Prekindergarten through Grade 12 Education

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News and Notes Archive

From Senior Deputy Commissioner John B. King, Jr.
October 25, 2010

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

Race to the Top Update

Our Race to the Top (RTTT) work is now in full swing. The RTTT Final Scope of Work and associated documents for participating LEAs are now available on the Department’s RTTT website in PDF format for informational purposes only. Participating LEAs must access their Final Scope of Work forms to download, complete, and submit through the State Education Department’s Information and Reporting Services Portal (IRSP) at http://portal.nysed.gov/portal/page/pref/PortalApp.

The final date to submit a Final Scope of Work is November 8, 2010. To assist district and public charter school staff in ensuring that accurate and complete data are used to make decisions associated with the Final Scope of Work, the Department is making a number of files and reports available to each school district and public charter school. These files can be downloaded by the superintendent of each public school and principal of each public charter school from the Information and Reporting Services Portal (IRSP). The files contain data that summarize student performance on the Grades 4 and 8 English language arts (ELA) and math assessments, cohort performance on Regents examinations and graduation rate after four years of high school enrollment, and the percentage of high school graduates who enroll in a public New York college within 16 months of graduation. (Note: these downloads are not available through the nySTART web application). When accessing these files, please remember that it is the responsibility of each school superintendent to ensure adherence to all procedures and processes for safeguarding the privacy of individual students.

The Department provided a videoconference on October 4 and a technical assistance webcast on October 8 to assist LEAs in completing the Final Scope of Work. The October 4 videoconference and slides and the October 8 webcast and slides are both available on Department’s RTTT website at http://usny.nysed.gov/rttt/scopeofwork/.

The Department also provided regional visits and video conferences to help participating LEAs develop their RTTT local implementation plans.

On behalf of the Commissioner and the Board of Regents, I extend my sincere thanks for your efforts to move the Regents reform agenda forward and I look forward to our continued work together.

October Meeting of the Board of Regents

At its meeting on October 18-19, the Board of Regents acted in support of the following initiatives:

  • Academic Intervention Services

    The Board of Regents voted to amend subdivision (ee) of section 100.2 of the Regulations of the Commissioner, effective November 10, 2010. The Board further voted to amend subdivision (ee) of section 100.2, effective October 25, 2010, as an emergency action in order to ensure that the emergency rule adopted at the July 2010 Regents meeting remains continuously in effect until the effective date of its adoption as a permanent rule, and thereby avoid disruption to the administration of the modified Academic Intervention Services requirements by school districts in the 2010-2011 school year.

    See the Regents item on the Amendment of section 100.2(ee) of the Regulations of the Commissioner of Education relating to Academic Intervention Services for more information.

  • Academic Intervention Services and the Response to Intervention Process

    The Board of Regents voted to add paragraph (7) of subdivision (ee) of section 100.2 of the Regulations of the Commissioner, effective November 10, 2010. The regulations will allow a school district to provide a Response to Intervention (RTI) program in lieu of providing Academic Intervention Services (AIS) to eligible students, provided that certain conditions are met.

    See the Regents item on the Addition of section 100.2(ee)(7) of the Regulations of the Commissioner of Education, relating to Academic Intervention Services and the Response to Intervention Process for more information.

  • Adolescence Level Teacher Certification Restructuring for Students with Disabilities

    The Board voted to amend the following subdivisions of the Regulations of the Commissioner of Education:

    • subdivisions (b) and (c) of section 52.21
    • subdivision (a) of section 80-3.7
    • subdivision (a) of section 80-4.2
    • subdivisions (a), (b), (c), (d) and (e) of section 80-4.3

    In addition, the Board voted to add the following subdivisions to the Regulations of the Commissioner of Education:

    • subdivision (c) to section 80-4.2
    • subdivision (n) to section 80-4.3

    These amendments and additions are effective October 26, 2010 as an emergency action. The Board believed these actions were necessary to provide institutions with sufficient notice of the new program registration requirements for the Special Education Generalist adolescence certificate and to provide candidates with sufficient time to complete the requirements for the Special Education generalist and specialist certificate titles in grades 5-9 and the special education specialist certificate title in grades 7-12 before the Department phases out individual evaluation of these certificate titles.

    See the Regents item on the Emergency Adoption of Regulations Relating to the Program Registration Requirements for Teacher Education Programs and the Restructuring of Adolescence Level Teacher Certification for Students with Disabilities for more information.

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

  • Elimination of Certain State Assessments

    The Board discussed proposed amendments to regulations to address the deficit-reducing actions taken by the Regents in June that impacted the NYS assessment system. The actions taken include the elimination of the Checkpoint A Second Language Proficiency exams for languages other than English; the Checkpoint B Regents comprehensive examinations in Hebrew, Latin and German; and the elementary and intermediate assessments in social studies. These proposed amendments are necessary to ensure that students continue to meet State learning standards and earn diploma credit despite the elimination of these examinations. It is expected that these proposed amendments will be submitted to the Regents for approval in December.

    Information on the Development and Administration of Local Second Language Proficiency Examinations can be found under "Additional News" in this edition of News and Notes.

    See the Regents item on the Amendment to sections 100.1, 100.2, 100.4 and 100.5 of the Regulations of the Commissioner of Education Relating to the Elimination of Certain State Assessments for more information.

  • Potential Revisions of High School Graduation Requirements

    The Board continued its discussion of the possible policy directions to enhance student readiness for college and careers. Department staff will begin to engage stakeholders on the development of these ideas and begin working with the Regents to set up regional meetings around the state to provide comments and feedback on impact, sustainability, capacity, and timelines related to these possible policy directions.

    See the Regents item on the Potential Revision of High School Graduation Requirements for more information.

  • Update on the Common Core State Standards for ELA and Mathematics and the Development of "Next Generation Science Standards"

    The Regents’ Standards Work Group discussed initiatives related to the adoption of the Common Core State Standards (CCSS). The Work Group was provided with an overview of the P-12 and higher education ELA and mathematics practitioners meetings held in July. Both groups of practitioners made recommendations for adding a small number of student achievement expectations unique to New York State. The recommendations represent what all students, including students with disabilities and English language learners, should know and be able to do to be prepared for college and careers. The Work Group also discussed the relationship between CCSS and the PreK learning standards. The PreK learning standards document will connect to the P-12 learning standards, but it will be a standalone guide to early learning. In late fall, collection and analysis of public comment on the proposed additions to the ELA and mathematics CCSS will be conducted with proposed recommendations to the Regents in January 2011.

    The Work Group also discussed the Department’s effort to be engaged in the development of the “Next Generation Science Standards” (NGSS) through the National Research Council’s (NRC) conceptual framework. This framework is the first step in a process for revising the existing standards in K-12 science education. The anticipated date for release of the final framework document by NRC is early 2011.

    The Work Group also discussed Race to the Top timelines as they related to curriculum models, assessments, and the development and implementation of Network Teams.

    See the Regents item on the Common Core State Standards for ELA and Mathematics and the Development of “Next Generation Science Standards” for more information.

  • New York State Teaching Standards Development

    The Board discussed the draft teaching standards that will inform teacher preparation, teacher assessments for certification, teacher evaluation, and teacher professional development.

    See the Regents item on New York State Teaching Standards Development for more information.

  • Graduate Level Clinically Rich Teacher Preparation Pilot Program Request for Proposal (RFP)

    The Board discussed the priorities for the RFP and also examined the point structure being recommended for evaluating applications under this pilot.

    See the Regents item on the Graduate Level Clinically Rich Teacher Preparation Pilot Program RFP for more information.

  • Testing Program Update

    The Board discussed updates to the Grades 3-8 ELA and math tests, the Comprehensive Regents Examination in English, and the PARCC and NCSC Test Consortia.

    See the RegeAugust 27, 2012on.

    Note: The first administration of the redesigned one-day Comprehensive Regents Examination in English is scheduled for January 2011.

    Please visit the Office of Assessment Policy, Development and Administration website for more information.

  • Race to the Top Timelines

    The P-12 Committee discussed proposed timelines for implementing New York’s Race to the Top plan, focusing on the timelines for Data Systems, Turning Around Low Performing Schools, and Great Teachers and Leaders. There are two strands associated with the Data System timeline: the P-12 Longitudinal Data System and the Instructional Reporting and Improvement System.

  • Updates from the Office of Accountability and the Office of Innovative School Models

    The Board discussed updates on the 2010 School Improvement Grant award process, the fall 2010 charter school application process, and upcoming regulatory changes relating to charter schools.

    Earlier this school year, we informed seven districts of their 1003(g) School Improvement implementation grant award decisions (New York City, Buffalo, Rochester, Syracuse, Albany, Yonkers, and Roosevelt). The Board discussed the districts that received awards, the amounts awarded to each school, and the intervention model selected. The Department will continue to support districts so that targeted schools will be successful in implementing their selected intervention model and accompanying strategies.

    The new charter school application process utilized by the Department and the Board of Regents has been designed to ensure that any charter school applicant presented to the Board for possible approval demonstrates the essential competencies consistent with the new statute. On September 22, 2010, the Department received 15 full applications. Over the course of the fall, staff will review the full applications, conduct face-to-face capacity interviews with applicant groups, and make charter award recommendations to senior staff. At the December 2010 meeting, recommendations for charter awards will be brought to the Regents for consideration and action.

Additional News

  • Development and Administration of Local Second Language Proficiency Examinations

    On September 29, 2010, revised Commissioner’s Regulations related to the elimination of the Second Language Proficiency Examination and the Regents comprehensive examinations in German, Hebrew and Latin were posted for public comment. The proposed draft regulatory changes were discussed at the October Regents meeting and will be presented for action in December, 2010.  If approved, they will become effective on January 5, 2011.

    Given the decision to eliminate the Checkpoint A Second Language Proficiency (SLP) Examinations and the Checkpoint B Comprehensive Examinations in German, Hebrew and Latin, the proposed regulatory changes require the development and administration of locally-developed examinations in order to preserve opportunities for our K-12 students.

    The development of local examinations will be the responsibility of schools and districts, whether individually or in collaboration with other LEAs through a consortium and will not be required for submission to the Department for review as was necessary under previous regulation. The content standards and performance indicators of these locally-developed examinations must be aligned with the State's Learning Standards for Checkpoint A and Checkpoint B, respectively. Additionally, the State's Languages Other Than English (LOTE) Syllabus: Modern Language for Communication, Latin for 21st Century, and American Sign Language Communication specify goals and identify the components of intended outcomes of second language learning, including speaking, listening, reading, writing, and culture, so that administrators, supervisors, and teachers may design programs and assessments to achieve them.

    It is encouraged that these locally-developed examinations follow the format of the SLP and Comprehensive Regents examinations previously created by the State, with speaking, listening, reading, writing, and for the SLP Examination, the participation component.


  • News from the NYSED Title I Office

    Please see the recent field memos from Roberto Reyes, State Title I Director, below:

  • Approaches to Monitoring School District Financial Condition

    The New York State Education Department Office of Educational Management Services will provide an online session about the current fiscal climate confronting districts and approaches for monitoring school district financial condition with both short-term strategies and long-term planning. SED staff will also share highlights of 2010 statutory changes affecting school district management.

    The session will be held on Wednesday, October 27, 2010 from 10-11:30 a.m.

    Information on the session can be found at:

  • Invitation to Participate in Regional Pupil Transportation Pilots

    The Department has posted an invitation to participate in regional pupil transportation pilots included in the laws of 2010 at www.p12.nysed.gov/mgtserv/.

  • Statement on the Governance Role of a Trustee or Board Member

    The New York State Board of Regents has updated its document on "Statement on the Governance Role of a Trustee or Board Member." The updated document reaffirms the need for policies to avoid conflicts of interest and nepotism.

  • Announcement of Funding for School Based Mental Health Crisis Response Teams

    The NYS Division of Criminal Justice Services (DCJS) is issuing a Request for Proposals (RFP) to solicit applications from eligible units of local government and Native American tribes that perform law enforcement functions to create mental health crisis teams that will respond directly to schools in the event of a mental health crisis that might otherwise lead to arrest.

    Priority will be given to projects that engage schools categorized as either "Persistently Low-Achieving," "Persistently Dangerous" or SURR schools by the State Education Department.

    Approximately $450,000 of federal Juvenile Accountability Block Grant (JABG) funding is available to support projects for one year, with the possibility of two one-year renewals, with the third year renewal at 50% of the second year funding amount.

    This grant program is supported by federal JABG funds, and requires a 10% cash match. Units of local government who are eligible for a direct JABG award in 2010 are not eligible for funding under this RFP. Ineligible Units of local government (ULGs) are:

    • the cities of Buffalo, Rochester, and New York and
    • the counties of Albany, Broome, Dutchess, Erie, Monroe, Nassau, Oneida, Onondaga, Orange, Rockland, Suffolk, and Westchester.

    However, cities, towns, and villages within the above referenced counties are eligible for this RFP (except for Buffalo and Rochester). ULGs may subcontract with non-governmental entities to implement the proposed projects. For example, a city or town may apply and sub-contract with a school or school district. School districts themselves are not eligible to apply.

    Note: The excluded counties and cites will receive their direct JABG awards allocation which can be used for the purpose of mental health crisis teams as indicated in this RFP.

    Schools/districts need to speak with their local unit of government to apply on behalf of the school/district. The school/district can be the implementing agency, although not the actual grantee. The local unit of government will act as the pass-through agency.

    The contract will be for a 12 month period with projected earliest start date of 07/01/2011 and latest possible end date of 06/30/2013. Proposals submitted on or before 12:00 noon, Tuesday, November 23, 2010 via DCJS’ on-line Grants Management System (GMS) will be accepted.

    Applications will be available on DCJS’ website by October 26, 2010 at: http://criminaljustice.state.ny.us/ofpa/newrfp.htm external link icon. For assistance in accessing an application, contact:

    Schellie Tedesco, Juvenile Justice Unit
    Office of Program Development and Funding
    NYS Division of Criminal Justice Services
    4 Tower Place - 3rd Floor
    Albany, NY 12203-3764
    Telephone (518) 457-3670

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Last Updated: November 24, 2010