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Meeting of the Board of Regents | October 2008

Tuesday, October 21, 2008 - 11:15pm

Report of



The Board of Regents

October 21, 2008


              Your EMSC Committee held its scheduled meeting on October 20, 2008.  All Committee members were present.




Submission of a Differentiated Accountability Model to the United States Department of Education


                Your Committee discussed and approved the conceptual differentiated accountability proposal that was submitted to USED in time to meet the USED deadline.  If USED approves this proposal, New York will be able to revise the manner in which schools and districts are categorized under NCLB as well as develop modified consequences and supports for schools and districts identified for improvement.  The Regents asked that staff strengthen the proposal to reflect elements discussed during the Committee meeting including emphasis on district accountability.   [EMSC (A) 3]


Proposed Interim Growth Model for Title I Accountability

              The Committee discussed the input on the draft Growth Model proposal from the six public forums in September and October.  Staff made recommendations for changes to the proposal as a result of the input from those forums and the Committee endorsed those changes.  The Committee discussed the positive comments received at the forums and the significant endorsement by the field of the direction in which the Board of Regents and the Department are heading.  It was also pointed out that additional resources will be needed to implement the Growth Model.  Staff will compile the results of all the surveys and comments received at the forums and provide this information to the Regents offline.  In addition, as the Regents requested, over the next several months, a second tier to the model to measure growth of students who are already proficient will be developed. Your Committee unanimously recommends that the Board of Regents approve the final proposed growth model for submission to the United States Education Department, as required by Chapter 57 of the Laws of 2007.   [EMSC (A) 2]


Charter Schools


Your Committee recommends that the Board of Regents approves the revisions to the initial charter of the Western New York Maritime Charter School, and the provisional charter is amended accordingly.   [EMSC (A) 1]




Consent Agenda


              Your Committee recommends that the Board of Regents hereby give consent to the issuance of bonds and/or bond anticipation notes by the Board of Education of the Hornell City School District in an amount not to exceed $52,700,000 for capital improvements consisting of additions to, and reconstruction of school buildings and facilities throughout the district and the issuance of such bonds and/or bond anticipation notes in excess of the constitutional debt limit of said school district.  [EMSC (CA) 1]


              Your Committee recommends that the Board of Regents hereby gives consent to the issuance of bonds and/or bond anticipation notes by the Board of Education of the Cohoes City School District in an amount not to exceed $22,500,000 to reconstruct, renovate, and construct additions and improvements to various district buildings and sites and the issuance of such bonds and/or bond anticipation notes in excess of the constitutional debt limit of said school district.  [EMSC (CA) 2]


Your Committee recommends that seven schools listed above be substituted for the seven schools that closed and therefore receive the same variance that the Regents approved in June 2008. Those schools are: Community School for Social Justice, Essex Street Academy, Facing History School, Gotham Professional Arts Academy, James Baldwin School, New Day Academy, and the Brooklyn School for Collaborative Studies. The variance would allow the schools to use portfolio assessments in place of the Regents Exams in mathematics, social studies, and science for a five-year period, through the 2013-2014 school year. The schools would still be required to take the Regents Exam in English. Additionally, general education students who entered ninth grade in fall 2008 in the schools listed above would also be required to pass the Regents Exam in English at a score of 65, as is true in the rest of the state.  [EMSC (CA) 3]





              Mr. Chancellor and Colleagues:  Your EMSC 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 October 20, 2008, copies of which have been distributed to each Regent.





Proposed Amendment to the Regulations of the Commissioner Relating to the Excelsior Scholars Program – The Committee discussed a proposed amendment to the Excelsior Scholars Program for grade seven mathematics and science students.  These grants are awarded on a competitive basis to public and independent colleges and universities to conduct summer programs providing advanced coursework in mathematics and science to students designated as Excelsior Scholars.  The proposed amendment clarifies procedures for the nomination of eligible students by school district superintendents.  Subdivision (c) of section 100.14 provides that the superintendent may nominate up to 10 percent of a school's eligible grade seven students to participate in the programs.  This amendment will clarify the nominating process to provide that in instances where a school district has fewer than 10 eligible students, the superintendent may nominate one such student.  The Committee reached consensus on the intent of the proposed amendment.  It will be submitted to the Regents in November for final approval.   [EMSC (D) 1]


Impact of Attrition and Budget Cuts on P-16 Capacity – The Committee discussed the impact of the 10.35 percent cut in both state operations and special revenue funds, a hard hiring freeze and the loss of several key staff on capacity in P-16 to successfully meet our goals.  This discussion was held at both the EMSC and the Higher Education Committee meetings and gave both committees a fuller picture of current staff capacity (including 42 positions available to fill and expectations for more losses through retirement), what we have as priorities and what we are doing to address capacity issues for now and in the near future.  Any additional cuts to state operations will further impact staffing and core programs.  Members of the Committee suggested that further discussion is needed on how Department staffing aligns with the Regents priorities and where funding is fungible.  [EMSC (D) 2]


Proposed Regents 2009 State and Federal Legislative Priorities – The Committee discussed the proposals that the Regents will consider for inclusion in their 2009-10 legislative priorities.   The Committee discussed the possible inclusion of the District Superintendent salary cap issue as a separate item.  Members of the Committee would like to examine this further and will come back in November with a recommendation on whether it should be put into this legislative priority package as a separate item or as a part of the BOCES reform initiative.  [BR (D) 2]



That concludes our report.





                                                                                    Anthony Bottar and Merryl Tisch