THE STATE EDUCATION DEPARTMENT / THE UNIVERSITY OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK / ALBANY, NY 12234

 

TO:

Full Board

FROM:

James A. Kadamus

SUBJECT:

Proposed Amendment to Commissionerís Regulations Relating to Diploma and Graduation Requirements

DATE:

July 11, 2005

STRATEGIC GOAL:

Goals 1 and 2

AUTHORIZATION(S):

 

 

SUMMARY

 

Issue for Decision

 

Should the Board of Regents adopt the proposed amendment to section 100.5 of the Regulations of the Commissioner to implement the Regents policy adopted at the June 2005 meeting concerning the phase-in of the graduation standard of 65 on required Regents exams?

 

Reason(s) for Consideration

 

Implementation of Regents policy.

 

Proposed Handling

 

This question will come before the full Board on July 21, 2005 for emergency adoption.  It will be presented for permanent adoption at your October meeting.  A second emergency adoption will also be necessary in October to ensure that the July emergency adoption remains continuously in effect until the effective date of the regulation's permanent adoption. A Statement of Facts and Circumstances Which Necessitate Emergency Action is attached.

 

Procedural History

 

After having discussed several draft proposals over the past few months, the Board of Regents adopted in June a proposal that phases in the 65 graduation standard over four years and establishes an appeals process for students who score within three points of 65 on a required Regents exam for graduation and have a 65 or above course average.

 

Background Information

 

The purpose of the proposed amendment to section 100.5 of the Regulations of the Commissioner is to implement policy adopted by the Regents in June 2005 relating to phasing in the 65 graduation standard and establishing an appeals process.  The phase-in schedule is as follows:

 

 

The proposed amendment provides the option for all students with disabilities to earn a local diploma if they score 55-64 on the five required Regents exams.  School districts may implement the phase-in schedule for general education students at a faster pace in accordance with policy established by their local boards of education.

 

The proposed amendment also establishes an appeals process, beginning with students entering grade 9 in 2005, for students who score within three points of 65 on a required Regents exam for graduation and have a 65 or above course average.  Students must meet the following criteria to demonstrate that they meet the State learning standards:

 

1.               Take the Regents exam in question at least two times.

2.               Have a score on the Regents exam under appeal within 3 points of the 65 passing score on that exam.

3.               Present evidence that they have received academic intervention services by the school in the subject area of the Regents examination under appeal.

4.               Have an attendance rate of at least 95 percent for the school year (except for excused absences) during which they last took the Regents exam under appeal.  Local school districts set their own policy for what is considered an excused or unexcused absence.

5.               Have a course average in the subject under appeal that meets or exceeds the required passing grade by the school.  The course average must be based on the student's official transcript that records grades achieved by the student in each quarter of the school year.

6.               Be recommended for an exemption to the graduation requirement by their teacher or Department chairperson in the subject of the Regents exam under appeal.

 

A standing committee of three teachers and two school administrators (one being the principal who will chair the committee) will review the appeals and rule on them within 10 days of submission.

 

Students may appeal their scores on a maximum of two of the five required Regents exams.  Students granted an appeal on two exams, and who have attained a passing score of 65 or above on each of the three remaining required Regents examinations, will receive a local diploma; students granted an appeal on one exam, and who have attained a passing score of 65 or above on each of the four remaining required Regents examinations, will be determined to have met all graduation requirements and thereby earn a Regents diploma.  Schools must provide students with unlimited opportunities to retake the required Regents exams in order to improve their scores.

 

          Supporting materials for the proposed amendment are available upon request from the Secretary to the Board of Regents.  A Notice of Emergency Adoption and Proposed Rule Making will be published in the State Register on August 10, 2005.

 

Recommendation

 

VOTED:  That section 100.5 of the Regulations of the Commissioner of Education be amended as submitted, effective July 26, 2005, as an emergency action upon a finding by the Board of Regents that such action is necessary for the preservation of the general welfare in order to ensure that students who will enter grade 9 in September 2005 are informed of the revised diploma and graduation requirements and to ensure that schools and school districts are able to make any necessary adjustments in studentsí class schedules to ensure their timely graduation pursuant to such requirements.

 

Timetable for Implementation

 

The proposed amendment is being presented for emergency adoption in July and permanent adoption in October.  The July emergency adoption will become effective July 26, 2005 and will expire on October 23, 2005.  Pursuant to the State Administrative Procedure Act, the October permanent adoption cannot become effective until after its publication in the State Register on October 26, 2005.  Therefore, in addition to the permanent adoption in October, a second emergency adoption will be necessary at that time to ensure that the regulation remains continuously in effect until the effective date of its permanent adoption.  


PROPOSED AMENDMENT OF SECTION 100.5 OF THE REGULATIONS OF THE COMMISSIONER OF EDUCATION, PURSUANT TO SECTIONS 101, 207, 208, 209, 305, 308, 309 AND 3204 OF THE EDUCATION LAW, RELATING TO STATE ASSESSMENTS AND GRADUATION AND DIPLOMA REQUIREMENTS.

STATEMENT OF FACTS AND CIRCUMSTANCES WHICH NECESSITATE EMERGENCY ACTION

The proposed amendment is necessary to implement revisions to policy adopted by the Board of Regents in June 2005. 

Under current regulations, the minimum passing score on five required Regents examinations rises from 55 to 65 for those students who enter grade 9 in the 2005-2006 school year and thereafter.  The revised policy phases in the 65 passing score on the five required Regents examinations to meet graduation requirements by requiring students who enter grade 9 in the 2005-06 school year to achieve 65 or higher on two required Regents examinations, by requiring students who enter grade 9 in the 2006-07 school year to achieve 65 or higher on three required Regents examinations, by requiring students who enter grade 9 in the 2007-08 school year to achieve 65 or higher on four required Regents examinations, and by requiring students who enter grade 9 in the 2008-09 school year to achieve 65 on the five required Regents examinations.  The phase-in will give students and schools more time to improve achievement while keeping the educational system moving forward toward the goal of higher achievement for all students. 

The proposed amendment will also allow students with disabilities entering grade 9 in September 2005 and thereafter to earn a local diploma if they take and pass the five required Regents examinations with a score of 55-64.

The proposed amendment also establishes an appeals process for students who score within three points of 65 on a required Regents examination for graduation and have a 65 or above course average.  Students seeking an appeal must meet the following criteria to demonstrate that they meet the State learning standards:  take the Regents examination under appeal at least two times; have a score on the Regents exam under appeal within three points of the 65 passing score on that examination; present evidence that they have received academic intervention services by the school in the subject area of the Regents examination under appeal; have an attendance rate of at least 95 percent for the school year during which they last took the Regents examination under appeal; have a course average in the subject under appeal that meets or exceeds the required passing grade by the school; and be recommended for an exemption to the graduation requirement by their teacher or Department chairperson in the subject of the Regents examination under appeal.  A standing committee chaired by the school principal would review all appeals within 10 days of submission and make a recommendation to the superintendent of the school district or, in the case of New York City, the Chancellor or his/her designee.  Students who are granted an appeal on one examination, and who have attained a passing score of 65 or above on each of the four remaining required Regents examinations, will be determined to have met all graduation requirements and earn a Regents diploma.  Students who are granted an appeal on two examinations, and who have attained a passing score of 65 or above on each of the three remaining required Regents examinations,  will receive a local diploma.  A school will make a record of all appeals received and granted and report the information to the State Education Department.  The record of appeals will appear on the New York State School Report Card.

          Emergency action to adopt the proposed amendment is necessary for the preservation of the general welfare in order to ensure that students who will enter grade 9 in September 2005 are informed of the revision to the revised diploma and graduation requirements, and to otherwise ensure that schools and school districts are able to make any necessary adjustments in students' class schedules to ensure their timely graduation pursuant to such requirements.

It is anticipated that the proposed amendment will be presented to the Board of Regents for adoption as a permanent rule at the October 2005 meeting of the Board of Regents, which is the first scheduled meeting after expiration of the 45-day public comment period mandated by the State Administrative Procedure Act.

 


AMENDMENT OF THE REGULATIONS OF THE COMMISSIONER OF EDUCATION

Pursuant to Education Law sections 101, 207, 208, 209, 305, 308, 309 and 3204

          Section 100.5 of the Regulations of the Commissioner of Education is amended, effective July 26, 2005, as follows:

100.5 Diploma Requirements.

(a)  General requirements for a Regents or a local high school diploma.  Except as provided in paragraph (d)(6) of this section, the following general requirements shall apply with respect to a Regents or local high school diploma. Requirements for a diploma apply to students depending upon the year in which they first enter grade nine. A student who takes more than four years to earn a diploma is subject to the requirements that apply to the year that student first entered grade nine. Students who take less than four years to complete their diploma requirements are subject to the provisions of subdivision (e) of this section relating to accelerated graduation.

(1)  .   .   .

(2)  .   .   .

(3)  Students first entering grade nine in the 2001-2002 school year, but prior to the [2005-2006] 2008-2009 school year, shall have earned at least 22 units of credit including two credits in physical education to receive either a Regents or local high school diploma.  Students first entering grade nine in the [2005-2006] 2008-2009 school year and thereafter shall have earned at least 22 units of credit including two credits in physical education to receive a Regents diploma.  Such units of credit shall incorporate the commencement level of the State learning standards in: English; social studies; mathematics, science, technology; the arts (including visual arts, music, dance and theatre); languages other than English; health, physical education, family and consumer sciences; and career development and occupational studies.  Such units of credit shall include:

(i)  .   .   .

(ii)  .   .   .

(iii)  .   .   .

(iv)  .   .   .

(v)  .   .   .

(vi)  .   .   .

(4)  .   .   .

(5)  State assessment system.  (i)  Except as otherwise provided in subparagraphs (ii), (iii) and (iv) of this paragraph, all students shall demonstrate attainment of the New York State learning standards:

(a)  English:

(1)  .   .   .

(2)  for students who first enter grade nine in [or after] September 1996 and [prior to September 2005] thereafter, by passing the Regents comprehensive examination in English.  For purposes of a Regents endorsed diploma a score of 65 shall be considered passing.  For a local diploma a score of 55-64, as determined by the school, also may be considered passing up through the 2007-2008 school year; or

(3)  for students with disabilities who first enter grade nine in or after September 1996 and prior to September 2010 and who fail the Regents comprehensive examination in English, the English requirements for a local diploma may be met by passing the Regents competency test in reading and the Regents competency test in writing or their equivalents.  For students with disabilities who first enter grade nine in September 2005 and thereafter, the English requirements for a local diploma may also be met by passing the Regents comprehensive examination in English with a score of 55-64.  This provision shall apply only to students with disabilities who are entitled to attend school pursuant to Education Law, section 3202 or 4402(5);

          (4)  .   .   .

(b)  Mathematics:

(1)  .   .   . 

(2)  for students who first enter grade nine in [or after] September 1997 and [prior to September 2005] thereafter, by passing a Regents examination in mathematics. For purposes of a Regents endorsed diploma a score of 65 shall be considered passing.  For a local diploma a score of 55-64, as determined by the school, also may be considered passing up through the 2007-2008 school year; or

(3)  for students with disabilities who first enter grade nine in or after September 1997 and prior to September 2010 and who fail a Regents examination in mathematics, the mathematics requirements for a local diploma may be met by passing the Regents competency test in mathematics or its equivalent.  For students with disabilities who first enter grade nine in September 2005 and thereafter, the mathematics requirements for a local diploma may also be met by passing the Regents examination in mathematics with a score of 55-64.  This provision shall apply only to students with disabilities who are entitled to attend school pursuant to Education Law, section 3202 or 4402(5);

(4)  .   .   .

(c)  United States history and government:

(1)  .   .   .

(2)  for students who first enter grade nine in [or after] September 1998 and [prior to September 2005] thereafter, by passing the Regents examination in United States history and government. For purposes of a Regents endorsed diploma, a score of 65 shall be considered passing. For a local diploma a score of 55-64, as determined by the school, also may be considered passing up through the 2007-2008 school year; or

(3)  for students with disabilities who first enter grade nine in or after September 1998 and prior to September 2010 and who fail the Regents examination in United States history and government, the United States history and government requirements for a local diploma may be met by passing the Regents competency test in United States history and government.  For students with disabilities who first enter grade nine in September 2005 and thereafter, the United States history and government requirements for a local diploma may also be met by passing the Regents examination in United States history and government with a score of 55-64.  This provision shall apply only to students with disabilities who are entitled to attend school pursuant to Education Law, section 3202 or 4402(5);

(4)  .   .   .

(d)  Science:

(1)  .   .   .

(2)  for students who first enter grade nine in [or after] September 1999 and [prior to September 2005] thereafter, by passing a Regents examination in science. For purposes of a Regents endorsed diploma a score of 65 shall be considered passing.  For a local diploma a score of 55-64, as determined by the school, also may be considered passing up through the 2007-2008 school year; or

(3)  for students with disabilities who first enter grade nine in or after September 1999 and prior to September 2010 and who fail a Regents examination in science, the science requirements for a local diploma may be met by passing the Regents competency test in science.  For students with disabilities who first enter grade nine in or after September 2005 and thereafter, the science requirements for a local diploma may also be met by passing a Regents examination in science with a score of 55-64.  This provision shall apply only to students with disabilities who are entitled to attend school pursuant to Education Law, section 3202 or 4402(5);

(4)  .   .   .

(e)  Global history and geography:

(1)  .   .   .

(2)  for students who first enter grade nine in [or after] September 1998 and [prior to September 2005] thereafter, by passing the Regents examination in global studies.  For purposes of a Regents endorsed diploma, a score of 65 shall be considered passing. For a local diploma a score of 55-64, as determined by the school, also may be considered passing up through the 2007-2008 school year; or

(3)  for students with disabilities who first enter grade nine in or after September 1998 and prior to September 2010 and who fail the Regents examination in global history and geography, the global history and geography requirements for a local diploma may be met by passing the Regents competency test in global studies.  For students with disabilities who first enter grade nine in or after September 2005 and thereafter, the global history and geography requirements for a local diploma may also be met by passing the Regents examination in global history and geography with a score of 55-64.  This provision shall apply only to students with disabilities who are entitled to attend school pursuant to Education Law, section 3202 or 4402(5);

(4)  .   .   .

(ii)  .   .   .

(iii)  .   .   .

(iv)  .   .   .

(v)  .   .   .

(6)  .   .   .

(7)  .   .   .

(8)  .   .   .

(b)  Additional requirements for the Regents diploma.  Except as provided in paragraph (d)(6) of this section, the following additional requirements shall apply for a Regents diploma.

(1)  .   .   .

(2)  .   .   .

(3)  .   .   .

(4)  .   .   .

(5)  .   .   .

(6)  .   .   .

(7)  Types of diplomas.  (i)  Except as provided in subparagraphs (vi), [and] (vii) and (viii) of this paragraph, for students first entering grade nine in the 2001-2002 school year and thereafter, there shall be no diplomas or certificates other than the following:

(a)  .   .   .

(b)  .   .   .

(c)  .   .   .

(d)  .   .   .

(e)  .   .   .

(ii)  .   .   .

(iii)  .   .   .

(iv)  .   .   .

(v)  .   .   .

(vi)  For students with disabilities who first enter grade nine in or after September 2001 and prior to September 2010 and who fail required Regents examinations for graduation but pass Regents Competency Tests in those subjects, as provided for in paragraph (a)(5) of this section, a local diploma may be issued by the local school district.  For students with disabilities who first enter grade nine in September 2005 and thereafter, a score by such student of 55-64 may be considered as a passing score on any Regents examination required for graduation, and in such event and subject to the requirements of paragraph (c)(6) of this section, the school may issue a local diploma to such student.  This provision shall apply only to students with disabilities who are entitled to attend school pursuant to Education Law, section 3202 or 4402(5).

(vii)  .   .   .

(viii)  For students who first enter grade nine in or after September 2005 and prior to September 2008, a score by a student of 55-64, as determined by the school, may be considered as a passing score on any Regents examination required for graduation and, in such event and subject to the requirements of paragraph (c)(6) of this section, the school may issue a local diploma to such student.

(ix)  Students who first enter grade nine in September 2008, and thereafter, must attain a score of 65 or above on all required Regents examinations in order to earn a Regents diploma or a Regents diploma with advanced designation. 

(c)  Additional requirements for the local diploma.  Except as provided in paragraph (d)(6) of this section, the following additional requirements shall apply for a local diploma.

(1)  .   .   .

(2)  .   .   .

(3)  .   .   .

(4)  .   .   .

(5)  .   .   .

(6)  In order to obtain a local diploma, students who first enter grade nine in September 2005, 2006 and 2007 must attain the following scores on the five required Regents examinations as set forth in section 100.5(a)(5)(i)(a) through (e) of this Part:

(i)  Students who first enter grade nine in September 2005 must attain a score of 65 or above on two of the five required Regents examinations and a score of 55 or above on the remaining three required Regents examinations;

(ii)  Students who first enter grade nine in September 2006 must attain a score of 65 or above on three of the five required Regents examinations and a score of 55 or above on the remaining two required Regents examinations; and

(iii)  Students who first enter grade nine in September 2007 must attain a score of 65 or above on four of the five required Regents examinations and a score of 55 or above on the one remaining required Regents examination.

(iv)  Notwithstanding the provisions of subparagraphs (i) through (iii) of this paragraph, school districts may accelerate the schedule of the required 65 or above scores on Regents examinations for students entering grade nine in September 2005, 2006 and 2007, in accordance with policy established by their boards of education.

(d)  Alternatives to specific Regents and local diploma requirements. 

(1)  .   .   .

          (2)  .   .   .

(3)  .   .   .

(4)  .   .   .

(5)  .   .   .

(6)  .   .   .

(7)  Appeals process on Regents examinations passing score to meet Regents diploma requirements. 

(i)  School districts shall provide unlimited opportunities for all students to retake required Regents examinations to improve their scores.  A student who first enters grade nine in September 2005 or thereafter and who fails, after at least two attempts, to attain a score of 65 or above on a required Regents examination for graduation shall be given an opportunity to appeal such score in accordance with the provisions of this paragraph, provided that no student may appeal his or her score on more than two of the five required Regents examinations and provided further that the student:

(a)  has scored within three points of the 65 passing score on the required Regents examination under appeal and has attained at least a 65 course average in the subject area of the Regents examination under appeal;

          (b)  provides evidence that he or she has received academic intervention services by the school in the subject area of the Regents examination under appeal;

          (c)  has an attendance rate of at least 95 percent for the school year during which the student last took the required Regents examination under appeal;

          (d)  has attained a course average in the subject area of the Regents examination under appeal that meets or exceeds the required passing grade by the school and is recorded on the studentís official transcript with grades achieved by the student in each quarter of the school year; and

(e)  is recommended for an exemption to the passing score on the required Regents examination under appeal by his or her teacher or Department chairperson in the subject area of such examination. 

(ii)  An appeal may be initiated by the student, the studentís parent or guardian, or the studentís teacher, and shall be submitted in a form prescribed by the commissioner to the student's school principal. 

          (iii)  The school principal shall chair a standing committee comprised of three teachers (not to include the student's teacher in the subject area of the Regents examination under appeal) and two school administrators (one of whom shall be the school principal).  The standing committee shall review an appeal within ten school days of its receipt and make a recommendation to the school superintendent or, in the City School District of the City of New York, to the Chancellor of the City School District or his/her designee, to accept or deny the appeal.  The standing committee may interview the teacher or Department chairperson who recommended the appeal, and may also interview the student making the appeal to determine that he or she has demonstrated the knowledge and skills required under the State learning standards in the subject area in question.

          (iv)  The school superintendent or, in the City School District of the City of New York, the Chancellor of the City School District or his/her designee, shall make a final determination to accept or deny the appeal.  The school superintendent or Chancellor or Chancellor's designee may interview the student making the appeal to determine that the student has demonstrated the knowledge and skills required under the State learning standards in the subject area in question.

          (v)  A  student whose appeal is accepted for one required Regents examination , and who has attained a passing score of 65 or above on each of the four remaining required Regents examinations, shall earn a Regents diploma.  A student whose appeal is accepted for two required Regents examinations, and who has attained a passing score of 65 or above on each of the three remaining required Regents examinations, shall earn a local diploma.

          (vi)  Each school shall keep a record of all appeals received and granted and report this information to the State Education Department on a form prescribed by the commissioner.  All school records relating to appeals of scores on required Regents examinations shall be made available for inspection by the State Education Department.

(e)  . . .

(f)  . . .