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Meeting of the Board of Regents | November 2010

Monday, November 1, 2010 - 9:45am

SED Seal                                                                                   




Cultural Education Committee


Jeffrey Cannell

John B. King, Jr.


Turnaround Schools: Possible Roles for Arts & Cultural Institutions


October 28, 2010






Issue for Discussion

What can arts and cultural education contribute to turning around persistently lowest achieving schools?

Reason(s) for Consideration

For Information.

Proposed Handling

This item will be discussed at the Regents Cultural Education Committee at the November 2010 Regents meeting. 

Possible Cultural Education Committee/P-12 Education Committee Collaboration

School Turnaround Efforts and Arts & Cultural Education

Over the last 12 months, the Regents and senior staff at the Department have re-focused efforts and attention on New York State’s Persistently Lowest Achieving (PLA) Schools.  This spring, the Regents aligned the Schools Under Registration Review (SURR) and PLA regulations; the Department updated its methodology for identifying persistently lowest achieving schools under guidance from the US Department of Education; the Department’s Office of Innovative School Models was established; and New York State was awarded Race to the Top funding.  Under the Regents Reform Agenda, the Regents and Department are critically examining the expectations of and support for the State’s PLA schools. 

New York State has a wealth of arts, cultural heritage, natural history and science institutions that can participate in school improvement and turnaround efforts.  Under our current federal and state funding supports, these institutions can:

  1. Partner with Local Education Agencies (LEAs) that apply to the Department for support under our School Improvement Grants (SIG) program.  Under section 1003(g) of the ESEA, districts can partner with outside organizations to improve student achievement in schools identified as PLA to enable those schools to make adequate yearly progress (AYP) and exit improvement status.  SIG grants are targeted to support implementation of one of the four federally approved school improvement models.
  2. Provide supplemental innovation partner support to LEAs that choose to voluntarily implement one of the four federally approved school improvement models in non-PLA schools.  Under our Race to the Top grant, the Department has set aside funding to support schools and districts that want to aggressively intervene in struggling schools.  Our State’s arts and cultural education organizations may be able to provide innovative programming for these schools and districts.
  3. Serve as a partner organization for a founding group applying for a new public school charter.  In May, the charter school cap was lifted and New York State has the opportunity to launch 260 new charter schools – 130 of them authorized by the Board of Regents. 
  4. Partner with Local Education Agencies to manage schools as Educational Partnership Organizations (EPOs).  In May, as part of the teacher and leader effectiveness statute, the Legislature created the option of EPOs partnering with LEAs to act, effectively, as superintendents to failing schools and lead turnaround efforts.  Arts and cultural education agencies can be well situated to manage schools as EPOs.

The Regents Cultural Education and P-12 Education Committees can collaborate by engaging with and encouraging arts and cultural partners to become involved in the Regents’ initiatives to turnaround our State’s underperforming schools. The Cultural Education Committee can convene a conversation either regionally or statewide with arts, cultural heritage, natural history and science institutions to create strategies and opportunities for engagement with our public schools.