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Meeting of the Board of Regents | January 2009

Friday, January 2, 2009 - 11:00pm

sed seal                                                                                                 








Diana M. Hinchcliff


Revised No Child Left Behind (NCLB) Recommendations



January 2, 2009



Draft Revised Recommendations for NCLB Reauthorization




Executive Summary


Issue for Review


              Draft revised recommendations for reauthorization of NCLB.


Reason(s) for Consideration


              There is an opportunity to review and revise NCLB recommendations for reauthorization under a new president and a new Congress.


Proposed Handling


              The Board of Regents is asked to discuss and approve revised draft recommendations at the January meeting.


Procedural History


              The Regents approved a detailed set of NCLB recommendations in 2007, when the law was initially scheduled for reauthorization, and reaffirmed them as part of their 2008 federal legislative priorities. The Board identified five priorities among the recommendations: single accountability designation; use of growth models; use of targeted interventions and differentiated consequences; appropriate assessments for English language learners and students with disabilities; and flexibility for meeting highly-qualified teachers objectives.


The recommendations were shared with the New York congressional delegation, members of the House and Senate education committees, state partners and national organizations.  The full set of recommendations is available on SED’s website at:


Background Information


Much has changed since the Board first approved its recommendations for the reauthorization of No Child Left Behind. The Regents have intensified their work on school improvement, educator development, growth models, graduation rates and other critical issues. The U.S. Department of Education expanded its growth model and differentiated accountability pilot programs and finalized new Title I regulations governing graduation rates. A new president and a new Congress have been elected. While reauthorization is not expected in 2009, all major national education organizations have or are in the process of revising their NCLB recommendations to take full advantage of the changed political landscape by beginning discussions this year.


The department convened a cross-program office team to review the original set of recommendations and suggest revisions. The amended recommendations maintain the core elements of the original, but reflect the expansion of the Regents work. The recommendations also are somewhat broader than the earlier version to provide sufficient opportunities for weighing in with additional details as members of Congress and the president release their own proposals for reauthorization.  


The Regents priorities for NCLB and policy reflect President-elect Obama’s education agenda, which includes these elements:

  • Early education for children from birth to 5 to prepare them for kindergarten through expanding Head Start programs, providing Early Learning Challenge Grants and helping states move toward voluntary, universal pre-school.
  • College- and work-readiness assessments to test students’ ability to use technology, conduct research, solve problems and present and defend ideas. Increase the number of students taking AP or college-level classes. Support college outreach programs such as GEAR UP and TRIO to encourage low-income students to prepare for college.
  • A new accountability system to evaluate students’ continuous progress.
  • Support for high-quality schools through funding for state leadership academies and credentialing systems for principals, a grant program for states or districts to create longer school days or years or extended learning time, and addressing the dropout crisis beginning in middle school.
  • Support for English language learners through transitional bilingual education and holding schools accountable for ensuring that ELLs complete school.
  • Support for students with disabilities through enforcing the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), holding schools accountable for providing services and supports, early intervention services for infants and toddlers and improved college opportunities for high school graduates with disabilities.
  • Recruit, prepare and retain teachers through scholarships, requiring all schools of education to be accredited, creating teacher residency programs, and expanding mentoring programs




              This is before the Board of Regents for discussion in the committees and approval at the full board.


Timetable for Implementation


              The Board will act on revised recommendations at the January meeting.









































January 2009



The reauthorization of the latest version of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA), the No Child Left Behind (NCLB) Act of 2001, provides an important opportunity for all levels of government to renew their commitment to provide a high quality education for every student. In this time of economic turmoil and global change, the education system’s ability to ensure that all students are career- and college-ready is essential to the country’s economic and strategic competitiveness.  


The New York State Board of Regents instituted standards-based reform 10 years before NCLB, has continued to raise standards and expectations, and has been a strong supporter of the goals set by the No Child Left Behind Act. However, significant revisions are necessary to meet the law’s goals of closing the achievement gap and ensuring that all students have the education and skills necessary to compete in the global economy of the 21st century.


A strong federal-state-local partnership is essential to successfully addressing the challenges of establishing world-class standards, raising graduation rates, closing the achievement gap, addressing the needs of special populations, expanding early childhood education, and developing effective teachers and other educational leaders.




Federal-State-Local Partnership


►Permit greater state and local flexibility in using targeted federal funds to create cross-program initiatives (for example, funding for Title I and Title III)


  • Provide challenge grants for states or consortia of states to develop and implement innovative approaches to address key challenges


  • Revise the waiver process to allow for greater state innovation


  • Expand pilot projects to test a broader range of promising practices


  • Improve efforts for sharing states’ best practices and new innovations


  • Adequately fund current and future federal mandates


P-16 Education


►Support the development and use of state P-16 longitudinal data systems


  • Support the development and work of state P-16 Councils


  • Align data definitions and requirements between NCLB and IDEA, including calendar for submissions, to eliminate duplication of effort and allow for valid cross-program comparisons


  • Align the requirements of NCLB with those of other federal education and workforce laws to ensure smooth transitions for all students (for example, IDEA, Perkins, WIA, HEA and Head Start)


School Readiness


► Provide support for state early childhood initiatives serving ages from birth to eight, including the development of universal preschool for three- and four-year-olds


  • Provide support for professional development for early childhood educators 


  • Align requirements among federally-supported early childhood education programs and require alignment with state- and local-supported programs


  • Align and provide adequate support for student and family literacy programs and permit public libraries to serve as partners (for example, Reading First, Early Reading First, Even Start, Ready to Learn Television)


  • Provide additional support for initiatives consistent with the goals of Reading First and allow such activities to be expanded to grades 4-6


  • Expand the authorization and funding for Even Start programs to provide support to schools in need of improvement




►Allow states to develop and use more flexible, less constrained growth models to complement existing status measures in determining Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP) so long as the models are valid, reliable and educationally meaningful


►Permit states to develop and use value-added models for accountability so long as the measures are valid, reliable and educationally meaningful


  • Allow states greater flexibility to include students who take longer than four years to graduate in the graduation rate accountability measure


  • Create better alignment among the accountability requirements under federal education programs, including among Title I, Title III and IDEA


  • Permit continued flexibility in the use of AYP methodologies (for example, “n” size, confidence intervals, indexing)




►Allow states to determine the most meaningful and educationally sound manner for addressing the diversity of students with disabilities and students who are English language learners (ELLs)


  • For certain students with disabilities, allow states to use alternate or modified assessments based on the instructional level of each student, as reflected in the student’s individualized education program (IEP)


  • For ELLs, allow states to determine when the student’s level of proficiency in English will result in meaningful results from his/her participation in the English Language Arts (ELA) exam and other state assessments


  • Maintain requirements for the disaggregation of state assessment data


  • Use results from the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) as a trending statistic only and eliminate the requirement that NAEP scores be placed on state report cards as a comparison with scores from state assessments


School Improvement


►Permit states to exercise appropriate judgment in making accountability determinations and establishing consequences and required interventions for schools and districts based on the scope, depth and persistence of their failure to make Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP)


  • Allow states to target interventions and funding to low-performing student subgroups and provide students who are the farthest from proficiency with the greatest assistance


  • Create better balances between penalties for school and district failure and rewards for school and district success and for interventions and supports between schools and districts


  • Allow greater state flexibility in the use of school improvement funds for non-Title I schools and for schools and districts recently removed from “in need of improvement” status


  • Support collaboration between school districts and community-based organizations to address the needs of students and their families


  • Provide sufficient resources, technical assistance and research to support statewide initiatives and the expanded state role in school improvement


Student Academics and Supports


►Provide adequate support for interventions targeted to low-performing students, such as ELLs, students with disabilities and low-income students, and provide fiscal and programmatic incentives to implement best practices in raising their achievement


►Increase investment and innovation in educational technology to enhance student learning by expanding access to broadband networks, developing rich standards-based digital content, enhancing teachers’ technology integration skills, and implementing and monitoring instructional technology standards.


  • Expand access to and adequately fund Response to Intervention, positive behavioral interventions and supports, and other early intervening services and provide resources for professional development for teachers and other school staff in implementing these programs  


  • Require states to set goals to guarantee that all students will be served by highly qualified, state-certified school library media specialists and have the library resources they need to succeed


  • Provide funding and opportunities for states and schools to expand access to environmental education


Middle and High School Reform


►Expand support for career and technical education programs that address student interests, the needs of local employers, and the skills necessary to succeed in the global marketplace


►Provide support for programs designed to increase the number of students who graduate career- and college-ready, including early identification programs and services for students at risk of dropping out


  • Provide grants to states to develop, enhance and expand state dual enrollment and other early college programs for all students


  • Provide support to expand access to Advanced Placement (AP), International Baccalaureate (IC), and certificate programs  


Teachers and Other School Leaders


►To strengthen teaching and learning for all students, allow states to define and set the standards for the experience, qualifications and characteristics needed for effective teachers and school leaders


  • Support state strategies to recruit, retain, and reward effective teachers and school leaders, including efforts to strengthen both preservice education and professional development. Place priority on efforts to strengthen the practice of teachers and school leaders to better meet the educational needs of students who are educationally at risk, including students in urban schools, English language learners and students with disabilities


  • Support state strategies to encourage the most effective teachers to accept the most challenging teaching assignments, including in urban and high-need schools




  • Increase the federal investment in research, development, evaluation, dissemination, and funding of best practices to improve teaching and learning in areas of critical need, such as:


  • Assessment, instruction, and supports for ELLs, students with disabilities, underachieving low-income, minority students


  • Critical transitions from “learning to read to reading to learn,” entry into secondary school, completion of the high school diploma and access to post-secondary education or training


  • Early childhood development