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Meeting of the Board of Regents | November 2010

Monday, November 1, 2010 - 8:35am

Report of the



The Board of Regents

November 16, 2010

            Your P-12 Education Committee held its scheduled meeting on November 15, 2010.  All Committee members were present, except for Regents Brooks Hopkins and Rosa, who were excused.


Special Education Mandate Relief

            Your Committee recommends that sections 200.2, 200.4, 200.5, 200.6, 200.9, 200.10, 200.11, 200.13, 200.20, 201.2 and 201.11 of the Commissioner's Regulations be amended, as submitted, effective December 8, 2010.  The proposed amendment will provide mandate relief and appropriate flexibility for committees on special education (CSE) to make special education recommendations based on students' individual needs by repealing minimum level of service requirements for speech and language related services and for instruction to address the individual language needs of students with autism.  The proposed amendments also authorize the addition of up to two additional students in an integrated co-teaching class when it is necessary to do so to address the unique needs of students in that class.  To conform to federal and state requirements, the proposed rule will also ensure that the State regulations use language consistent with federal regulations for CSE meeting notices and State statute for district plans of service for special education.  The Committee discussed the importance of keeping parents informed and using the parent guide to communicate clear and understandable information.     [P-12 (A) 1]

Qualified School Construction Bonds and Qualified Zone Academy Bonds

Your Committee recommends that the emergency amendment of section 155.22 of the Regulations of the Commissioner of Education relating to Qualified Zone   Academy bonds and Qualified school construction bonds, adopted at the September 13-14, 2010 Regents meeting is repealed, effective November 23, 2010.  It is further recommended that section 155.22 of the Regulations of the Commissioner of Education be amended as submitted, effective November 23, 2010, as an emergency action upon a finding by the Board of Regents that such action is necessary for the preservation of the general welfare in order to ensure that the emergency rule adopted at the September 2010 Regents meeting, as revised, remains continuously in effect until it can be adopted as a permanent rule.  The purpose of the proposed amendment is to prescribe the procedures for New York State to allocate its $174,782,000 2010 State limitation amount to those school district bond issuers not receiving a direct federal Qualified School Construction bond allocation. In addition, the proposed amendment revises the provisions relating to Qualified Zone Academy bonds (QZAB) to provide for a separate charter school allocation from the QZAB State limitation amount. [P-12 (A) 2]

            Your Committee recommends that the Board of Regents approves and issues the charter of the Bronx Success Academy Charter School 3 as proposed by the Trustees of the State University of New York (SUNY) and issues a provisional charter to it for a term as prescribed by §2851(2)(p) of the Education Law.  It further recommends that the Board of Regents approves and issues the charter of the Success Academy Charter School as proposed by the Trustees of the State University of New York (SUNY) and issues a provisional charter to it for a term as prescribed by §2851(2)(p) of the Education Law.  [P-12 (A) 4]




            Madam Chancellor and Colleagues: Your P-12 Education 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 November 16, 2010, copies of which have been distributed to each Regent.



Data System Update – The Committee was given an update on the P-20 Data System including information on the $114.7 million in additional funding from federal and state grants.  Discussion focused on three major deliverables: linkages between teachers and course data, linkages between P-12 and higher education, and the Data Portal and Instructional Reporting and Improvement System.   [P-12 (D) 1]

Distinguished Educator Program – The Committee discussed proposed amendments to regulations establishing criteria regarding the selection, roles, responsibilities, protocols and procedures, and expenses for distinguished educators.  The proposed rule will enable the Commissioner to appoint distinguished educators to districts and schools that are experiencing extremely serious academic challenges and ensure the appointment of qualified individuals, who have experience in achieving consistent growth in academic performance or educational expertise, including superior performance in the classroom, to serve as distinguished educators to assist low performing schools.  Department staff reviewed relevant research prepared by the New York Comprehensive Center, held conference calls with other state education agencies that have similar programs, consulted with experts, and held focus meetings with key stakeholder groups on the conceptual framework for a Distinguished Educator program.  The proposed amendments will come back to the Committee in January for approval.  [P-12 (D) 2]

MandatorySchoolBoard Training – The Committee discussed the importance of strong leadership and governance for school boards and superintendents as districts examine their practices towards the goal of increasing the college and career readiness of our students. Discussion focused on the framework for development of proposed amendments to regulations for the required training of school board members in five major areas: roles and responsibilities of the school board; powers and duties of other governing and administrative authorities and their affect on public education; communication and interaction with the community; legal and ethical issues; and education issues.  Staff will begin work on the development of proposed amendments to regulations to present to the Board of Regents at a future meeting.  [P-12 (D) 4]

Release of Scores for the Grades 3-8 Testing Program 2011 – The Committee discussed two possible timelines for the release of the Grades 3-8 test results.  Due to Easter falling so late in April, the tests cannot be given until the first week in May. This makes it impossible for school districts and scanning centers to maintain the scoring and scanning schedules met in 2010.  The Committee was presented with two timelines. Timeline 1 maintains the aggressive milestones necessary to return test scores by the last day of school (June 23), but is impractical.  Timeline 2 returns scores nine working days after school ends (July 7) which maintains an aggressive timeline, but makes it manageable for both school districts and scanning centers.  The Regents endorsed the staff recommendation to follow Timeline 2.  [P-12 (D) 5]

P-12 Strategic Vision – The Committee discussed the action steps, significant 2009-10 developments and Race to the Top priorities for 2010-11.   [P-12 (D) 6]

Revised Comprehensive English Regents Exam:  Standards Revisitation Update – The Committee revisited the discussion and previous actions taken on the implementation of the new Comprehensive English Regents Exam. The Committee discussed the challenges associated with the new exam, including cost and timing (the test is not being given during the regular January testing period; it will be administered on January 11, 2011 and schools will be required to score the test that afternoon and ship the answer sheets to the vendor by January 12, 2011).   A memorandum will be sent to the field with information on steps taken to ensure that the new one-day exam is as rigorous as the previous two-day exam.   Staff will provide additional updates at the December meeting.   [P-12 (D) 9]

Proposed Regents State and Federal Legislative Priorities for 2011 – The Committee discussed the proposed Regents state and federal legislative priorities for P-12 that will be recommended for approval, as part of a larger package, by the full Board of Regents.  The legislative proposals are aligned with the Regents budget proposals and strategic goals.  The Committee discussed three State legislative priorities described in more detail below:    [P-12 (A) 3]
Raising the Achievement of English Language Learners – The Committee discussed a recommendation by staff to adopt as a part of their legislative agenda the development of a proposal in support of additional resources and strategies needed to raise the achievement of English Language Learners (ELLs).  Specifically, three strategies are proposed to be included:  (1) Parent Education Initiative; (2) Teacher Recruitment Strategy; and (3) Virtual/Blended Learning.  [P-12 (D) 3]

BOCES as Regional Leader – The Committee discussed a recommendation by staff to adopt as a part of their legislative agenda an increased role for District Superintendents and BOCES.  The District Superintendent is both chief executive of the BOCES and the Commissioner's representative in the field to promote education reforms and solve local problems. Increasingly the District Superintendent is being asked to serve as Regional Leader as well as Regional Service Provider.  The Committee recommended that the proposed legislation on lifting the salary cap for District Superintendents be combined with this proposed legislation.  [P-12 (D) 7]

Intervention in Chronically Underperforming School Districts – The Committee discussed a recommendation by staff to adopt as a part of their legislative agenda an expansion of Education Law section 306 which governs the removal of school board members under certain circumstances.  Specifically, the Regents are encouraged to seek additional authority to implement a system of progressive intervention in chronically underachieving or fiscally distressed districts, which may in fact lead to the removal of a school board member(s).  The general framework will be determined through discussions with stakeholder groups including NYSSBA, NYSCOSS, school officials, parents and other community members.  The Committee also discussed how other states hold their school boards accountable for district performance.  [P-12 (D) 8]

2011 Regulatory Agenda – The Committee discussed the P-12 portion of the 2011 Regulatory Agenda.  The agenda was discussed in each standing committee meeting and was presented to the full Board of Regents for approval.  [BR (A) 4]