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Meeting of the Board of Regents | January 2010

Monday, January 11, 2010 - 11:45pm


EMSC Committee


John B. King, Jr.


Developing and implementing common, high-quality assessments


January 5, 2010


Goal 1






Issue for Decision

Do the Regents endorse New York State’s participation in a consortium of States that will work toward jointly developing and implementing common, high-quality assessments aligned with a common set of K-12 standards?


Reason(s) for Consideration


Review of Policy

Proposed Handling

This issue will be discussed by the Regents EMSC Committee at the January 2010 Regents meeting. 

Background Information

              The Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO) and the National Governor’s Association (NGA) Center for Best Practices have convened a State-led process to develop common core standards in English language arts and in mathematics.

              In June 2009, Governor David Paterson and former Commissioner Richard Mills signed a Memorandum of Agreement to participate in the national dialogue to develop these voluntary standards. The common core standards initiative is centered on creating common learning standards (what students should know and be able to do as a result of instruction) in mathematics and reading, writing and speaking and listening. Through its Standards Review Initiative (SRI) NYS has taken a proactive stance in the development of Common Core State Standards (CCSS) for English Language Arts.   On behalf of the Regents, Commissioner Steiner has provided comments on the draft ELA and mathematics Common Core Standards.   

              In December 2009, the Regents approved a proposed process for review and adoption of the Common Core Standards.  Also in December, the Regents approved recommendations to redesign the New York State Assessment Program to include the development of formative, interim and summative assessments in ELA and mathematics; make the grades 3-8 test more comprehensive and integrate computer-based assessments with the Science testing program; and make changes to the Regents Testing Program by adding English and Social Studies exams, and including curriculum frameworks and matched assessments in the Arts, Economics and Multi-media/computer technology. 

              By March 2010, the U.S. Secretary of Education intends to announce a competition for a program that would support one or more consortia of States that are working toward jointly developing and implementing common, high-quality assessments aligned with a consortium’s common set of kindergarten-through-grade-12 (K-12) standards that are internationally benchmarked and that build toward college and career readiness by the time of high school completion.   The Secretary of Education has set aside up to $350 million of Race to the Top funds for the potential purpose of supporting States in the development of a next generation of assessments.  Final guidelines for the competition have not been released yet.  USED has conducted several regional informational/technical assistance meetings that included assessment experts to discuss the development of rules for this competition and state’s participation. Representatives from the Department attended one of those meetings. Additional meetings are scheduled throughout January 2010.



Given the priority that the Board of Regents has placed on the development and implementation of high-quality assessments that are aligned to the learning standards and the fact that New York State is involved in the development of Common Core Standards, the Regents should endorse the participation of New York State in a consortium of states that will work toward jointly developing and implementing common, high-quality assessments aligned with a common set of K-12 standards.  With the endorsement of the Regents, once the final guidelines for the Assessment Competition are released, staff will develop a proposed application.