sed seal                                                                                                 

 

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

TO:

sgnature of Joe FreyHigher Education Committee

FROM:

Joseph P. Frey

 

SUBJECT:

Part II: Transforming Teaching and Learning and School Leadership in New York State

DATE:

December 8, 2009

STRATEGIC GOAL:

Goals 1, 2 and 3

AUTHORIZATION(S):

 

 

SUMMARY

 

Issue for Discussion

What actions can the Board of Regents and the Department take to transform teaching and learning and school leadership in New York State, and to recruit skilled teachers and leaders in New York’s high need schools?

 

Proposed Handling

 

The item is being presented to the Board of Regents for discussion.

Background Information and Procedural History

Last month, the Board of Regents consented on the direction of five recommendations to transform teaching and learning and to support the recruitment of skilled teachers in high need subjects and schools across New York State. Those conceptual recommendations included:

 

 

 

 

 

 

Department leadership will now reach out to educators across P-12 and higher education including schools of education, as well as BOCES, Teacher Centers, the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards, the State Professional Standards and Practices Board, professional organizations, union leaders, and other partners for input into the development of a detailed implementation plan for each of the proposed strategies.

Recommendation

This month, the Board of Regents will continue their discussion and consider additional recommendations to advance their agenda to transform teaching and learning, as well as school leadership in New York State, and to recruit skilled teachers and leaders in New York’s high need schools. This report presents the following recommendations for the Regents consideration:

Transforming Teaching and Learning

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Strengthening the Preparation and Practice of School Leaders

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Transforming Teaching and Learning in New York State

Last month, the Board of Regents consented on the direction of five recommendations to transform teaching and learning and to support the recruitment of skilled teachers in high need subjects and schools across New York State. In follow-up to the discussion in November, the report that follows presents additional recommendations to advance the Regents agenda to transform the preparation and practice of teachers and school leaders in our State’s schools. It is proposed that the Board of Regents consider approving the following additional recommendations to strengthen teaching and learning:

 

 

To strengthen teaching practice in New York State, it is proposed that the State teacher certification structure be enhanced to recognize teachers that have demonstrated value-added to student learning through a variety of methods, including student assessments. 

Specifically, it is recommended that a career ladder be created that establishes a career development pathway for teachers to continue as teachers with progressively increasing performance requirements.  Teachers could progress along a continuum from novice to master teacher.  Each step along the pathway would require a deeper level of proficiency in practice and positive effect on student learning.  The State would use the certification structure to recognize teachers’ achievements (e.g., novice, practicing, advanced, master, and Board certified).  There would not be any requirement for a teacher to move beyond the second level of the continuum.  Districts could use the statewide certification structure to negotiate use of the career ladder to compensate teachers for improving their teaching practice throughout their careers. 

Key dates for creating statewide career ladder for teachers

Develop a career ladder model

April 2010 – September 2010

Enact career ladder model

January 2011

Adjust and revise model

Following implementation of P-20 data system

 

 

In 2000, in collaboration with partners including teachers, principals, District Superintendents, BOCES, and other partners, the Board of Regents approved Annual Professional Performance Review regulations that identify the criteria upon which all teachers in New York State must be evaluated.  The 2000 criteria include:

 

These evaluation criteria are included in teachers’ Annual Professional Performance Reviews. The process for conducting the evaluations is a negotiable item between the employing school district and the teachers’ collective bargaining agent.  Each superintendent, in consultation with teachers, administrators and other school service professionals, develops formal procedures for the evaluation systems at the district level.

As part of the reform agenda for strengthening teaching, it is proposed that the Board of Regents revisit the APPR so that it:

 

 

 

In addition, it is proposed that the Regents also include in statewide regulations that, as part of the APPR, each local educational agency implement uniform qualitative rating categories to evaluate teachers (e.g. Highly Effective, Effective, Developing and Ineffective).  Any implications of these categories for evaluation systems embedded in existing contracts, teacher compensation, etc. would need to be collectively bargained.

Annual Professional Performance Review (APPR) for Teachers

Solicit feedback from stakeholders statewide                                                    

July - September 2010

Final document and regulations developed                                                       

September - December 2010

Approval by Board of Regents                                                                              

March 2011

APPR goes into effect

May 2011

Recruit and train trainers

May - July 2011

Identify regional training sites/dates

July - August 2011

Conduct training 

September 2011 - February 2012

 

 

Teacher leaders are teachers who seek out opportunities to improve student achievement by collaborating with colleagues to analyze student performance data, put in place strategies for improving instruction, and to continuously improve their teaching practice throughout their careers. Putting in place high quality induction programs to create teacher leaders is a highly effective, evidence-based strategy for providing new teachers with the support needed to be successful and for improving teacher retention.  Research indicates that 80 to 90 percent of teachers who engage in high-caliber induction programs stay in the field for five years or more. School improvement is most effective in environments where teachers are encouraged to become teacher leaders.  Teacher leaders are fundamental to implementing instructional change, cultivating cultures of excellence, and to supporting and mentoring the next generation of new teachers.

To strengthen teaching across the State, it is proposed that a model induction program be created, through an RFP process, aimed at developing teachers so they are prepared to lead educational program improvements, support the development of new teachers, and engage families and community members in children’s education.  It is recommended that New York’s application for Race to the Top include funding to support this initiative.  Core criteria for the pilot model induction program are: a) provide effective support for new teachers to help them make more rapid progress along teaching skills continuum; b) retain and motivate new teachers; c) grow teacher leaders; and d) help transform schools into true teaching and learning communities.  In the program, teachers will be provided with mentoring and support to help them to become instructional leaders and improve teaching and learning.  In addition to helping participating teachers achieve expertise in curriculum planning, assessment, and using data and reflections on practice to inform instruction, the projects will also help to develop teachers’ knowledge, skills, and disposition for energizing partners and engaging them in school turnaround initiatives. 

Model induction programs to prepare teachers to be teacher leaders

Issue RFP

September 2010

 

 

 

Preparing teachers through an intensive clinical component that directly supports the application of theory into practice enables new teachers to understand first-hand the diversity of the student population and the culture of the learning environment in New York’s high need schools. This approach will help to attract the best candidates to high need schools and will give them sufficient time, support, and practice, to transition effectively into teaching, thus reducing attrition. These clinically rich programs will use cutting edge instruction informed by research on the best and most effective practices for teaching students in high need schools – instruction that will be tailored to the needs of the schools and their students. Trained mentors and supervising teachers will supervise the year-long teaching placements and will be given the time and resources needed to make the mentoring relationship meaningful and successful.  After finishing the clinical component, candidates will commit to teach in high need schools for three years.  Candidates hired as teachers of record, on completing their clinical component, will continue to be supported in their first years of teaching by trained mentors.

An important component of this clinically rich program will be collaboration between the faculties of the LEA and the teacher preparation programs. In the pilot, teacher preparation program faculty will work closely with teacher candidates directly in the schools. Participating colleges and universities will be expected to show how faculty working with the new programs – through the innovation of the development and delivery of a clinically rich program, heightened collaboration with LEAs, and implementation of action learning coupled with problem based research practices- should be comparable to traditional publishing expectations and rewarded with tenure, promotions and/or expanded flexibility for their work in P-12 schools to prepare and support student teachers. Where appropriate, changes to tenure requirements and working conditions should be bargained with the appropriate collective bargaining unit.

The pilot, which is proposed to be included in New York’s Race to the Top application, will be carefully studied and assessed. 

Key dates for proposed implementation of pilot teacher preparation programs

RFP issued for pilot teacher preparation programs

June 2010

Pilot programs are developed by collegiate and non-collegiate institutions

September 2010 – June 2011

First cohort of students begin pilot programs

September 2011

 

 

Research on teacher enhancement and instructional improvement suggests that a change in teaching practice is evident in organizations that establish a supportive professional development culture, provide professional development experiences grounded in a combination of content and pedagogy and build institutional capacity and individual knowledge that is sustainable over time.  

In 2007, the State Education Department, the New York Comprehensive Center and the Assessment and Accountability Content Center partnered with the Syracuse City School District (SCSD) in a professional development initiative to transform instruction.  SCSD, using its Title II Part B Mathematics Science Partnership funds, implemented a systemic professional development model based on the work of Margaret Heritage, a national expert and Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO) consultant on formative assessment and data use.  Ten elementary school principals and teachers engaged in a series of embedded professional development opportunities which have transformed instructional practices.  Positive results from the initiative continue to be reported.

Using data from the Syracuse model, and other successful formative assessment projects from across the country, it is proposed that an RFP be issued to fund projects in high need LEAs to provide professional development designed to effect a systemic change in the interaction between the teacher, the content, and the learner.  It is recommended that New York’s application for Race to the Top include funding to support this initiative. Using student achievement data and other assessment techniques to inform and improve instruction, teachers and principals will receive job-embedded professional development to strengthen their practice and positively affect student learning. Participating teachers will learn to analyze data to improve instructional practice, create a culture of data driven decision making, and design and differentiate instruction to address the needs of all students, particularly those in the performance gap (English language learners, students with disabilities and Black and Hispanic males).  Through the programs, participating teachers will have opportunities to participate in professional learning communities of teachers, to receive technical assistance from national experts, and will also be provided with strategies for reflecting upon and improving practice.  It is proposed that an independent evaluation of the programs be conducted to document successful practices and inform future models for statewide implementation.

Key dates for putting in place a formative assessment model of professional development for improving teaching and learning  in high need schools

Development of RFP

June 2010 – September 2010

Issue RFP

October 2010

Projects Funded Year 1  

July 1, 2011

Projects Funded Year 2

July 1, 2012

Projects Funded Year 3

July 1, 2013

 

 

For the last three years, the State Education Department has been providing extensive teacher supply and demand data to school leaders, the leadership of teacher education programs, and other partners, identifying teacher shortages both regionally and in specific subject areas.  The data have been used extensively by the field for planning purposes and for hiring decisions. The data are being used to help students make informed educational and career decisions so that the students will be employable and schools will have enough teachers to meet their hiring needs.   It is proposed that the Board of Regents expand existing efforts to ensure that all students are taught by qualified, certified teachers by incorporating the equitable distribution of effective teachers into district report cards and district accountability measures.

Timeline to be developed in collaboration with district superintendents, superintendents of school districts, and other partners

 

Section 3020-a of Education Law requires the State Education Department to pay the expense of the tenured teacher hearings.  These costs include the costs of hearing officers, stenographers, and panel members participating in the hearing process.  These hearings often tend to be expensive and lengthy.  The Department is developing a legislative proposal to create financial incentives to expeditiously resolve these matters and reduce the State's financial burden.  The legislative proposal will also address the issue of mutual disclosure to ensure that the process is efficient and fair.  The proposal will also address, where appropriate, elimination of the need for a full 3020-a process to excess a teacher who is not appropriately certified.

 

Key dates for streamlining the §3020-a process

 

Develop legislative proposal to amend Education Law §3020-a

December 2009

Presentation to Board of Regents

January 2010

Passage of amendments to Education Law §3020-a

Spring 2010

Development of regulations to implement change

Summer 2010

Effective date of new legislation

Fall 2010


Strengthening the Preparation and Practice of School Leaders

 

 

Quality preparation programs are essential to ensuring that the next generation of school leaders are prepared to "turn around" our State's underperforming schools and to enhance teaching and learning.  With the development of the Cohesive Leadership System, New York is already making significant progress toward strengthening school leadership in high need areas.  Six of the 54 collegiate programs that prepare school leaders in the State are now under transformation. 

A competitive RFP process is being proposed to provide colleges with resources to transform their school leadership programs and tailor the programs to prepare principals to serve in high need schools. In addition, through the RFP process, non-collegiate providers with expertise in principal preparation and demonstrated results in raising the achievement of high need students will also be invited to apply for funding.  Pilot programs will be established that partner leadership preparation providers with schools in high need communities and put in place clinically rich, research-based program practices where students are engaged in "real world" issues and in solving problems routinely confronted by school leaders.  It is recommended that New York’s application for Race to the Top include funding to support this initiative.

Priority will be given to those proposed partnerships where there is a commitment on the part of the high need schools to move new principals into leadership positions with the appropriate support and, to the greatest extent practical, in a phased approach.  The goal is to create a long term pipeline for new school leaders for high need schools. 

Key dates for transforming school leader preparation

RFP issued for pilot school leader preparation programs

June 2010

Pilot programs are developed

September 2010 – June 2011

First cohort of students begin pilot programs

September 2011

 

 

Clinical experience required to become certified as a school building leader varies in the State.  The nature of the work and means for assessing competency are decisions made by the program at each institution of higher education.

It is proposed that comprehensive, performance-based assessments be designed by the State Education Department and administered by school leader preparation programs to ensure that candidates have experienced authentic, problem-based clinical experiences requiring “real world” leadership responsibilities focused on school improvement initiatives, as part of a new “Clinical Services” model of school leader preparation. 

Performance assessments would be conducted three times during a candidate’s pre-service program leading to certification.  Candidates typically complete leadership preparation programs over the course of two years.  Each performance assessment will be used to determine eligibility for continuation to the next phase of the program.  Phase I of the Clinical Services model engages candidates in direct observation, shadowing and interviewing of school leaders engaged in school improvement  efforts.  Simultaneous coursework will emphasize research on school improvement strategies.  Phase II requires an analysis of critical data and factors affecting student learning.  A host school will provide data and access to information for analysis and recommendations by new principal candidates and faculty from the preparation institutions.  The candidate presents findings, and stakeholders from the school provide feedback and determine whether the candidate has demonstrated the necessary knowledge and skills to enter the internship component of the program.  On completion of the internship, the candidate outlines the school improvement issues addressed and evidence of actions taken and presents data on the effect of those actions.  Collectively, the model’s phases provide a meaningful performance-based assessment that ensures preparation of candidates, through authentic experiences, to take leadership in persistently low-achieving schools.

Key dates for performance assessment for certification of school principals

(Recommended timeframe to be confirmed with test development vendor)

Finalize draft clinical services model to serve as foundation                      

January 2010

Pilot ISLLC reflection tools and Phase I Performance Assessment criteria and instruments                                                                                               

January - May 2010

Pilot Phase II Performance Assessment

August - December 2010

Pilot Phase III Performance Assessment

January - May 2011

Develop regulations requiring implementation of clinical services model for participating institutions of higher education and non-collegiate providers                                                                                                                                            

March - May 2011

Approval of regulations by Board of Regents

June 2011

 

 

Through a Wallace Foundation Grant, New York State is developing regional Leadership Academies to provide school leaders with professional development based on research, best practice, and regional needs based on student performance data. The newly formed academies offer problem-based learning using the authentic, job-embedded challenges principals face in their schools.  The focus of the academies is to assist and support principals in their role as instructional leaders and to positively influence their impact on improving instruction and student learning.  Newly developed academies include a research-based coaching component, supporting principals and ensuring application of learned skills and improvement strategies.

Building on the success of the existing Leadership Academies, it is proposed that, as part of the Regents reform agenda and the State’s Race to the Top initiative, 11 additional academies be developed geographically covering the State and in the remaining three large city districts (Buffalo, Yonkers and Syracuse).  In addition, NCLB funds will be used, on an annual basis, to sustain the leadership academies over time. It is recommended that New York’s application for Race to the Top include a request for funds to develop Regional Quality Support Centers for high need schools through a competitive RFP process that will ensure that all leadership academies developed with NCLB funds are grounded in the research and in the successful experiences of those leadership academies already established.  In addition, the RTTT funds will also allow New York to develop leadership academies for the rest of the State which can be sustained over time with state reimbursement (under current law) for professional activities delivered on a regional basis.

 

Key Dates for Expanding Leadership Academies for School Principals

Issue RFP to establish new Leadership Academies in key regions

July 2010

First cohort begin new programs

September 2011

 

 

It is recommended that a statewide principal career ladder be created which recognizes extraordinary commitment to the profession combined with improved results in student achievement over time. This career ladder can be utilized by school districts to compensate principals for demonstrating progressive growth and leadership throughout their careers.  The career ladder will be based on a system to evaluate the school leader’s:

 

 

Eligibility for career ladder compensation will be limited to those truly remarkable role models whose contributions to the field over time are recognized and highly valued by their peers and supported by feedback gathered from families, teachers, staff, administrators and students where appropriate.  Thus feedback from peers will be among the data collected to assess a school leader’s qualification for movement on the career ladder.  A structured and reliable means for collecting this feedback, along with a determination of appropriate time intervals for progression on the career ladder will need to be developed in consultation with the educational community. 

Key dates for creating school leader career ladder

Develop a career ladder model

April 2010 – September 2010

Enact career ladder model

January 2011

Adjust and revise model

Following implementation of P-20 data system

 

 

Develop an APPR for school leaders based on research-based leadership standards and designed to differentiate principal effectiveness employing multiple measures. Ensure that professional development is aligned with this new accountability system. With support from the Wallace Foundation, the Department is now working collaboratively with organizations representing school superintendents, principals and assistant principals and will propose new regulations in the spring of 2010 to implement a Principal Performance Evaluation System (PPES).  A key element in New York State's Cohesive Leadership System is the creation of this PPES.  Principals and district-level leaders, working with national experts, have identified research-based design elements to serve as the foundation for PPES.  The PPES will be aligned with The Educational Leadership Policy Standards: ISLLC 2008.  Five clearly defined components of the system focus on the principal's role as an instructional leader.  Collectively, these components provide the information and data needed to accurately assess the principal's effectiveness in this role.  Principals must develop specific and measurable performance goals which address substantive issues identified through analysis of student achievement data as well as data on other factors that influence the teaching and learning process.  Goals must be specifically centered on improving student achievement and must be ambitious yet achievable.  Action plans to ensure attainment of goals are likewise required and must be based on a thorough understanding and application of relevant research.  Growth in student learning and achievement must be measured serving as evidence of the principal's effectiveness as an instructional leader.  Feedback will be sought from multiple sources including various stakeholders in the educational process to reach conclusions regarding the principal's level of performance.  Targeted areas for professional development of the principal will be identified and evidence of growth will be required.  An essential component of the performance evaluation is to recognize the linkage that exists between strong and focused school leadership and student achievement.  Thus the evaluation system will gauge the school leader's ability to demonstrate effective academic leadership directed toward reaching specific goals for improving student learning and improved achievement.  Providing for feedback into the evaluation of school leaders from multiple sources is also a required component of the new performance evaluation system.  Additionally, the evaluation will involve establishing expectations for professional growth of the school leader as demonstrated by actions that impact student learning.  The PPES will become the basis for the APPR for principals.

Annual Professional Performance Review (APPR) for School Leaders

Solicit feedback from stakeholders statewide

January -  April 2010

Final document and regulations developed

June - July 2010

Approval by Board of Regents

July 2010

APPR goes into effect

September 2010

 

 

It is proposed that the Board of Regents consider approving a recommendation to begin development of a NYSED profile for institutions that prepare school leaders. Data proposed to be part of the profile include:

 

 

With the development of the P-20 data system, it will become possible to track program graduates in their employment as school leaders in the public schools of New York and connect the data on P-12 student performance to the institutions’ graduates.  These new data will further inform the Department and the public regarding effectiveness of programs and their graduates.  The profile will also provide institutions with the necessary information and data to help strengthen their programs based upon the performance of their graduates in P-12 schools.

Key dates for creating data profiles for school leader preparation programs

Accountability system enacted into regulations

December 2010 – to go into effect for the 2011-12 academic year

Adjust and revise system to include new data points

Following implementation of P-20 data system

 

Next Steps

              The proposed strategies are being recommended to the Board of Regents to transform teaching and learning and strengthen school leadership in New York State. With the Regents endorsement, Department leadership will now reach out to educators across P-12 and higher education including schools of education, as well as BOCES, Teacher Centers, the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards, the State Professional Standards and Practices Board, professional organizations, union leaders, and other partners for input into the development of a detailed implementation plan for each of the proposed strategies.  We will also engage exemplary PreK-12 schools and educational leaders that have proven to be successful at improving student outcomes, particularly for those students who have traditionally been in the gap.  This will enable us to benchmark best practices and bring successful practices to scale in high need schools in New York State.  The recommendations and feedback from the field will be brought back before the Regents for additional consideration and discussion. 

 

Teachers’ understanding of students’ cultural and linguistic backgrounds will be reflected in new standards and in the enhancement of the APPR.

Sack, J. L. (2005). Commission urges comprehensive induction programs for teachers. Education Week, 25(1),18.