Office of Accountability

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Archived E-Blast Updates

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January 2015

...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.

       REGENTS ACTIONS

REGENTS UPDATES

GENERAL ANNOUNCEMENTS

REMINDERS

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REGENTS ACTIONS

2015 Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) Waiver Renewal Application

At the December 2014 Board of Regents meeting, Department staff obtained permission from the Board of Regents to proceed with the development of the ESEA Waiver Renewal Application. Department staff recommended to the Regents that the general architecture of New York’s current accountability system serve as the basis for development of New York’s ESEA Renewal Application, including unique elements of the system such as identification of Focus Districts and the use of the Diagnostic Tool for School and District Effectiveness (DTSDE) to organize State supports and interventions. In addition, New York’s Renewal Application should include proposals for modifications to assessment practices for students with disabilities and English language learners, consistent with the waiver amendments that the Department has submitted to USDE previously.

Department staff also recommended that modest changes to the accountability system be considered, including the methods for identification and removal of schools and districts from accountability status as well as changes to the Diagnostic Tool for School and District Effectiveness (DTSDE), District Comprehensive Improvement Plan (DCIP), and School Comprehensive Education Plan (SCEP) processes based on the lessons learned during the first two years of implementation.

The Board of Regents item summarizing the ESEA Renewal Request process and the timeline for submission of the Request can be found at: http://www.regents.nysed.gov/meetings/2014/December2014/1214p12d2Revised.pdf

The Department expects following the Board of Regents in February to release a draft of the ESEA Renewal Request for public comment.

 

Student Enrollment Regulations - Unaccompanied Minors and Other Undocumented Youths

At its December 2014 meeting, the Board of Regents voted to amend 100.2(y) of the Commissioner’s Regulations to provide clear requirements for school districts regarding student enrollment. The discussion was focused on student enrollment procedures for unaccompanied minors and other undocumented youths.

The approved amendment codifies applicable federal and State laws, as well as existing Department guidance to districts, in order to ensure that unaccompanied minors and undocumented youths are provided their constitutional right to a free public education. Specifically, the proposed amendment will establish:

  • Clear and uniform requirements, which comply with federal and State laws and guidance on the enrollment of students, particularly for unaccompanied minors and undocumented youths;
  • Enrollment requirements whereby districts must accept additional forms of proof beyond the highly restrictive forms listed in the enrollment instructions/materials of school districts under review to date; and
  • Clear guidance for parents and guardians and public availability of enrollment instructions, requirements and procedures.

The regulations also prohibit enrollment application policies that are contrary to law and/or have a disparate impact on unaccompanied minors and undocumented youths;

The proposed regulation will be presented for permanent adoption by the Board of Regents in March 2015 Regents, after publication of a Notice of Emergency Adoption and Proposed Rule Making in the State Register and expiration of the 45-day public comment period.                                                              

The Regents item regarding the change in student enrollment regulations can be found at: http://www.regents.nysed.gov/meetings/2014/December2014/1214p12a2.pdf

The December 15, 2014 slide presentation entitled “Proposed Regulatory Amendments Governing Student Enrollment” can be accessed at: http://www.regents.nysed.gov/meetings/2014/December2014/Enrollment.pdf   

  

Chronic Absenteeism

At its December 2014 meeting, the Board of Regents directed Department staff to develop and implement policies and procedures that capture and report chronic absenteeism.

To reduce chronic absenteeism and help every student be present in school, the Department recommended that the Board of Regents consider the following steps:

  • Amend attendance regulations to incorporate chronic absence;
  • Adopt the research-based definition of ten percent absence to track chronic absenteeism through school-district submitted reports to the Department;
  • Provide school administrators with guidance regarding effective strategies for addressing chronic absenteeism, including promoting cross-system collaborations among professionals within and outside of schools to address the underlying reasons for chronic absences;
  • Begin to report the performance of schools and districts in terms of chronic absenteeism statewide; and
  • Require that Priority and Focus Schools, Local Assistance Plan Schools, and Focus Districts with high rates of chronic absenteeism set targets to reduce chronic absenteeism and explicitly address this issue in their improvement plans.

Department staff will return to the Board of Regents later this year with more specific recommendations for consideration by the Regents.

The Regents item regarding chronic absenteeism can be found at: http://www.regents.nysed.gov/meetings/2014/December2014/1214p12d3.pdf

The December 15, 2014 slide presentation regarding Chronic Absenteeism, can be accessed at: http://www.regents.nysed.gov/meetings/2014/December2014/ChronicAbsenteeism.pdf  

         

Flexibility for School Districts and Charter Schools Regarding the Administration of Regents Examinations in Mathematics (Common Core) for Students in Grades 7 and 8.

At its January 2015 Regents meeting, the Board of Regents voted to amend sections 100.4(e)(2) and 100.18(b)(14)(iii) of the Commissioner's Regulations to eliminate the need for “double-testing,” so that school districts and charter schools may administer only the Regents Examinations in Mathematics (Common Core) to grades 7 and 8 students without also having to administer the grade level mathematics assessment in the 2014-15 school year.

The proposed amendment will permanently take effect on January 28, 2015 for 2014-15 school year accountability determinations.

The January 2015 Regents Item regarding the administration of Regents Examinations in Mathematics (Common Core) to grades 7 and 8 students can be found at:

http://www.regents.nysed.gov/meetings/2015Meetings/January/115brca2.pdf

 

Graduation Requirements for English Language Learners

At its January 2015 Regents meeting, the Board of Regents voted to amend section 100.5(d)(7) of the Commissioner’s Regulations to allow English language learners (ELLs) who enter the United States in 9th grade or above in the 2010-11 school year and thereafter, to:

  • Graduate with a Local Diploma pursuant to an appeal process if they score between 55-61 on the Regents Exam in English and,
  • Meet all other conditions for appeal of a Regents score.

The permanent adoption of this amendment will take effect on January 28, 2015.

The January 2015 Regents Item regarding Graduation Requirements for English Language Learners can be found at: http://www.regents.nysed.gov/meetings/2015Meetings/January/115brca5.pdf

 

New York’s Statewide Strategic Plan for Science and P-12 Science Learning Standards

At its January 2015 Regents meeting, the Board of Regents approved the Statewide Strategic Plan for Science and directed Department staff to develop new science learning standards.

In accordance with the Statewide Strategic Plan for Science, Department staff will convene stakeholders to begin a process focused on developing the new Science Learning Standards. Staff will provide the Board of Regents with regular updates regarding the process until the new standards are presented in the winter of 2016.

The January 2015 Regents Item regarding the Statewide Strategic Plan for Science and P-12 Science Learning Standards can be found at: http://www.regents.nysed.gov/meetings/2015Meetings/January/115p12a1.pdf                                                                                                                                                                         

Proposed Amendments Relating to Pathways to Graduation, Global History and Geography Course Requirements, and the Global History Regents Exam

At its January 2015 Regents meeting, the Board of Regents voted to amend sections 100.2 and 100.5 of the Commissioner’s Regulations to establish multiple, comparably rigorous assessment pathways to graduation for all students, establish a two-year Global History and Geography course requirement, and modify the design of the Global History Regents Exam.

The new regulations include a “4+1” option that permits a student to meet graduation assessment requirements by passing Regents examinations in English language arts, math, science, and social studies, plus an additional Regents examination or a comparably rigorous examination approved by the Commissioner.

The 4+1 pathway option does not change existing graduation course or credit requirements and students must continue to meet all current course and 22 units of credit requirements, even if they were to elect to take advantage of the 4+1 option. However, existing regulations provide several areas of flexibility for meeting course and credit requirements through, for example, the availability of integrated CTE courses and independent study

The 4+1 option applies to students who:

  • First entered ninth grade in September 2011 and thereafter OR
  • Students who are otherwise eligible to receive a high school diploma in June 2015 and thereafter AND have passed four required Regents exams (or Department-approved alternative assessments) in English, mathematics, science and social studies.

The new regulations create graduation pathways in the Humanities; Science Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM); Biliteracy/Languages Other Than English (LOTE); Career and Technical Education (CTE), and the Arts; students pursuing any of these pathways must pass one of the following assessments in place of the fifth assessment currently required for graduation:

  • One additional social studies Regents exam or Department-approved alternative (Humanities Pathway); or
  • One additional Regents exam in a different course in mathematics or science or a Department-approved alternative (STEM Pathway); or
  • A pathway assessment in a Language Other Than English (LOTE) approved by the Commissioner (which could include a Biliteracy Pathway); or
  • A career and technical education pathway assessment approved by the Commissioner, following successful completion of an approved CTE program (CTE Pathway); or
  • An arts pathway assessment approved by the Commissioner (Arts Pathway)

A CTE assessment that meets the approved alternative requirements for Science can be substituted for the required Science Regents exam.

The January 2015 Regents Item regarding Pathways to Graduation can be found at: http://www.regents.nysed.gov/meetings/2015Meetings/January/115p12a2.pdf                                                                                                                                                                           

Transition to the Common Core Regents Examination in English Language Arts

At its January 2015 Regents meeting, the Board of Regents voted to amend ยง100.5(g)(1)(i) of the Commissioner's Regulations to provide additional flexibility in the transition to the Common Core-aligned Regents Examination in English Language Arts.

This approved amendment allows (for a limited time and at the discretion of the local school district) students receiving ELA (Common Core) instruction to:

  • Take the Regents Comprehensive Examination in English Language Arts aligned to the 2005 Learning Standards in addition to the Regents Examination in English Language Arts (Common Core) and,
  • Meet the requirement for graduation by passing either examination.

This flexibility would be extended to include three additional test administration periods: January, June, and August 2015

The January 2015 Regents Item regarding the abovementioned can be found at:http://www.regents.nysed.gov/meetings/2015Meetings/January/115brca3.pdf

 

REGENTS UPDATES

2014 Statewide Evaluation Results

The 2014 Statewide Evaluation Results were presented at the December Regents meeting. The presentation included detailed information about the Annual Professional Performance Review results for teachers and principals across the state. In addition, the presentation noted the difference in  results between NYC’s State-Imposed System and the rest of the State in terms of the percentages of teachers and principals who received composite score ratings of Highly Effective, Effective, Developing, and Ineffective (HEDI category) .

The information that was shared at the December Regents meeting confirms that:

  • Distribution of State-provided growth ratings by HEDI category for teachers remained stable between 2012-13 and 2013-14.
  • Distribution of State-provided growth ratings by HEDI category also remained stable from 2012-13 to 2013-14 for principals of schools including any of the grades from 4 to 8.
  • More teachers were rated Effective for the composite score in 2013-14 as compared to 2012-13.
  • The number of Developing and Ineffective teachers (for the composite score) is slightly lower for 2013-14 as compared to 2012-13.
  • Distribution of Overall Composite ratings remains similar to last year for principals.
  • NYC reported the evaluation results for 62,184 teachers.
  • Rest of State reported the evaluation results for 124,693 teachers.

For more detailed information, please access the December 2014 slide presentation entitled “Statewide Evaluation Results” at: http://www.regents.nysed.gov/meetings/2014/December2014/Evaluation.pdf

Transition to Common Core Regents Examinations in English Language Arts and Mathematics

In order to ensure that students have adequate notice and time to prepare to take the new Regents Exams that measure the Common Core Learning Standards, the Department is extending the period of overlap in the administration of Regents Exams that measure the 2005 Learning Standards with the administration of Regents that measure the new the New York State Common Core Learning Standards.

At its November 2014 meeting, the Board of Regents approved additional adjustments to the Common Core Regents Exam transition plan changing the last date of administration for the old Integrated Algebra Regents Exam from January 2015 to June 2015. To access the Regents item regarding the transition to Common Core Regents Exams in English language arts and mathematics please visit:

http://www.regents.nysed.gov/meetings/2014/November2014/1114p12a1.pdf

To assist schools with the transition, Test Guides, and sample questions are available at http://www.engageny.org/resource/regents-exams.

The memo for the Transition to Common Core Regents Examinations in English Language Arts and Mathematics can be accessed at:

http://www.p12.nysed.gov/assessment/commoncore/transitionccregents1113rev.pdf

The updated June 2015 Regents examination schedule can be accessed at:

http://www.p12.nysed.gov/assessment/schedules/2015/regents615rev.pdf

The August 2015 Regents Examination Schedule can be accessed at:

http://www.p12.nysed.gov/assessment/schedules/2015/regents815.pdf

The 2015โ€“16 elementary and intermediate level testing schedule can be accessed at:

http://www.p12.nysed.gov/assessment/schedules/2016/38testschedule16.pdf

The January 2016 examination schedule can be accessed at:

http://www.p12.nysed.gov/assessment/schedules/2016/regents116.pdf

Examination Schedule June 2016 can be accessed at:

http://www.p12.nysed.gov/assessment/schedules/2016/regents616.pdf

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GENERAL ANNOUNCEMENTS

Local Assistance Plan (LAP) Process Survey

As the New York State Education Department prepares its next ESEA flexibility waiver, staff has developed a Local Assistance Plan (LAP) Process Survey to gather recommendations and feedback from districts with LAP Schools regarding:

  • The most recent proposals for improving the process of identifying LAP Schools.
  • How the LAP identification process can be made more effective.

 The link to the survey has been e-mailed to Superintendents of districts with LAP Schools and will be available from January 9 - 19, 2015.    

An informational pre-recorded webinar on “LAP Identification and Proposed Changes” is available at:http://www.p12.nysed.gov/accountability/Webinars.html.

If you have questions about the survey, please contact us at accountinfo@nysed.gov.

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Socioeconomic Integration Pilot Program and Grant

The Socioeconomic Integration Pilot Program is a three-year program and grant intended to increase student achievement by encouraging greater socioeconomic integration in Priority and Focus Schools.

Who’s Eligible?

  • Title I Focus districts with poverty rates of at least 60% with at least ten schools in their district.
  • Title I Focus or Priority Schools with a poverty rate of at least 70%.

Who’s Not Eligible?

  • Charter Schools, Non-Title I Schools and Priority Schools receiving School Improvement Grants under Section 1003(g) or School Innovation Fund Grants.

For each school participating in this program, districts may receive up to $1,250,000 in Federal 1003(a) School Improvement funds.  Up to $250,000 may be used for planning and the remaining funds may be used for implementation, with the option to begin program implementation in either the 2015-16 or 2016-17 school year.

The Socioeconomic Integration Pilot Program and grant is not a competition. All eligible districts that successfully complete the application process for eligible schools will be funded.  The full grant description and application forms can be found at:  http://www.p12.nysed.gov/funding/2015-18-title-1-ses-integration-grant/home.html.

For specific questions about the program, please e-mail SIGA@nysed.gov.

All applications for the grant must be postmarked by Friday, February 13, 2015.                                    

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Comparability Field Guidance

The New York State Education Department must ensure that local education agencies (LEAs) are in compliance with the implementation of the Comparability requirements as described under Section 1120A(c) of the ESEA.

Section 1120A(c) of the ESEA provides that an LEA may receive Title I, Part A funds only if it uses State and local funds to provide services in Title I, Part A schools that, taken as a whole, are at least comparable to the services provided in schools that are not receiving Title I, Part A funds.  To help ensure that LEAs are in compliance with the implementation of the Comparability Requirements, the Department is sharing  guidance from the US Department of Education that provides details on how districts may seek permission to use an alternate method to demonstrate comparability. 

For the latest federal Non-Regulatory Guidance on Comparability please visit: http://www2.ed.gov/programs/titleiparta/fiscalguid.doc.

http://www.p12.nysed.gov/accountability/documents/fm_comparabilityguidance120114.pdf

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Seeking Nominations for the 2016 Teacher of the Year!

Applications for the 2016 New York State Teacher of the Year are now available!

Anyone can nominate a teacher!

The purpose of the New York State Teacher of the Year program is to:

  • Support the development of programs throughout the State that recognize great teachers.
  • Engage exemplary teachers in professional development.
  • Identify and celebrate one teacher per year as the New York State Teacher of the Year.
  • Ensure that the New York State Teacher of the Year represents all New York State teachers at State and National events.

You can find the 2016 Teacher of the Year Nomination Application at: http://www.p12.nysed.gov/ciai/toty/home.html

If you need additional information or have questions, please contact Dawn Graham at TOTY@nysed.gov

The New York State Teacher of the Year application deadline is Monday, February 2, 2015 by 5:00 P.M.

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Diagnostic Tool for School and District Effectiveness (DTSDE) Learning Lab

The DTSDE Learning Lab is a Learning Management System (LMS) designed to provide continued training and support to all stakeholders involved in the DTSDE School and/or District Review Process. 

The development of the Learning Lab was a collaborative effort between the University of the State of New York - Regents Research Fund for School Innovation, Northeast Comprehensive Center at RMC Research, and the New York State Education Department. 

The Learning Lab can be found at:

http://www.p12.nysed.gov/accountability/diagnostic-tool-institute/DTSDELearningLab.html

Visitors can setup their Learning Lab Courses beginning on Tuesday, January 13, 2015. 

Instructions regarding enrollment in courses and instructions on how to setup an account can be found at: http://www.p12.nysed.gov/accountability/diagnostic-tool institute/documents/CreateAnAccountandEnrollinginDTSDELearningLabNew.pdf

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REMINDERS

Local Assistance Plan (LAP) Schools Self-Review Document โ€“ PAST DUE

For districts in Good Standing with LAP schools, the deadline for posting the Board approved (or Chancellor in New York City) Diagnostic Self-Review Document and Report Template was Friday, November 21, 2014.

The link for each Local Assistance Plan Self-Review Document should have been submitted via email to accountinfo@nysed.gov. The deadline for submitting the link to the district’s LAP Self-Review Document was Monday, December 1, 2014.

The Diagnostic Self-Review Document and Report Template can be found online at: http://www.p12.nysed.gov/accountability/ESEAMaterials.html.

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Diagnostic Tool for School and District Effectiveness (DTSDE) Institute

The Office of Accountability would like to express its appreciation to all participants and presenters who attended the Professional Learning Community (PLC) Program on December 2-3, 2014 and January 8-9, 2015.

The next Diagnostic Tool for School and District Effectiveness (DTSDE) Institute will be held on March 22 - 23, 2015 at the Empire State Plaza Convention Center, Albany, NY.

Who should attend?

  • District representatives assigned to participate in IIT reviews or those leading District-led reviews.
  • District staff who work with Focus and/or Priority Schools.
  • District-selected Outside Educational Experts (OEE).
  • Regional Bilingual Education Resource Network (RBE-RN) and Special Education Student Information System (SESIS) representatives.
  • Principals of Focus or Priority Schools.
  • Individuals in each group who will participate in state-led IIT reviews are expected to attend.

Registration for the March 26 - 27, 2015 training will be available at https://rttt-nti.fluidreview.com in February.

All questions pertaining to the March 26 - 27, 2015 DTSDE Institute may be sent to:DTSDEtraining@mail.nysed.gov

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NEXT PUBLICATION

February 2015

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Last Updated: December 9, 2015