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News and Notes Archive

From Senior Deputy Commissioner John B. King, Jr.
April 18, 2011

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

Bringing the Common Core Standards to Life

As noted in a memo to the field last week, I would like to invite you to attend an event on April 28 in Chancellor’s Hall at the State Education Department in Albany. The event is entitled “Bringing the Common Core to Life.” This is an in-person or webinar session, lasting two hours, from 12:30 to 2:30 p.m. During the presentation, participants will engage with a leading author and architect of the Common Core State Standards, David Coleman, to understand how the Core Standards for College and Career Readiness build on the work New York State has done in developing a standards-based system. David will discuss New York’s significant role in the development and implementation of the new standards in mathematics and English language arts and literacy. Further, as a result of this session, participants will gain specific insight regarding the impact that these next generation standards will have on individual roles and responsibilities in improving education in our State, namely teachers and instructional leaders. David will also discuss the Core Standards from the perspective of New York State teachers and instructional leaders. He will sketch out the most significant implications the Standards have for instruction and assessment in New York State.

If you plan to participate, I suggest you read the following:

  1. The Common Core State Standards for English Language Arts & Literacy Instruction in History/ Social Studies, Science, and Technical Subjects, Introduction - pages 3-8: http://www.corestandards.org/assets/CCSSI_ELA%20Standards.pdf external link icon
  2. The Common Core State Standards for English Language Arts & Literacy Instruction in History/ Social Studies, Science, and Technical Subjects, Appendix B - pages 1-13: http://www.corestandards.org/assets/Appendix_B.pdf external link icon
  3. The Common Core State Standards for Mathematics, Introduction - pages 3-8: http://www.corestandards.org/assets/CCSSI_Math%20Standards.pdf external link icon
  4. An excerpt from Martin Luther King's "Letter from Birmingham Jail," pages 1-5: http://www.stanford.edu/group/King/frequentdocs/birmingham.pdf external link icon

Please RSVP before Tuesday, April 26 by sending an email to rttt@mail.nysed.gov with the subject "RSVP" and indicate whether you plan to attend via webinar or in person in Chancellor’s Hall in Albany. On the day of the webinar, attendees will find a prominent link to the webinar on our Race to the Top home page at http://usny.nysed.gov/rttt/.

Draft Regulations for Teacher and Principal Evaluation Posted for Public Comment

Last year, legislation was enacted requiring an annual performance evaluation of all teachers and principals. These evaluations will play a significant role in a wide array of employment decisions, including promotion, retention, tenure determinations, termination, and supplemental compensation, and will be a significant factor in teacher and principal professional development. The Regents Advisory Task Force on Teacher and Principal Effectiveness -- composed of teachers, principals, superintendents of schools, school board representatives, school district and BOCES officials, and other interested parties -- has been meeting regularly since September 2010. The Board of Regents discussed various topics related to the new evaluation system at its meetings in January, February and March 2011.

Earlier this month, at the Regents April meeting, the Task Force submitted a comprehensive report containing recommendations for implementing the evaluation system in New York. The Board of Regents reviewed and discussed the recommendations at a full day meeting with representatives of the Task Force. As part of that meeting, the Commissioner and Department staff embraced the majority of the Task Force report's recommendations, but also proposed modifications to their recommendations. At the end of the meeting, the Board directed State Education Department staff to prepare draft regulations consistent with the day's discussions. On Friday, April 15, draft regulations were posted on the Department's website -- the Department is seeking comment on the draft regulations from the Task Force as well as the public. The draft regulations will be on the Regents agenda at their meeting in May.

The draft regulations may be viewed here: http://usny.nysed.gov/rttt/regs.html

All comments should be submitted by Friday, April 29 to RegComments@mail.nysed.gov or mailed to:

New York State Education Department
Education Bldg., Room 111
89 Washington Avenue
Albany, NY 12234

For the Department’s Questions and Answers Related to Collective Bargaining Agreements and the New Comprehensive Teacher and Principal Evaluation Law, please visit http://www.p12.nysed.gov/memos/performeval/qa.html and http://www.p12.nysed.gov/memos/performeval/qa083110.html.

For more information about the Task Force Report and the discussion at the April Regents meeting, please see the item on the Regents Task Force on Teacher and Principal Effectiveness below.

April Meeting of the Board of Regents

At its meeting on April 4-5, the Board of Regents acted in support of the following initiatives:

  • Mandate Relief and Flexibility

    The Board approved the mandate relief and flexibility recommendations, as described in Appendix A and Appendix B-1 of the Regents item.

    See the Regents item on Mandate Relief and Flexibility for more information.

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

  • Regents Task Force on Teacher and Principal Effectiveness

    The Regents Advisory Task Force on Teacher and Principal Effectiveness submitted to the Board of Regents a comprehensive report containing recommendations for implementing a teacher and principal performance evaluation system in New York State. The Board of Regents reviewed and discussed these recommendations at its April meeting and is expected to adopt implementing regulation prior to July 1, 2011. The sixty-three member Task Force – composed of teachers, principals, superintendents of schools, school board representatives, school district and BOCES officials, and other interested parties – has been meeting since September 2010.

    The members of the subcommittees who presented their respective sections of the report are:

    • 60% Other Measures for Teachers
      Stacey Caruso-Sharpe, Mathematics Teacher, Amsterdam CSD
      Michael Mendel, Secretary, UFT

    • 60% Other Measures for Principals
      Sonia Nieves, Council of Supervisors and Administrators
      Terry Orr, Bank Street College and MCEAP

    • Locally-Selected Assessments
      Jere Hochman, Superintendent, Bedford CSD
      Karen Rock, ELA Instructor, Plattsburgh CSD
      Don Nickson, Deputy Executive Director, SAANYS

    • Student Growth in Non-Tested Grades and Subjects
      John Mahony, CTE Teacher, Questar III BOCES
      Kerry Flynn, Principal, Loudonville School

    • Growth/Value-Added and Metrics
      Jack Bierwirth, Superintendent, Herricks Public Schools
      Paul Gasparini, Principal, Jamesville-Dewitt HS
      Heather Adams, Assistant in Research and Education Services, NYSUT

    Following the discussions with the Regents Task Force on Teacher and Principal Effectiveness, the Regents approved the Department’s recommendations to:

    • Issue an RFP in spring 2011 for a provider or providers to produce student growth and value-added measures for teachers and principals in order to implement the new evaluation system.

    • Issue an RFQ to develop a list of State pre-approved student assessments that meet prescribed criteria for “growth in non-tested subjects” and/or “locally-selected student assessments.”

    • Issue an RFQ to develop a list of State pre-approved rubrics. Schools and districts need to use rubrics to assess teacher and principal practices for the “60% other measures” and to provide a framework for targeting professional development aimed at improving those practices.

    • Develop draft regulations to be disseminated to the field for public comment. Feedback from the field on the draft regulations will be presented to the Regents for discussion in May.

    For more information, please review the following:

  • Regents Reform Agenda Progress by RTTT Assurance Area

    The Board was updated on the accomplishments and the work currently underway for the four assurance areas: Standards and Assessments, Data Systems, Great Teachers and Leaders, and School Turnaround. The presentation also focused on Network Teams and the RTTT Performance Management Office.

    For more information, see the Regents Reform Agenda Update.

  • Charter School Authorizing Strategic Planning

    Kim Wechtenhiser, Director of Design and Quality for SchoolWorks, updated the Regents on the timeline and deliverables for the National Association of Charter School Authorizers (NACSA) grant to the Regents Research Fund. She also discussed the mission and vision statement planning for the Charter Schools Office; stakeholder informational interviews and surveys; and updates to policies, protocols, and procedures guiding charter authorizing and oversight work of the Regents and staff. The Regents discussed the progress to date that Department staff and the SchoolWorks facilitators have made on implementing key elements of the Charter School Authorizing Strategic Plan.

  • Potential Revisions of High School Graduation Requirements

    The Regents P-12 Education Committee and College and Career Readiness Working Group held a joint meeting to discuss potential revisions of high school graduation requirements. Items presented at the meeting will be discussed in more detail at the May 2011 meeting where the Board of Regents will engage in conversations around a set of recommendations related to the graduation requirements. No action was taken on any of the submitted items.

Additional News

  • Teacher and Principal Evaluation Systems Survey Results

    The New York State Education Department is pleased to share the results of a recently-distributed survey on Teacher and Principal Evaluation Systems. Thanks to your efforts, we were able to secure close to a 60% participation rate for this survey. Please note that the results that appear via the following link are aggregate-only. This was done to protect the confidentiality of respondents who may have submitted personal contact information.

    To view the results, please visit the following link:
    external link icon

  • Title I School Status Report (NCLB)

    The online tool for filing the 2011-12 Title I School Status Reports opened on April 11, 2011. School districts and charter schools may access the report through the SED Web Business Portal accessible at http://portal.nysed.gov/. The due date to complete the 2011-12 report is May 20, 2011. All districts and charter schools must complete this report. Basic instructions can be found upon accessing the report. More detailed documentation is available at http://www.p12.nysed.gov/irs/title1/.

    User IDs and passwords necessary for access to the SED Web Business Portal are managed by the SED Delegated Account System (SEDDAS). Information regarding SEDDAS can be found at http://www.p12.nysed.gov/seddas/seddashome.html or by calling the SEDDAS help desk at (518) 473-8832.

    Contact: NYSED Information and Reporting Services (518) 474-7965.

  • New Requirements for School Board Member Training

    Information regarding the new requirements for school board member training is posted at http://www.p12.nysed.gov/mgtserv/school_board_training/. The State Education Department is accepting proposals from individuals and organizations who wish to be providers of the training now required as a result of Chapter 388 of the Laws of 2010.

  • New Policy Memorandum

    The Board of Regents has approved for permanent adoption the amendment of sections 200.1 and 200.4 of the Regulations of the Commissioner of Education to change the term “mental retardation” to “intellectual disability.” These regulations became permanently effective on March 30, 2011.

    Please see http://www.p12.nysed.gov/specialed/publications/rosaslaw.htm for more information.

  • Updated Regulations

    The Part 200 of the Regulations of the Commissioner of Education has been updated to include all amendments through March 2011.

    Please see http://www.p12.nysed.gov/specialed/lawsregs/part200.htm for more information.

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Last Updated: May 23, 2011