Committee Report | April 2012
REGENTS P-12 EDUCATION COMMITTEE
The Board of Regents
April 23, 2012
Your P-12 Education Committee held its scheduled meeting on April 23, 2012. All members were present, except for Chancellor Emeritus Bennett, who was excused.
VOTED: That the Board of Regents finds that the proposed revised charter of the Challenge Preparatory Charter School: (1) meets the requirements set out in Article 56 of the Education Law, and all other applicable laws, rules and regulations; (2) will permit the charter school to operate in an educationally and fiscally sound manner; (3) is likely to improve student learning and achievement and materially further the purposes set out in subdivision two of section twenty-eight hundred fifty of Article 56 of the Education Law; and (4) will have a significant educational benefit to the students expected to attend the charter school, and the Board of Regents therefore approves the above listed charter revision as proposed by Chancellor of the NYCDOE and the provisional charter is amended accordingly. [P-12 (A) 1]
That the Board of Regents denies the renewal application for the Pinnacle Charter School, that the board of trustees of the Pinnacle Charter School be provided notice of this action and that its charter will terminate upon the expiration of its current charter term on June 30, 2012, and that the board of trustees of the Pinnacle Charter School is directed to take all steps necessary to close the school in accordance with its charter and the school closure procedures of the Department and cease instruction as of June 30, 2012; including but not limited to the immediate provision of notice of this nonrenewal action to the parents of existing students of the Charter School, the parents of any students in the Charter School’s most recent lottery and the parents of students on the Charter School’s waiting list, provision for the orderly transfer of student records to the Buffalo City School District and disposition of the Charter School’s assets. This action was passed by a vote of 9-1 with Regent Tallon in opposition and Regent Rosa abstaining from the vote. Chancellor Emeritus Bennett was not present at the meeting but wanted to express that his preference would have been for a one-year renewal. [P-12 (A) 2]
Statement from Chancellor Emeritus Robert Bennett regarding the vote taken on the Pinnacle Charter School at the meeting of the Board of Regents on April 24, 2012.
“While I am well aware of the issues presented and the policy implications for keeping Pinnacle opened for an extended term, these issues are far outweighed by what the outcomes will be for these children by placing them back in the Buffalo City School District.”
MOTION FOR ACTION BY FULL BOARD
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 April 24, 2012, copies of which have been distributed to each Regent.
MATTERS NOT REQUIRING BOARD ACTION
The Committee discussed proposed amendments to regulations that would establish standards for a program to train school employees and administrators to promote a positive school environment that is free from discrimination and harassment; and to discourage and respond to incidents of discrimination and/or harassment on school property or at a school function. The proposed rule was discussed by the Committee in February, but has been revised due to public comment. The Committee reached consensus on the intent of the revised proposed rule and will take action at the June 2012 Regents meeting. [P-12 (D) 1]
The Committee discussed proposed amendments to regulations that would establish standards for the reporting of material incidents of discrimination and harassment including, but not limited to, threats, intimidation or abuse based on a person’s actual or perceived race, color, weight, national origin, ethnic group, religion, religious practices, disability, sexual orientation, gender or sex. The Committee reached consensus on the intent of the proposed rule and will take action at the June 2012 Regents meeting. [P-12 (D) 2]
Concussion Management Awareness Act – Due to time constraints, this item has been deferred to the June Regents meeting and will be discussed at that time. [P-12 (D) 3]
Proposal to Strengthen the Safety Net for Students with Disabilities – the Committee discussed proposals for strengthening the safety net for students with disabilities to further enable graduation with a local diploma. Discussion focused on feedback from the March 9 stakeholder workgroup meeting and staff recommendations for expanding options for students with disabilities to earn a local diploma beyond the current option of the 55-64 pass score on the five required Regents exams. The Committee endorsed the expanded options and has directed staff to propose regulations as stated in the item. The Committee also directed staff to review current testing accommodation policy for Regents exams to ensure students with disabilities are being provided the maximum appropriate accommodations necessary to demonstrate their performance-based knowledge of the subject areas being tested. [P-12 (D) 4]
Proposal to Create Multiple Pathways to a NYS High School Diploma - The Committee discussed several policy directions that the Board of Regents may wish to consider in establishing specific expanded pathways for high school students to satisfy high school graduation requirements. The Committee discussed the following four recommendations:
- Identifying Global History and Geography as an optional assessment
- Creating two separate courses in Global History and Geography
- Continuing the requirement of the U.S. History and Government Regents exam
- Allowing the use of an approved college and career ready CTE technical assessment in lieu of a required Regents exam, thereby allowing students to follow a CTE pathway to graduation.
The Committee shared concerns about the proposed recommendations, specifically as they relate to the Global exam option. The recommendation to add a CTE assessment as an option for graduation was favorable, but concern was expressed that access to these programs may be difficult for some districts. The Committee agreed with the proposed next steps and felt it is critical to provide an opportunity for public feedback on the proposed recommendations. Additionally, Department staff will begin working with districts to identify existing funding sources that could be leveraged to support the recommendation for a new CTE and STEM pathway program. Further discussion on these recommendations for expanded pathways will continue in June, following the proposed public comment period. [P-12 (D) 5]
Consent Agenda Items - The Committee discussed the following item scheduled for approval on the Full Board consent agenda:
- Petition of the Hornell City School District for Consent to Exceed the Constitutional Debt Limit.