NYSED Seal                                                                                                 

 

 

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

 

TO:

EMSC-VESID Committee                                 

FROM:

 

Johanna Duncan-Poitier

SUBJECT:

New York State Learning Standards Review  and Revision Process

 

DATE:

October 18, 2007

 

STRATEGIC GOAL:

Goals 1 & 2

 

AUTHORIZATION(S):

 

 

 

 

SUMMARY

 

Issue for Decision

 

Will the Board of Regents approve the proposed plan for the review and revision of the New York State learning standards?

 

Reason(s) for Consideration

 

Required by Board of Regents policy and State Statute.

             
Proposed Handling

 

This issue will come before the Regents EMSC-VESID Committee for approval at its October 2007 meeting.

 

Procedural History

 

              The current New York State learning standards were established in the mid- 1990s.  The mathematics standards were reviewed and revised in 2005.   

 

Background Information

The Board of Regents “P-16 Education: A Plan for Action,” states that "The Board of Regents envisions a New York in which all people are prepared for citizenship, work and continued learning throughout their lives." In this document the Regents confirmed two goals:

- Close the great divide in achievement along lines of income, race and ethnicity, language and disability; and

- Keep up with the growing demands for still more knowledge and skill in the face of increasing competition in a changing economy.

One of the strategies articulated in attempting to reach these goals is the periodic review of the New York Learning Standards. Specifically, action number 6 of the Board of Regents P-16 Education: A Plan for Action, states:
Raise the learning standards to exceed global standards so all students graduate ready for citizenship, work, and continued education. Align standards, assessments, curriculum and instruction across P-16, emphasizing transitions between high school and college, and high school and the work force.
Consistent with the Board of Regents P-16 Plan, the 2007-08 State Budget, (Chapter 57 of the Laws of 2007), requires that:
The regents shall periodically review and evaluate the existing regents learning standards to determine if they should be strengthened, modified or combined so as to provide adequate opportunity for students to acquire the skills and knowledge they need to succeed in employment or postsecondary education and to function productively as civic participants upon graduation from high school.
Such review and evaluation shall be conducted upon a schedule adopted by the regents, provided that a review and evaluation of the English language arts standards shall be completed as soon as possible, but no later than the end of the 2007-08 school year.

In conducting such reviews, the regents shall seek the recommendations of teachers, school administrators, teacher educators and others with educational expertise on improvements to the standards so that they ensure that students are prepared, in appropriate progression, for post-secondary education or employment.

The 28 New York State Learning Standards cover the following content areas:

Department staff have developed a proposed time table for the review and revision of the learning standards for the Board of Regents consideration (Attachment A). At the July 2007 Board of Regents meeting, Chancellor Bennett also asked Regent Cohen to lead a steering committee of the EMSC-VESID Committee to provide Regents leadership in the review of the standards starting with English language arts (ELA). The Senior Deputy Commissioner and her leadership team met with Regent Cohen in early September to develop a proposed process for the review and revision of the standards over time. A perpetual standards review process is proposed to ensure that the learning standards are systemically reviewed, updated, and improved on a regular schedule so that all New York State students now and in the future will have the skills and knowledge they need for higher education, employment and citizenship. Many states and nations review their learning standards on an established periodic time table to ensure that their students are consistently ready to compete in a global environment.

The proposed time table for the review and revision of the standards establishes a cycle and provides for a continuous opportunity to revisit each standard area on a regular basis. For example, the proposed time table suggests beginning with the review of the ELA standards in 2007-08 (as required by Chapter 57). In 2008-09, as the necessary work for the revised ELA standards continues on curriculum guidance, professional development, test development, etc., the review of the Career Development and Occupational Studies (CDOS) standards would begin. This second standard is suggested based on the feedback of the EMSC-VESID Committee. By 2009-2010, the proposed time table includes a recommendation for initiating the review of the Social Studies standards while continuing the activities related to both ELA and CDOS. The remaining standards areas would be included in the same manner. The proposed time table is ambitious but permits the various offices within the Department to accomplish work on a reasonable schedule and allows for the necessary work with experts and the field on each standards area.

This work will result in world class standards and a testing system that is aligned with higher education so more students will succeed in and graduate from college on time (without remediation) at the college level. This will reduce the need for remediation at colleges and universities.

Recommendation

Staff recommends that the Regents approve the proposed plan for the review and revision of the learning standards.

 

 

Timetable for Implementation

The plan includes a time table and sequence for the review and revision of the New York State learning standards.

Attachments

 


A Comprehensive Standards Review and Revision Process

The standards review and revision initiative being undertaken by the Department is a key component of the Regents P-16 Action Plan, and was included in Chapter 57 of the Laws of 2007 (the State Budget). The initiative includes the following critical elements:

A proposed process, time table and sequence of review for each standards area has been developed for consideration and approval by the Board of Regents (Attachment A). The proposed time table provides for the simultaneous inclusion of each standards area as critical activities related to each area are underway or completed. For example, the proposed time table includes a recommendation to begin with the review of the ELA standards in 2007-08 (also required by Chapter 57). In 2008-09, as the necessary work continues on curriculum guidance, professional development, test development, etc, related to the revised ELA standards, the review of the Career Development and Occupational Studies (CDOS) standards would begin. By 2009-2010, the proposed time table includes a recommendation for initiating the review of the Social Studies standards while continuing the activities related to both ELA and CDOS. The remaining standards areas would be included in the same manner. The proposed time table is ambitious but permits the various offices within the Department that must be involved in the overall process to become engaged in the work on a reasonable schedule and allows for the necessary work with experts and the field on each standards area

Department staff engaged the New York Comprehensive Center to provide expertise and research as a foundation for the work to be undertaken. The New York Comprehensive Center (the Comprehensive Center) is one of 16 regional centers established and funded by the U.S. Department of Education to provide technical assistance to all 50 States, Puerto Rico, and U.S. territories. The New York Comprehensive Center, operated by RMC Research Corporation, receives $2.5 million annually from the U.S. Department of Education to provide support to the State Education Department to help build and strengthen capacity for the implementation of NCLB and other requirements.

The Comprehensive Center partners with the Education Development Center (EDC); the Education Alliance at Brown University; Learning Innovations at WestEd; and the UFT-Teacher Center in New York City. Services to the Department are provided through an annual service delivery plan and include:

In addition, through the Comprehensive Center, SED has access to five Content Centers funded by the United States Education Department (USED):

The Comprehensive Center provides benchmarking research as well as critical points to establish best practices in undertaking a statewide standards review and revision initiative. The Comprehensive Center will be fully engaged with the Steering Committee to supply support, guidance, expertise, research, and logistical assistance as we move forward. In order to establish a solid background and foundation for moving forward on this project, certain issues have been discussed and explored by the Department and the Comprehensive Center.

These discussions with the Center, our colleagues around the country and our experience with standards revision, resulted in the following conclusions and understandings in regards to standards review:

• Experience from Other States

The Department has benchmarked other states with the assistance of the Comprehensive Center. Some of the best practices are found in North Carolina, Massachusetts, and Texas. These states begin the review and revision process one standard area at a time as part of an ongoing process. The Fordham Foundation report also details the process of standards review and concludes that initiating the review and revision process one standard at a time is preferred.

• NYS Experience in Mathematics Standards Review

From the Department’s experience with the mathematics standards review and revision, we have learned that standards review and revision has extensive impact in other educational areas. Adjusting standards effectively and properly includes teacher professional development, possible certification and teacher preparation changes, adjustment and alignment to state assessments, and budget implications for implementation at the local level. The standards review in mathematics began in January 2004 and the resulting new Regents test reflecting these new standards will first be administered in June 2008.

• Activities and Elements within the Process

The goal proposed for the Board of Regents P-16 Initiative is to create a perpetual cycle for reviewing and revising all of the NYS Learning Standards over a five to 10 year period so that the standards are constantly being reviewed and updated for a dynamic, changing, and global environment. The standards review is the first major step in the overall comprehensive process. After a determination is made to modify a standard, the following activities need to occur to implement the new standards: develop curricular guidance, statewide roll-out, focused professional development, alignment of assessments and the updating of teacher preparation. Listed below are the eight key elements to the process with a short list of some of the sub-activities:

1. Review of Standards
• expert panels
• content work groups
• oversight groups
• public input
• alignment with expectations of colleges and universities for what students should know and be able to do

2. Public Information, Curriculum, Guidance and Roll-out
• detailed information to the field on the results of the review process by content area
• development of materials for schools and districts for adjusting their curriculum and instruction to reflect the new standards
• drafting and implementation of new/updated regulations to reflect revised standards
• efforts to promote public education and understanding of the new NYS learning standards

3. Professional Development
• engaging intense teacher and administrator education to develop, understand and implement the new and revised standards
• work with teacher groups and unions to ensure clear understanding ensure teachers know and understand the revisions so that they can properly adjust their instruction and curriculum

4. Implementation in Schools
• verify that all schools are ready and able to implement the new learning standards at a consistent time so that state wide assessments yield valid and reliable statewide data
• ensure consistent teacher development throughout this initial roll-out

5. Test Development in appropriate content areas - test development is a three year process that includes:
• item writing
• field testing,
• teacher input
• psychometric analysis
• statewide support and understanding

6. First New Operational Test in appropriate content areas - This must be done consistently across the entire state to ensure validity in testing and for reliable accountability measures, possible electronic test development and/or administration mechanisms can be researched and implemented over time.

7. Teacher Preparation and Certification
• work with higher education teacher preparation programs to ensure that new teachers are being trained on the revised learning standards and are well prepared upon their entry to the classroom
• communicate with teacher preparation programs early and often about changes to the standards
• revisions to teacher certification exams to reflect the revised learning standards

8. Analysis, Intervention, and Feedback Loop - Analyze the process and test results at the conclusion of each content area adjustment to address concerns and to inform the Department for the next cycle of this perpetual standards review process. This activity will also include analysis for future modification, alignment with teacher preparation programs, and possible regulatory adjustments and revisions.

 

 

• Involvement of Constituent Groups

Input from the field is critical for this statewide initiative. To ensure that we employ the best expertise and experience in the field, we will reach out to many groups and individuals including, but not limited to:

The Governor and Legislature, the Division of Budget, other state agencies, leaders of school districts, institutions of higher education, P-12, and higher education associations, parent organizations, business organizations, teachers, administrators, unions, special interest groups, cognitive psychologists, content researchers, interdisciplinary representatives/educators, national content experts, career and technical education practitioners, bilingual education practitioners, and special education practitioners, among others.

• Understanding the Impact on the Field

With approximately 700 school districts in the State, the overall standards review and revision process needs to include time for professional development, public education on the basis for the changes, and sufficient time for statewide phase-in of the changes. While the New York State learning standards need to be reviewed and revised, we also need to be cognizant of the demands on our large and complex educational system and its need to continue to operate and function within this changing environment. The cost of the implementation of revised standards will affect school district budgets and must also be taken into consideration.

• Alignment with Assessments

Standards review and revision will require alignment with state assessments. We know from experience that the adjustments to the state assessment development process will take additional time and should properly be phased in over a few year period as is currently being done in the high school mathematics program.

• The Need for a Long Term Comprehensive Plan

A comprehensive plan that calls for the perpetual review and revision of standards will engage the public, allow for needed support and implementation, and allow for creative thinking and research based initiatives without predetermined parameters. Our goal should be to create a long term sustainable system of perpetual review, analysis, understanding, and improvement. Ultimately, the process will yield world class standards and a testing system that will align with the expectations of the higher education community of what students should know and be able to do. This will reduce the need for remediation in colleges and universities. Research and experience indicates that a successful standards review and revision process includes multiple and complex initiatives in alignment of assessments with revised standards, curriculum guidance, assessment development, professional development, and teacher preparation considerations. As part of that goal of creating an ongoing perpetual system of standards review and revision, the department needs to create the needed capacity to support such a system. Resources, staff assignments, and internal capacities will need to be established to properly support this ongoing initiative.

Next Steps

Standards Review Initiative Time Table                                                Attachment A

 

Activity/Academic

               Year

07-08

08-09

09-10

10-11

11-12

12-13

13-14

14-15

15-16

16-17

Review of Standards

 

ELA

 

CDOS

 

SS

 

HPEF

 

MST

 

 

MST

LOTE

 

Arts

 

ELA

 

 

Public Information,

Roll-out, and Curriculum  Guidance

 

ELA

 

ELA

CDOS

 

CDOS

SS

 

SS

HPEF

 

HPEF

MST

 

MST

LOTE

MST

LOTE

Arts

 

Arts

ELA

 

ELA

 

Professional Development

 

 

ELA

 

ELA

CDOS

 

SS

ELA

CDOS

 

CDOS

SS

HPEF

 

SS

HPEF

 

HPEF

MST

LOTE

 

MST

LOTE

Arts

MST

ELA

LOTE

Arts

 

Arts

ELA

Implementation in Schools

 

 

 

 

ELA

 

CDOS

 

SS

 

HPEF

 

 

MST

LOTE

 

Arts

ELA

Test

Development

 

 

ELA

 

ELA

 

 

SS

ELA

 

 

SS

 

SS

 

LOTE

MST

 

LOTE

MST

ELA

 

LOTE

MST

ELA

 

ELA

First New Operational Test

 

 

 

 

ELA

 

 

 

 

SS

 

 

 

LOTE

MST

 

ELA

Analysis, Intervention/Technical Assistance  and Feedback Loop.*

 

 

 

 

ELA

 

ELA

CDOS

 

SS

CDOS

 

SS

HPEF

 

HPEF

 

MST

LOTE

MST

ELA

LOTE

Arts

Standards Area Key

ARTs =  Arts (visual, music, dance, theatre                                                                                                         LOTE  =  Languages Other than English

CDOS  =  Career Development and Occupational Studies (seven technical disciplines)                 MST  =  Math, Science, Technology

ELA  =  English Language Arts                                                                                                                                 SS  =  Social Studies

HPEF  =  Health, Physical Education and Family and Consumer Sciences

 

 

New York State
Learning Standards Review Structure

Graphic not available at this time.