Office of Accountability

OA E-Blast Update

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Archived E-Blast Updates

 

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March 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.

REGENTS UPDATES

GENERAL ANNOUNCEMENTS

REMINDER

REGENTS UPDATES

Academic Intervention Services (AIS)

At its February 2016 meeting, the Board of Regents directed Department staff to propose amendments to Commissioner’s Regulations that reexamine how to best support students receiving Academic Intervention Services (AIS) in Grades 3-8 English Language Arts (ELA) and mathematics. The proposed amendments will be based on feedback from school districts and key stakeholder groups.

The Board of Regents has directed Department staff to:

  • Develop recommendations to amend Section 100.2(ee) of Commissioner’s Regulations for consideration at the March meeting for implementation beginning in the 2016-17 school year.
  • Provide recommendations to the Board at a later date regarding the provision of AIS in grades other than 3-8 and in subjects other than ELA and mathematics, including social studies and science in grades 9-12.

The February 2016 Regents Item regarding AIS can be found at: http://www.regents.nysed.gov/common/regents/files/216p12d1.pdf.

The supplemental presentation entitled “Academic Intervention Services,” can be found at:

http://www.regents.nysed.gov/common/regents/files/P-12%20-%20Academic%20Intervention%20Services.pdf.

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Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) Reauthorization and the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA)

At its February 2016 meeting, the Board of Regents was informed of anticipated changes to the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) resulting from the reauthorization of the law. The reauthorization of the ESEA is a law referred to as the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA).

As a result of ESSA becoming law, the ESEA flexibility waiver will sunset after August 1, 2016. However, interventions in Priority and Focus Schools must continue through the 2016-17 school year. It is expected that provisions of the ESSA will begin in the 2016-17 school year, with some accountability provisions beginning during the 2017-18 school year.

The New York State Education Department will work with the United State Department of Education and key stakeholder groups to better understand the provisions of the legislation. The Department will work with a group comprised of stakeholders representing teachers, administrators, parents, and community-based organizations with expertise in accountability systems to begin soliciting ideas and recommendations pertaining to implementing the accountability provisions of ESEA. Later this school year, staff will present additional information on the provisions of the ESSA and provide updates on discussions with various stakeholder groups related to the creation of the new state accountability plan.

The February 2016 Regents Item regarding the ESEA and ESSA can be found at: http://www.regents.nysed.gov/common/regents/files/216brd1.pdf.

The supplemental presentation entitled “Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) Reauthorization and the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA)” can be found at:http://www.regents.nysed.gov/common/regents/files/Full%20Board%20Monday%20Slidedeck.pdf.

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Revision and Implementation of New English Language Arts (ELA) and Mathematics Standards

At its February 2016 meeting, the P-12 Education Committee provided the Board of Regents with a timeline for the revision and implementation of the new New York State Learning Standards in English Language Arts (ELA) and mathematics.

The proposed revision and implementation strategy include the following phases:

Phase 1 - The creation of standards review committees

Phase 2 - Feedback via public comment

Phase 3 - Review of final standards revisions

Phase 4 - Presentation of new standards for consideration by the Board

Phase 5 - Curriculum revisions throughout the state

Phase 6 - Professional development and initial implementation of new/revised standards

Phase 7 - First year of revised grades 3-8 ELA and mathematics assessments

Department staff will begin meeting with stakeholders to revise new learning standards for ELA and mathematics. The proposed culmination date is spring of 2019 when students will take Grades 3-8 ELA and mathematics assessments that measure the revised standards

The February 2016 Regents Item regarding Revision and Implementation of New English Language Arts (ELA) and Mathematics Standards can be found at: http://www.regents.nysed.gov/common/regents/files/216p12d4.pdf.

The supplemental presentation entitled “Revision and Implementation of the New ELA and Mathematics Standards” can be found at: http://www.regents.nysed.gov/common/regents/files/P-12%20-%20Revision%20and%20Implementation%20of%20the%20New%20ELA%20and%20Mathematics%20Standards_0.pdf.                                                                                                                                                                                 

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Promoting School-Justice Partnerships to Keep Youth in School and Out of Courts

At its February 2016 meeting, the Board of Regents discussed the work of the New York State Permanent Judicial Commission on Justice for Children’s work in regard to the school-justice connection.

Based on this discussion, with the agreement of the Board of Regents, staff will take the following actions to improve outcomes for school-aged children who spend time in court, are suspended or expelled from school, or placed in juvenile justice facilities:

  • Continue to engage with key stakeholders to promote school-justice partnerships;
  • Develop recommendations and more comprehensively deliver technical assistance that will more clearly define uniform discipline policies and practices;
  • Assist school districts to implement strategies to reduce the frequency that suspensions and expulsions are used throughout the school year, especially for youth of color, students with disabilities, and English language learners;
  • Improve data collection processes to inform decisions on addressing youth-related issues;
  • Build frameworks in schools and institute strategies that promote and measure school climate; and
  • When funding becomes available, provide professional development for administrators, teachers and community.

The February 2016 Regents Item regarding Promoting School-Justice Partnerships to Keep Youth in School and Out of Courts can be found at:

http://www.regents.nysed.gov/common/regents/files/216p12d3.pdf.

The supplemental presentation entitled “School-Justice Partnerships in New York” can be found at: http://www.regents.nysed.gov/common/regents/files/P-12%20-%20School-Justice%20Partnerships%20in%20New%20York.pdf.

GENERAL ANNOUNCEMENTS

Accountability Status for 2015-16 and 2016-17

On Thursday, February 26, 2016, the Office of Accountability (OA) notified districts of the final accountability status of schools or charter schools for the 2015-16 and 2016-17 school years. Identified were 188 Priority Schools, 84 Focus Districts and 442 Focus Schools under federal accountability requirements. In addition, 70 schools are to be removed from receivership status at end of 2015-2016 school year.

The OA posted an FAQ regarding 2016-17 accountability designations based on questions from the field. The FAQ can be found at: http://www.p12.nysed.gov/accountability/documents/FrequentlyAskedQuestions022616.pdf.

The press release regarding the final accountability status for 2015-16 and 2016-17 can be found at: http://www.nysed.gov/Press/State-Education-Department-Identifies-188-Priority-Schools%2C-84-Focus-Districts-and-442-Focus-Schools-Under-Federal-Accountability-Requirements%3B-70-Schools-To-Be-Removed-From-Receivership-Status-At-End-Of-2015-2016-School-Year.

For more information on the methodology used to identify Focus Districts, Focus Schools, Priority Schools, and Reward Schools, please visit: http://www.p12.nysed.gov/accountability/ESEAMaterials.html.

For more information on the requirements for Focus Districts, Focus Schools, Priority Schools and the resources available to them, please visit: http://www.p12.nysed.gov/accountability/ESEAMaterials.html.

For more information on the District Comprehensive Improvement Plan or the Comprehensive Education Plan, please visit:  http://www.p12.nysed.gov/accountability/fdip.

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

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Changes for the 2016 Grades 3-8 English Language Arts and Mathematics Tests

The New York State Education Department (NYSED) is making significant changes to the 2016 grades 3-8 English Language Arts (ELA) and mathematics tests as a result of feedback from the field. Some of the changes include:

  • Greater involvement of educators in the test development process
  • A decrease in the number of test questions
  • A shift to untimed testing

Additional changes include use of a new vendor to lead the development of future NYSED grades 3-8 ELA and mathematics tests.

These changes will improve the testing experience for students and the validity of the assessments.

For more information please view the memo regarding changes for 2016 grades 3-8 ELA and mathematics tests at: http://www.p12.nysed.gov/assessment/ei/2016/changes2016grades3-8ela-math-tests.pdf.

Questions about testing programs, policies, and procedures may be sent to emscassessinfo@nysed.gov.

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2015-16 Remaining DTSDE Trainings

The remaining Focus District training sessions for 2015-16 are as follows:

  • March 10 - 11, 2016 for district representatives from newly identified Focus districts only
  • May 4 - 5, 2016 for district/school personnel responsible for creating DCIP and SCEP plans

The remaining Professional Learning Community (PLC) sessions are as follows:

  • April 19-20, 2016
  • May 25-26, 2016

The remaining Reward School/Principal Mentoring sessions are as follows:

  • May 24

Details, information and plans for the remaining training sessions and Institutes are available at: http://p12.nysed.gov/accountability/diagnostic-tool-institute/registration.html.  PLC and Mentoring cohorts are notified directly in regards to their sessions.   

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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: DTSDETraining@nysed.gov.

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Newly Identified Focus Districts and DTSDE Requirements

The following types of Focus and Priority Schools and/or Focus Districts must receive a DTSDE review during the 2015-16 school year:

1. Districts identified as Focus Districts at the beginning of the school year.

    • Districts with these schools were informed of the dates of IIT reviews in the fall of 2015.

2. Schools previously identified as Focus or Priority Schools as of September 1, 2015 and have been re-identified in February 2016 in one of these same categories.

    • Districts with these schools that have not been scheduled for an NYSED-led IIT review or an NYSED-led Demonstrable Improvement Indicator Review in select re-identified  Persistently Struggling or Struggling Schools can choose to do one of the following:
    • District-led DTSDE review of three or more tenets
    • District-supervised School Review with District Oversight

3. Newly identified schools in re-identified districts.

Districts with these schools can choose to do one of the following:

    • District-led DTSDE review of three or more tenets
    • District-supervised School Review with District Oversight
    • District-supervised completion of DTSDE School Self-Reflection

4. Persistently Struggling and Struggling Schools (Receivership Schools) re-identified as Focus or Priority Schools.

Districts with these schools that are not scheduled for an NYSED-led Demonstrable Improvement Indicator Review for schools that identified a DTSDE Tenet as one of their measures of Demonstrable Improvement can choose to do one of the following:

    • District-led review of three or more tents
    • District-supervised School Review with District Oversight

Previously identified Focus and Priority Schools that have not been re-identified are not required to have a DTSDE review during the 2015-16 school year.

For information regarding DTSDE requirements for newly identified Focus Districts please contact: DTSDEReviews@nysed.gov.

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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: http://www2.ed.gov/policy/elsec/leg/essa/index.html.

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REMINDER Registration of Public Schools

The Department requires that school districts making changes to the registration of schools and creating new schools for the 2016-17 school year, submit the appropriate forms for Public School Registration. The deadline for the 2016-17 school year was Tuesday, March 1, 2016. However, extensions for submitting School Registration forms can be granted based on a written request from the district. The written request can be sent to accountinfo@nysed.gov.

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: http://www.p12.nysed.gov/irs/newschool/.

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 submissions and inquiries regarding the process can be sent to: accountinfo@nysed.gov.

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NEXT PUBLICATION

April 2016

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Last Updated: October 13, 2016