Office of Accountability

OA E-Blast Update

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Archived E-Blast Updates

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June 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 UPDATES

GENERAL ANNOUNCEMENTS

REMINDERS

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REGENTS UPDATES

School Receivership and the Proposed Consultation with Stakeholders Regarding and the Addition of Section 100.19 to Commissioner’s Regulations

At the May 2015 meeting of the Board of Regents, the P-12 Education Committee discussed recommendations to amend Commissioner’s regulations relating to school and district receivership in order to implement Section 211-f of Education Law as added by Chapter 56 of the laws of 2015.

Section 211-f designates current Priority Schools that have been in the most severe accountability status since the 2006-07 school year as “Persistently Failing Schools” and vests the superintendent of the district with the powers of an independent receiver.  The superintendent is given an initial one-year period to use the enhanced authority of a receiver to make demonstrable improvement in student performance at the “Persistently Failing School” or the Commissioner will direct that the school board appoint an independent receiver and submit the appointment for approval by the Commissioner.  Additionally, the school will be eligible for a portion of $75 million in state aid to support and implement its turnaround efforts over a two-year period. Failing Schools, schools that have been Priority Schools since the 2012-13 school year, will be given two years under a “superintendent receiver” (i.e., the superintendent of schools of the school district vested with the powers a receiver would have under section 211-f) to improve student performance. Should the school fail to make demonstrable improvement in two years then the district will be required to appoint an independent receiver and submit the appointment for approval by the Commissioner. Independent receivers are appointed for up to three school years and serve under contract with the Commissioner.  

The P-12 Education Committee reviewed the recommended amendments to the regulations and directed the Department to consult with stakeholders regarding the new draft regulations prior to submitting the proposed emergency regulation to the Board of Regents at its June meeting.

The Department held a Receivership meeting for the Key Stakeholders on May 27, 2015 in Albany, New York. The statewide meeting for districts with Priority Schools and other key stakeholders provided an overview of the School Receivership law, the draft regulations, and the $75 million School Turnaround Grant Program for which “Persistently Failing Schools” will be eligible to apply. The purpose of the meeting was to solicit participant feedback and recommendations on specific elements of the draft regulations and to gain an understanding of how the Department can work with the field to implement Receivership.

Department staff are currently reviewing the feedback and recommendations from the meeting and including, as appropriate, some of these recommendations in the draft regulations that will be presented to the Board of Regents at its June 2015 meeting.

The May 2015 Regents Item regarding School and District Receivership can be found at:

http://www.regents.nysed.gov/common/regents/files/meetings/May%202015/515p12d4.pdf.

The PowerPoint presentation entitled “Intervention in Struggling Schools through Receivership” can be found at: http://www.regents.nysed.gov/common/regents/files/meetings//Receivership.pdf.

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Discussion Regarding the Annual Professional Performance Review (APPR)

At the May 2015 Regents meeting, the P-12 Education Committee reviewed a presentation on the Annual Professional Performance Review (APPR), which included input received from stakeholders and experts. The committee discussed a summary of the information presented. Also discussed were options for the Regents to consider as the Department prepares new regulations related to teacher and principal evaluation.

The Guiding Principles used for making recommendations were examined by the P-12 Education Committee. Additionally, the Committee discussed recommendations relating to observations and student performance and reviewed the Evaluation Matrix that will be used to determine a teacher’s composite score as mandated under current statute.

Department staff will incorporate the recommendations made by the Regents as staff prepares proposed regulations to be presented at the June meeting. A draft position paper on teacher and principal evaluation will also be presented in June for the P-12 Education Committee to review.

The May 2015 presentation regarding the APPR can be found at: http://www.regents.nysed.gov/common/regents/files/meetings/May%202015/APPR.pdf.         

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Expulsion and Suspension of Children, Ages 3-5, from Regular Early Childhood and Special Education Programs

At the May 2015 Regents meeting, the P-12 Education Committee discussed the Federal Policy Statement on Expulsion and Suspension in Early Childhood Settings. The policy statement has raised awareness of problematic issues, provided recommendations to states and programs, and identified sources to assist in the effort. Based on these recommendations, Department staff made the following proposals:

  • Establish statewide policies to reduce and ultimately eliminate expulsions and suspensions of preschool students;
  • Develop statewide guidance and disseminate it to each preschool program in the State;
  • Build capacity to collect data to inform statewide guidance and identify trends;
  • Provide regional professional development to preschool providers on positive and multi-tiered levels of behavior support.

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My Brother’s Keeper

At its May 2015 meeting, the Regents discussed “My Brother’s Keeper,” an initiative created to address persistent opportunity gaps faced by young men of color. The intention of the initiative is to ensure that all young people can reach their full potential.

My Brother’s Keeper is focused on six milestones:

  • Getting a Healthy Start and Entering School Ready to Learn
  • Reading at Grade Level by Third Grade
  • Graduating from High School Ready for College and Career
  • Completing postsecondary education or training
  • Successfully Entering the Workforce
  • Keeping Kids on Track and Giving Them Second Chances

The Regents agreed to establish a workgroup to articulate the alignment between My Brother’s Keeper and the New York State reform agenda and report recommendations to the Board during the summer of 2015.

The Regents Item regarding “My Brother’s Keeper” can be found at: http://www.regents.nysed.gov/common/regents/files/meetings/May%202015/515p12d2.pdf.

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GENERAL ANNOUNCEMENTS

Accountability Status of Identified Schools for 2015-16

On April 20, 2015, the New York State Education Department informed districts of the schools that were eligible for removal from Priority and Focus School status, based on academic progress made and subject to the district petitioning for their removal. Districts were also informed of the substitution process available for the eligible Focus Schools. Additionally, districts had the option to appeal the accountability status of any of its schools for 2015-16.

On June 8, 2015, the Department publicly released final accountability designation data for the identified Focus Districts, Focus Schools and Priority Schools. A Priority or Focus School that has been removed from that status may be identified as a Local Assistance Plan (LAP) School, when the Department releases the 2015-16 school year LAP list in July.

The memo sent to districts and schools regarding the release of 2015-16 School and District Accountability Designations for Focus Districts, Priority Schools and Focus Schools can be found at: http://www.p12.nysed.gov/accountability/documents/DataReleaseMemo2015-16.pdf.

The final accountability designation data for the identified Focus Districts, Focus Schools, and Priority Schools can be found at: http://www.p12.nysed.gov/accountability/ESEADesignations.html.

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New York State’s Plan to Ensure Equitable Access to the Most Effective Educators 2014-15

In July 2014, the United States Department of Education asked each state to submit an updated equity plan that described the steps that a State would take to ensure that “poor and minority children are not taught at higher rates than other children by inexperienced, unqualified, or out-of-field teachers.”

As a result, New York State’s updated equity plan, “New York State’s Plan to Ensure Equitable Access to the Most Effective Educators 2015,” outlines strategies for how the State will continue to work with LEAs to ensure every student has equitable access to the most effective educators. The plan builds on historic measures of equity, combined with analyses of educator effectiveness data. It also takes into account lessons learned from the Department’s $83 million Strengthening Teacher and Leader Effectiveness (STLE) competitive grant program, which was intended to help applicants integrate evaluations into a coherent system of support for educators throughout their careers.

The Department believes that strong teacher preparation programs, meaningful teacher and principal evaluation systems, professional development, and career ladder pathways, implemented as part of a comprehensive talent management system, will ensure equitable access to effective educators.  The Department also has confidence that strong preparation programs will address achievement gaps.

Information about New York State’s 2015 Plan to Ensure Equitable Access to the Most Effective Educators can be accessed at: http://www.p12.nysed.gov/accountability/T2/HQT-Equitable.html.

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2015-16 District Comprehensive Improvement Plan (DCIP), 2015-16 School Comprehensive Education Plan (SCEP), 2015-18 Strategic Plan for School Excellence (SPSE), and SCEP & DCIP Completion Guides

As part of New York State’s approved ESEA Flexibility Waiver, all Focus Districts are required to develop a District Comprehensive Improvement Plan (DCIP) that details how the district plans to improve instruction and address the identified needs of Focus, Priority, and Local Assistance Plan (LAP) Schools.

All identified Priority and Focus Schools without an approved School Improvement Grant 1003(g) or School Innovation Fund plan are required to develop a School Comprehensive Education Plan (SCEP) that details the way in which identified schools plans to increase the quality of instruction, improve the effectiveness of the leadership and teaching; and improve student achievement and graduation rates for all students with an emphasis on identified subgroups.

The Department has developed the SCEP and DCIP Completion Guides as companions to the SCEP and DCIP templates. Both the SCEP and DCIP incorporate elements of the Diagnostic Tool for School and District Effectiveness (DTSDE). In creating the DCIP and SCEPs districts and schools must address the findings of any recent DTSDE review. The report from the DTSDE review provides districts with an analysis of strengths and areas for improvement.

Identified schools that have been active participants in the Professional Learning Community pilot cohort are required to develop a Strategic Plan for School Excellence (SPSE) in lieu of a SCEP. The SPSE details the way in which identified schools are focused on increasing the quality of instruction, improving the effectiveness of the leadership and teaching; improving student achievement and graduation rates, and moving toward excellence during a three year implementation period.

The DCIP can be found at: http://www.p12.nysed.gov/accountability/fdip/1516DCIPTemplate.xlsx.

District Comprehensive Plan Completion Guide – 2015 can be found at:

http://www.p12.nysed.gov/accountability/fdip/DCIPCompletionGuide.doc.

The SCEP can be found at: http://www.p12.nysed.gov/accountability/fdip/1516SCEPTemplate.xlsx.

The SCEP Completion Guide can be found at: http://www.p12.nysed.gov/accountability/fdip/SCEPCompletionGuide-Final.pdf.

The Strategic Plan for School Excellence (SPSE) can be found at: http://www.p12.nysed.gov/accountability/fdip/1518SPSETemplate.xlsx.

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May 21, 2015 Diagnostic Tool for School and District Effectiveness (DTSDE) Institute, Professional Learning Community Program (PLCP) Training Sessions and Office Hours Opportunity

The Office of Accountability expresses its appreciation to all participants and presenters who attended the Diagnostic Tool for School and District Effectiveness (DTSDE) Institute and Professional Learning Community Program (PLCP) Training sessions on May 21, 2015 at the Cultural Education Center in Albany, NY.

We also extend our appreciation to the Districts that utilized the Title I “Office Hours” on May 20, 2015 to receive individualized technical support in the development of their 2015-16 District Comprehensive Improvement Plan (DCIP) and School Comprehensive Educational Plan (SCEP).  We hope that the time was well spent and that positive results will be evident in school and district practices.    

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REMINDERS

Final DTSDE Report for District-led Reviews and School Reviews with District Oversight

The Diagnostic Tool for School and District Effectiveness (DTSDE) is an annual process, required by Commissioner’s Regulation 100.18(h), for all Focus and Priority Schools. 

For each Focus and Priority School that was not scheduled to receive an Integrated Intervention Team (IIT) visit this year, the district must conduct a DTSDE review.

Additional information on the report writing templates and documents can be found at:http://www.p12.nysed.gov/accountability/diagnostic-tool-institute/DTSDESchoolReviewDocuments_000.html

Please submit your DTSDE report(s) to: DTSDEreviews@mail.nysed.gov on or before Tuesday, June 30, 2015.

Questions pertaining to DTSDE Reviews may be sent to:  DTSDEReviews@mail.nysed.gov mailbox.

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NEXT PUBLICATION

JULY 2015

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Last Updated: December 9, 2015