Office of Accountability

OA E-Blast Update

January 2016| March 2016|April 2016|June 2016|July 2016|October 2016

Archived E-Blast Updates



February 2016

...a monthly update on the New York State Education Department’s Office of Accountability (OA) activities relevant to school districts, schools, the education community and other stakeholders.





Expanding Graduation Pathways for All Students

At its January 2016 meeting, the Board of Regents discussed broadening the pathways to a high school diploma by:

(1) Expanding the existing eligible score band for an appeal on a Regents exam by two additional points;

(2) Allowing a Career Development and Occupational Studies (CDOS) Commencement Credential to be used in lieu of one of the required Regents examinations; and

(3) Creating a project-based assessment program for students who pass the coursework required for a regular diploma but who are unable to pass an associated required Regents examination.

Going forward, with Board of Regents support, the Department will continue to develop mechanisms that provide students with more, better, and different ways to demonstrate that they have met the high standards for high school graduation. These mechanisms will be designed to support closing the achievement gap and increasing the graduation rate.

The January 2016 Regents Item “Expanding Graduation Pathways for All Students” can be found at:

The supplemental presentation entitled “Expanding Graduation Pathways for All Students” can be found at:

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Provision of Educational Programs to Incarcerated and Detained Youth

At its January 2016 meeting, the Board of Regents discussed and reviewed the policy for educational programs for youth who have committed offenses that warrant removal from the community.

Based on the discussion and with the agreement of the Board of Regents, staff will engage with stakeholders for the purpose of developing recommendations regarding changes to Commissioner’s Regulations for incarcerated and detained youth. Such changes may include but are not limited to provisions of regulations pertaining to instructional time for students, professional development for staff, the development of educational plans by programs, enrichment activities and Career and Technical Education Programs offered to students for consideration by the Board of Regents later in 2016.

The January 2016 Regents Item regarding the provision of educational programs to incarcerated and detained youth can be found at:

The supplemental presentation entitled “Educational Programs to Incarcerated and Detained Youth,” can be found at: 12%20Incarcerated%20Youth.pdf.

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Accountability Status for 2015-16 and 2016-17

On Tuesday, January 26, 2016 the Office of Accountability (OA) notified districts of the preliminary accountability status of schools or charter schools for the 2015-16 and 2016- 17 school years.

As part of the notification process, the OA conducted a webinar entitled “The Focus Districts Identification, Requirements and Interventions.” The Power Point presentation from the webinar can be found at: and the recording (beginning at slide four) can be found at:

In addition, the OA posted an FAQ regarding 2016 - 17 Accountability Designations based on questions from the field. The FAQ can be found at:

The New York State Education Department (NYSED or “the Department”) plans to make public the lists of Focus Districts, Focus Schools, and Priority Schools in approximately three weeks.

All questions regarding the preliminary accountability status of schools or charter schools for the 2015-16 and 2016 - 17 school years should be directed to:

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Focus District Institute - Session C

Focus District Institute - Session C will be devoted to preparing District Reviewers from Newly Identified Focus Districts who are scheduled to participate on a state-led DTSDE review in spring 2016.

State-led DTSDE review teams have one District Representative from the district and may include (at the discretion of the district) an Outside Educational Expert (OEE) - a consultant who assists the district with school improvement initiatives.

In order to provide the best learning environment, the training will be restricted to the District Reviewer and any Outside Educational Expert (OEE) who has never participated in a DTSDE training.

Prior to registering for the Focus District Institute, any potential OEE must first:

Those identified as the District Representatives on the state-led DTSDE reviews are not required to complete the OEE application or register for a training prior to registering for the Focus District Institute.

Please note, a separate, school-specific training will be offered during the year to principals of schools scheduled for an Integrated Intervention Team review.

For information regarding upcoming training and the OEE application please contact:

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Release of the January 2017 and June 2017 Regents Exam Calendars

The Regents Exam calendars for January 2017 and June 2017 have been released. Additionally, the June 2016 Regents Exam calendar has been updated to include the final date and time of the second and final special administration of the Integrated Algebra Regents Exam.  Eligibility for this special administration remains the same as for the February special administration. 

Additional information about this special administration, including ordering information, will be provided by the Department at a later date. 

The new January and June 2017 Regents Exam calendars, as well as the revised June 2016 calendar, are posted at the following link:

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Transition from No Child Left Behind (NCLB) to Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA)

Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA), previously authorized as the No Child Left Behind act of 2001 (NCLB), was reauthorized on December 10, 2015 when President Obama signed the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) into law. Since that time, staff from the United States Department of Education and the New York State Education Department (NYSED) has been working diligently to analyze the new to the ESSA legislation, identify programmatic and fiscal changes, clarify obligations for State Educational Agencies and Local Educational Agencies (LEAs), and determine timelines for compliance with the new and changing obligations.

On Tuesday February 9, 2016 NYSED sent a memo to District Superintendents, Superintendents of LEAs and Charter Schools and Title I Coordinators regarding the transition from NCLB to the ESSA. The memo addressed the following topics related to the ESSA:

  • State Level Obligations
  • State Level Flexibilities
  • LEA Level Obligations
  • LEA Level Flexibilities

Questions concerning the information regarding NYSED’s transition from NCLB to the ESSA should be directed to: ESSA@NYSED.GOV.

LEAs can also receive additional information on ESSA implementation by visiting USDE’s ESSA website at:

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Deadline for the Registration of Public Schools

The Department requires that school districts making changes to the registration of existing schools and opening new schools for the 2016-17 school year, submit the appropriate forms for Public School Registration by Tuesday, March 1, 2016. Public School Registration changes include:

  • opening a new public school
  • closing an existing public school
  • modifying the grade organization of an existing public school, and/or
  • changing the location of a school

Public School Registration forms can be found at:

In addition to the submission of forms, regulations also require districts to submit a signed copy of the Board of Education resolution explicitly approving all changes that have been requested for each school.

After a district’s submission is received, NYSED staff will review the submission and the Commissioner will make recommendations to the Board of Regents regarding the approval of petitions for new schools.  The district must satisfactorily demonstrate that the school will be operated in an educationally sound manner; is in compliance with applicable statutes, rules and regulations relating to public schools; and will operate in accordance with applicable building codes and pursuant to a certificate of occupancy.  School Registration petitions submitted by Tuesday, March 1, 2016 will be reviewed by the Board of Regents at its June 2016 meeting.

School Registration submissions and inquiries regarding the process can be sent to:

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March 2016

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Last Updated: October 13, 2016