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Report of Regents P-12 Education Committee to The Board of Regents

Your P-12 Education Committee held its scheduled meeting on April 28, 2014.  All members were present.

ACTION ITEMS

Testing Time and Expedited Review Process [P-12 (A) 1]

Your Committee recommends that the emergency rule amending Subpart 30-2 of the Rules of the Board of Regents that was adopted by the Board of Regents as an emergency measure at the March 10-11 meeting is repealed, effective May 10, 2014; and, it is further recommended that Subpart 30-2 and Section 8.4 of the Rules of the Board of Regents be amended, as submitted, effective May 10, 2014 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 timely implement the provisions of Chapter 56 of the Laws of 2014 relating to the Department's expedited review process for material changes and to ensure that the emergency rule adopted at the March Regents meeting remains continuously in effect until it can be adopted as a permanent rule.

Prohibition of Standardized Testing in Prekindergarten Programs and Grades K-2 - [P-12 (A) 2]

Your Committee recommends that subdivision (a) and paragraph (2) of subdivision (b) of section 100.3, section 151-1.2 and subdivision (b) of section 151-1.3 of the Regulations of the Commissioner of Education be amended, as submitted, effective April 29, 2014, as an emergency action upon a finding by the Board of Regents that such action is necessary for the preservation of the general welfare to immediately conform the Commissioner’s Regulations to Subpart A of Part AA of Chapter 56 of the Laws of 2014, relating to prohibiting the administration of traditional standardized tests in prekindergarten programs (including Universal Pre-Kindergarten programs) and grades kindergarten through two, and thus ensure the timely implementation of the statute.

Promotion and Placement Determinations [P-12 (A) 3]

Your Committee recommends that subdivision (ll) of section 100.2 and section 104.3 of the Regulations of the Commissioner be added and that paragraphs 100.3(b)(2) and 100.4(b)(2), and subdivision 100.4(e) be amended, as submitted, effective April 29, 2014, as an emergency action upon a finding by the Board of Regents that such action is necessary for the preservation of the general welfare to immediately conform the Commissioner’s Regulations to Subparts B and C of Part AA of Chapter 56 of the Laws of 2014, relating to grades 3-8 ELA and mathematics assessments and promotion and placement determinations, and student official transcripts and permanent records, and thus ensure the timely implementation of the statute.

Cheerleading as a Sport [P-12 (A) 4]

Your Committee recommends that the Board approve the recommendation as submitted, and direct Department staff to revise the Extra Class Athletic Activities Guidelines, established pursuant to §135.4 of the Commissioner’s regulations, to reflect competitive cheerleading as an interscholastic sport, effective with the 2014-15 winter season.  Robert Zayas, Director of the New York State Public High School Athletic Association, and Todd Nelson, Assistant Director, were present for the discussion.

Common Core K-12 Social Studies Framework  [P-12 (A) 5]

Your Committee recommends that the Board approve the recommendation as submitted, and direct Department staff to post the final approved Common Core K-12 Social Studies Framework.  Greg Ahlquist, Social Studies Teacher from the Webster CSD and former Teacher of the Year 2013, was present for this discussion.

ESEA Flexibility Renewal Request, Annual Measurable Objectives, and Removal of Certain Focus Schools from Accountability Designation without replacement[P-12 (A) 6]

Your Committee recommends that paragraph (2) of subdivision (i) and subdivision (j) of section 100.18 of the Regulations of the Commissioner of Education be amended, as submitted, effective April 29, 2014, as an emergency action upon a finding by the Board of Regents that such action is necessary for the preservation of the general welfare to immediately conform the Commissioner's Regulations to:

  • timely implement New York State's approved ESEA Flexibility Waiver with respect to the methodology for setting the Annual Measurable Objectives (AMOs) for elementary-middle level ELA and mathematics; and
  • allow certain Focus Schools to be removed from accountability designation without requiring that the removed schools be replaced by other schools,

so that school districts and charter schools may timely meet school/school district accountability requirements for the 2013-14 school year and beyond.

Charter School for Applied Technologies [P-12 (A) 7]

Your Committee recommends that the Board of Regents finds that the proposed revised charter: (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 charter revision for the Charter School for Applied Technologies and amends the provisional charter accordingly.  The revision includes an increase in the school’s maximum enrollment from 1675 students to 2365 students, and to serve grades 6-8 in a building located within the Buffalo City School District, in close proximity to the Kenmore-Tonawanda School District, which is the district of location for the Charter School.

MOTION FOR ACTION BY FULL BOARD

Madam Chancellor and Colleagues: Your P-12 Education Committee recommends, and we move, that the Board of Regents act affirmatively upon each recommendation in the written report of the Committee's deliberations at its meeting on April 29, 2014, copies of which have been distributed to each Regent. 

MATTERS NOT REQUIRING BOARD ACTION

Distinguished Educator Program [P-12 (D) 1] – the Committee discussed proposed amendments to regulations relating to the Distinguished Educator Program.  New York State currently has one Distinguished Educator, Dr. Judy Elliott, who has served the Buffalo Public Schools since August 2012.  The Department has learned from the experiences of Dr. Elliott and is proposing amendments to regulations to enhance the Distinguished Educator Program.  The recommend changes will: 

  • provide a more explicit delineation of the ways in which districts are expected to fully cooperate with a distinguished educator so as to make the work of the distinguished educator more productive and helpful to the district;
  • provide that the action plan that results from the assignment of a distinguished educator be jointly developed by the district and the distinguished educator;
  • allow for persons selected for the pool of distinguished educators to be able to remain in the pool and eligible for assignment as a distinguished educator for a period of more than three years so long as these persons demonstrate that they are participating in appropriate professional development; and
  • allow the Commissioner to have the flexibility to reappoint a distinguished educator to multiple one-year renewal terms and be able to appoint more than one distinguished educator to serve a district, if needed.

Action on the proposed regulations is scheduled for the July 2014 meeting of the Board of Regents, following a public comment period.

Initiatives Related to Response to Intervention [P-12 (D) 2] – the Committee discussed the Department’s initiatives related to Response to Intervention (RtI).  RtI is a process used to determine if a student is responding to classroom instruction and progressing as expected.  Students receive instruction through a multi-tier instructional model.  As students progress through the tiers, instruction with increased intensity such as smaller groups or instruction time focused on specific areas is provided.  The Committee was joined by two experts on this topic:  Nina McCarthy, Principal, West Street Elementary School, Geneva City School District, and Katherine A. Dougherty Stahl – NYS RtI TAC Consortium Member.  Discussion focused on the RtI pilot project at the West Street Elementary School in Geneva. 

Transfer High School Credit for Students in State Agency Educational Programs[P-12 (D) 3] – The Committee discussed options to expand opportunities for students to receive high school credit for work completed while the student was enrolled in an educational program operated by a State agency.  In some instances students who attend educational programs operated by OCFS and other State agencies pursuant to Education Law §112 and Part 116 of the Commissioner’s Regulations are not automatically granted credit for their coursework because such facilities are not registered high schools.  The proposed amendment would provide that principals of registered public high schools be allowed to grant transfer credit to a student for credit awarded while the student attended such educational programs, upon the attestation of the chief administrator that the student has met certain criteria. If approved, Department staff will work with OCFS on a Memorandum of Understanding (“MOU”) to ensure compliance with applicable laws, regulations, directions and policies regarding test security, administration and scoring as well as to ensure that OCFS annually reports to the Department on the credits it awards annually to students.  The proposed amendments will be presented to the Board of Regents at their July 2014 meeting.

Revisions to Part 154 of Commissioner’s Regulations – The Committee discussed Department initiatives for English language learners.  Discussion focused on Part 154 of Commissioner’s Regulations and recommended changes to better serve the needs of English language learners (ELL).  Following extensive feedback from the field and key stakeholders, staff presented draft recommendations to the Regents to get their endorsement to proceed with amendments to Commissioner’s Regulations.  It is anticipated that proposed amendments will be presented to the Regents at their May 2014 meeting.

Consent Agenda Items

The Board of Regents will take action on the following consent agenda items at their March 11, 2014 meeting.

  • Protection of People with Special Needs Act (regulations)
  • Regulations to provide flexibility to school districts and charter schools regarding the administration of Regents Examinations in Mathematics (Common Core) to grade 7 and 8 students.
  • Registration of Non-public Schools
  • Transition to Common Core-aligned Regents Examinations in Mathematics (Geometry)

Associated Agenda Item

Meeting Date: 
Monday, April 28, 2014 - 10:00am

Committee