Report of the
REGENTS P-12 EDUCATION COMMITTEE
to
The Board of Regents
January 10, 2012

Your P-12 Education Committee held its scheduled meeting on January 9, 2012.  All members were present.  

ACTION ITEMS

Charter Schools

Your Committee recommends that the Board of Regents finds that the proposed charter school (Global Concepts Charter School): (1) meets the requirements set out in Article 56 of the Education Law, and all other applicable laws, rules and regulations; (2) will operate in an educationally and fiscally sound manner; (3) is likely to improve student learning and achievement and materially further the purposes set out in subdivision two of section twenty-eight hundred fifty of Article 56 of the Education Law; and (4) will have a significant educational benefit to the students expected to attend the charter school, and the Board of Regents therefore approves the renewal application of the Global Concepts Charter School and that a second renewal charter be issued, and that its provisional charter be extended for a term up through and including June 30, 2016.    [P-12 (A) 1]

Update on New York State’s Next Generation Accountability System

Your Committee recommends that the Board of Regents directs the Commissioner of Education and the State Education Department to issue for public comment a draft ESEA Waiver Application based upon the materials provided to the Board of Regents at its November 2011, December 2011 and January 2012 meetings.  The Committee discussed the following recommendations:  that the growth to proficiency trajectory be three years rather than four; that for determination of  Focus School designation, New York City be analyzed based on a community school district performance; that the gap reduction computation for Safe Harbor remain a 10% closure target; and that for transfer high schools that may be considered for Priority designation, New York will compare the combined performance indexes generated through use of the regular and transfer high school cohort definitions.  The January 2012 draft waiver application will be released for public comment on or about January 17.  A final draft will be brought back to the Committee for action in February.  [P-12 (A) 2]

MOTION FOR ACTION BY FULL BOARD
           
Madam Chancellor and Colleagues: Your P-12 Education Committee recommends, and I move, that the Board of Regents act affirmatively upon each recommendation in the written report of the Committee's deliberations at its meeting on January 10, 2012, copies of which have been distributed to each Regent.

MATTERS NOT REQUIRING BOARD ACTION

Dignity for All Students Act

The Committee discussed proposed amendments to regulations that would require school district and BOCES codes of conduct to include provisions to comply with the Dignity for All Students Act.  Specifically included in the proposed amendments are provisions prohibiting discrimination and harassment against any student by employees or students on school property or at a school function and provisions for responding to such acts of discrimination or harassment; a bill of rights and responsibilities of students focusing on positive student behavior and a safe and supportive school climate; and guidelines and programs for in-service education programs for all district staff members.  Following a public comment period, the proposed amendments will be presented to the Committee for action in March.  [P-12 (D) 1]

The Committee also discussed proposed amendments to regulations to revise provisions relating to courses of instruction in civility, citizenship and character education to ensure compliance with the Dignity for All Students Act.  The proposed amendment does not apply to charter schools.  Following a public comment period, the proposed amendments will be presented to the Committee for action in March.  [P-12 (D) 2]

The Committee was referred to the Department’s online guidance that relates to bullying and cyberbullying.  While cyberbullying is not included in either of the proposed amendments, school districts can include provisions in their codes of conduct.  See
http://www.p12.nysed.gov/technology/internet_safety/documents/cyberbullying.pdf for the Department’s guidance document.

Special Education Impartial Hearings – The Committee discussed proposed amendments to regulations to ensure that impartial hearings are conducted in an efficient and expeditious manner and in accordance with federal regulations governing the timeline requirements to conduct these hearings.  The proposed rule addresses the following procedural issues:  certification and appointment of IHOs; consolidation of multiple due process requests for the same student; prehearing conferences; withdrawals of requests for due process hearings; extensions to the timelines for an impartial hearing decision; and a timeline to render a decision.  Following a public comment period, the proposed amendments will be presented to the Committee for action in April.  [P-12 (D) 3]

Potential Revisions of High School Graduation Requirements to Provide Safety Net Options for Students with Disabilities – the Committee discussed recommendations for the establishment of new safety net diploma requirements.  Discussion focused on several options for consideration by the Regents including the provision of alternatives within the existing safety net to students scoring at least 55 on all five of the currently required Regents exams; and allowing students to substitute courses aligned with the Career Development and Occupational Studies (CDOS) Standards and/or integrated/specialized career and technical education courses or other courses that prepare the student to achieve his/her postsecondary goals for currently required courses and credits.  The Committee endorsed the convening of a workgroup to develop recommendations for a revised graduation safety net for students with disabilities.  [P-12 (D) 4]

Testing Integrity Update – the Committee was given an update on issues relating to testing integrity.  Special Investigator Hank Greenberg has completed interviews with Department staff and will present his findings and recommendations to the Committee in February.

Legislative Update – The Committee was given an update on P-12 related legislative proposals for Mandate Relief and Flexibility; BOR Intervention in Chronically Underperforming Schools, BOCES as Regional Leaders and the Dreamers Act. 

Consent Agenda Items - The Committee discussed the following items scheduled for approval on the Full Board consent agenda: