Skip to main content

Meeting of the Board of Regents | September 2010

Wednesday, September 1, 2010 - 7:40am

SED Letterhead                                                                                   




P-12 Education Committee


John B. King, Jr.


Updates from the Office of Accountability and the Office of Innovative School Models


September 1, 2010







Issue for Discussion

The purpose of this item is to provide the Board of Regents with updates on the 2010 School Improvement Grant Award Process, the fall 2010 Charter School Application Process, and upcoming regulatory changes relating to charter schools.

Reason(s) for Consideration

            For information.        

Proposed Handling

This item will come before the P-12 Education Committee for discussion at its September 2010 meeting.

Background Information

School Improvement Grants

Earlier this spring, the United States Department of Education (USED) awarded the New York State Education Department $308 million in School Improvement Grant (SIG) funds to support school improvement efforts in New York’s Persistently Lowest Achieving (PLA) schools.  To be eligible for funding, districts and schools must identify and commit to implement one of four school intervention models:

  • Turnaround
  • Restart
  • Transformation
  • School Closure

For the 2009-2010 school year, SED has identified 57 PLAs in seven districts – New York City; the other four large school districts, Buffalo, Rochester, Syracuse, and Yonkers; plus Albany and Roosevelt.  Over the course of the summer, staff from the Office of Accountability and the Office of Innovative School Models have reviewed SIG applications from the seven districts submitted on behalf of their schools.   Districts that have demonstrated the ability to fully and effectively implement one or more of the school intervention strategies will receive 1003(g) School Improvement implementation grants for the 2010-2011 school year of up to $2 million per approved school. Some districts will receive funding to implement interventions in all of their identified PLAs, while others will receive funding for some but not all of their PLAs. Some districts submitted applications and plans that will be judged to have not met all eligibility requirements, and these districts instead will be offered the opportunity to apply for 1003(a) School Improvement Grants of up to $300,000 per school to support district and school staff to implement their 2010-2011 restructuring plans and prepare them to engage in creating the conditions for fundamental change and improvement. If eligible, these districts will also be encouraged to prepare to apply for 1003(g) funding in 2011-2012. 

In early September, we will inform districts of their 1003(g) School Improvement implementation grant award decisions.  We will provide the Regents at their September meeting with information on the districts that received awards, the amounts awarded to each school, and the intervention model selected.

It is our intention to support districts so that schools will be successful in implementing an intervention strategy. To that end, SED staff from the Offices of Accountability, District Services, Innovative School Models and School Operations and Management Services will be working closely with the districts to assess their progress and student academic achievement.  Together, these offices will be presenting district and school progress to the Board of Regents periodically over the course of the 2010-2011 school years.


2010 Charter School Application Process

At the end of May, the State Legislature updated the Charter Schools Act.  The revisions to the Act included, among other elements, raising the cap on the number of charter schools statewide to 460 schools, and increasing public accountability and transparency by regulating the actions of charter school authorizers and charter schools.  One of the first oversight components under the Regents’ authority was the additional guidance in the Act related to the process by which charters are granted.  On August 2, 2010, SED released the New York State Education Department 2010 Charter School Application Kit. 

The new charter school application process utilized by the Board of Regents and the New York State Education Department has been designed to ensure that any charter school applicant presented to the Board of Regents for possible approval demonstrates four essential competencies:

  • The applicant demonstrates clear understanding of the New York State Charter Schools Act and what it means to comply with the Act.
  • The applicant’s proposed school demonstrates clear alignment with the educational priorities stated in the law.
  • The applicant presents a coherent and practical design for the proposed school.
  • The applicant demonstrates the necessary experience, skill and will to manage the challenging and dynamic process of opening and operating a public charter school.

To assess all four necessary competencies, SED will now review the Letter of Intent, followed by the Prospectus and the Full Application, conduct a Capacity Interview, and prepare a formal recommendation to the Board of Regents.  This process has been greatly streamlined from previous years, and affords applicant groups a clear, focused, and appropriate path through the charter application process.

On August 9, 2010 the Office of Innovative School Models (OISM) received 39 letters of intent; on August 16, 2010, OISM received 35 prospectuses.  On September 1, 2010, we invited the following 16 applicant groups to submit full applications for consideration for charter award: 


Proposed School Name




Grades Served

Maximum Enrollment

Partner Organization

Amani Public Charter School

Mount Vernon City School District

5 through 8


None identified

Bronx Charter School for Health and Wellness


K through 6


None identified

Democracy Prep III


6 through 8


Democracy Prep Public Schools

Discovery Charter School

East Irondequoit CSD

K through 6


Expeditionary Learning Schools

Dr. Muriel Petioni CS for Scholarship, Health and Leadership


6 through 10


Harlem AME Church

Hudson Valley CS for the Arts and Global Awareness

White Plains City School District

7 and 8


None identified

Joint Services Military and Maritime Charter HS

CSD 22

9 through 12


US Army and Coast Guard ROTC

Lamad Academy Charter School

CSD 17

5 through 9


None identified

Launch Expeditionary Learning Charter School

CSD 16

6 through 10


Expeditionary Learning Schools

Mott Hall Charter School

CDS 8 and 9

6 through 8


Replications, Inc.

Neighborhood Charter School of Harlem


K through 5


None identified

New York Academy for Student Success


9 through 12


Project Lead the Way

New York City Montessori Charter School


K through 5



New York Flex Charter School


9 through 12


None identified

Urban Dove Charter School

CSD 22



Urban Dove after school program

Westchester Academy of Science Charter School

Yonkers CSD

7 through 12


None identified

Over the course of the fall, we will review the full applications, conduct face-to-face capacity interviews with applicant groups, and make charter award recommendations to senior staff.  At the December 2010 meeting, recommendations for charter award will be brought to you for consideration and action.


Regulatory Changes

This fall, proposed amendments to regulations will be brought before the Board of Regents for consideration and approval.  The regulations stem from direction in law and include:

  • The development of enrollment and retention targets for students with disabilities, English language learners, and low-income students for charter schools.  This is currently in process and is being conducted in conjunction and partnership with SUNY’s Charter Schools Institute on behalf of the SUNY Trustees;
  • The development of uniform applications, lotteries and admissions policies for all charter schools in the State;
  • Ensuring compliance with requirements of the Charter Schools Act related to facilities requirements for charter schools; and
  • Ensuring compliance with requirements of the Charter Schools Act related to charter school board of trustees, including but not limited to, conflict of interest disclosures; financial disclosures; and open meeting requirements.