaints
- Timely impartial hearing decisions
- Resolution sessions
- Timely and accurate state reported data
|SED staff responded to member questions about data and members provided the following comments/recommendations:
- Districts should analyze their data and determine which students are dropping out and why. The majority of students who are dropping out in the districts of several members are those that are just a few credits short of graduating.
- Continue advocacy with USDOE to decrease the number of SPP indicators on which NYSED has to report and align the general and special education accountability systems.
|SED will post district results by June.
||Regents Fellow provided information on teacher/leader evaluation requirements:
- February 16, 2012 an agreement was reached between the unions and SED regarding the evaluation system
- Basic principals remain the same
- Annual evaluations for all
- Clear and rigorous expectations
- Multiple performance levels
- Multiple measures of performance
- Regular feedback
- Student results will be a major factor in employment decisions
- Reviewed research regarding teacher effectiveness
|Members expressed the following concerns:
- use of student surveys for teacher evaluations and how they will be used for students with significant disabilities
- mentor teacher time out of the classroom and that effect on their student’s scores and their own evaluations. Few teachers may want to be mentors.
- Procedures for accounting for percentage of time teacher spends with specific children
- Administrator capacity to observe teachers
- Identifying student learning objectives (SLO) for students with disabilities when there are a wide range of skills in one classroom
- How to control for factors outside of a teacher’s control (i.e., poverty, ELL, SWD, attendance, academic history)
- Transient student populations and the impact on teacher/principal evaluations
Members provided the following recommendations:
- Use mentors that have obtained national board certification.
- Provide ongoing support for teachers to increase teacher retention.
- Share required competencies for teacher certification exam with higher education teacher preparation programs to help ensure students are prepared to teach.
- Consider measuring the growth of the same student over time rather than comparing similar students due to the wide variation in the skills of students with disabilities.
- Avoid using disability classifications as a measure as students with the same disability classification often present very differently. Districts also use different disability classifications for similar students.
- Consider percentage of students taking the New York State Alternate Assessment (NYSAA).
- Consider the percentage of time a student is out of the classroom receiving related services.
- Provide professional development for principals regarding special education (understanding special education and what they need to look for in a classroom observation).
- SED staff will summarize and provide members recommendations and concerns to Regents Fellow to inform future policy development.
- Regents Fellow to provide more information on pilot programs regarding students with disabilities.