Office of Accountability

OA E-Blast Update

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Archived E-Blast Updates


November 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.






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Addition of §100.19 to the Regulations of the Commissioner Relating to School Receivership

At its October 2015 meeting, the Board of Regents adopted, as an emergency action, a revised §100.19 of the Regulations of the Commissioner pertaining to Receivership, in order to implement §211-f of New York State Education Law.

The revisions to §100.19 clarify the timeframe for completion of the collective bargaining process relating to Receivership agreements and establish procedures for the Commissioner’s resolution of unresolved issues regarding Receivership agreements.

The revised emergency rule of §100.19 took effect on Tuesday, October 27, 2015. It is anticipated that the emergency rule will be presented for adoption as a permanent rule at the January 2016 Regents meeting.

The October 2015 Regents Item regarding the proposed amendment of §100.19 of the Commissioner’s Regulations Relating to School Receivership can found at:

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Amendment of §100.5(g)(1)(i) of the Commissioner's Regulations Relating to the Transition to the Regents Examination in English Language Arts

On April 13, 2015, the Governor signed Chapter 56 of the Laws of 2015 to add a new Education Law §3012-d that established a new evaluation system for classroom teachers and building principals. At its June 2015 meeting, the Board of Regents took action to amend Subpart 30-2 and add a new Subpart 30-3 to the Rules of the Board of Regents, relating to annual professional performance reviews of classroom teachers and building principals, in order to implement Education Law §3012-d. Based upon public comment, the Board of Regents at its September meeting made further revisions to the emergency regulations initially adopted by the Board of Regents at its June 2015 meeting that include:

  • An amendment, which defines the substance of an APPR to include appeals in circumstances where a teacher or principal is rated Ineffective on the student performance category, but rated Highly Effective on the observation/school visit category based on an anomaly, as determined locally pursuant to Education Law §3012-d(15).
  • A hardship waiver from the requirement for an independent observer for rural school districts and for school districts with one registered school that would be unduly burdened if they were required to retain an independent evaluator.

It is anticipated that the rule will be presented for permanent adoption at the November Regents meeting, after publication of the revised proposed amendment in the State Register and expiration of the 30-day public comment period required pursuant to the State Administrative Procedure Act.  If adopted at the

15 November meeting, the proposed amendment will become effective on December 2, 2015.

The September 2015 Regents Item regarding the amendment of Commissioner’s Regulations relating to Annual Professional Performance Reviews of classroom teachers and building principals can be found at:

The supplemental presentation entitled “APPR Update” can be found at:

The supplemental presentation entitled “Regulatory Impact Statement for APPR” can be found at:

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New York State Safe Schools Task Force: Status Update

As a part of the 2013-14 Legislative Session, a bill was passed to create an Online Learning Advisory Council. The statute required the Council be comprised of 11 members of whom two members are nominated by the executive, two by the senate, two by the assembly and the remaining members appointed by the Commissioner of Education. The council membership was designed to represent diversity of experience throughout the state and include demonstrated experience in development, programming and use of online technology and blended learning for education in public schools; delivery of online education in rural communities; regional educational services; teaching with online and blended learning program; and institutions of higher learning that train teachers about online and blended educational instruction.

The council is charged with submitting a draft of its recommendations to the governor, senate, and assembly for their review by Thursday, October 1, 2015. The recommendations requested of the advisory council must include, but are not limited to:

              a) Guidance for use of a statewide online and blended learning   network;

              b) Best practices and model school district policies from throughout the state and nation that may be considered by school districts in the implementation of an online land blended learning program including broadband access;

              c) Academic programming suited for online and blended learning;

              d) Partnerships with institutions of higher education and other relevant stakeholders for workforce opportunities using online and blended learning; and

              e) A review of teaching and professional development policies and practices.

A public comment period regarding the recommendations will be open from October 1, 2015 through November 1, 2015 prior to completion and delivery of the final report by Friday, November 20, 2015.  A presentation with recommendations will be provided to the Board of Regents at its November meeting.

The September 2015 Regents Item regarding the Online Learning Advisory Council can be found at:

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Roadmap to College for English Language Learners Initiative

At the October 2015 Regents Meeting, staff provided an update on the creation of informational material for parents regarding the Roadmap to College for English language learners and information about programs that form connections between secondary schools, colleges and universities.

The October 2015 Regents Item regarding the Roadmap to College Initiative can be found at:

The presentation entitled “Roadmap to College Initiative” can be found at:

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Targeted Improvement Activities and Resources to Improve Results for Students with Disabilities

At its October 2015 meeting, the Board of Regents discussed critical areas for action and proposed improvement activities aligned with the Blueprint for Improved Results for Students with Disabilities.

In order to implement the Blueprint, the following improvement activities are planned for continuation or initiation during the 2015 -16 school year:

  • Promote student engagement in self-advocacy and in determining their own educational goals and plans;
  • Ensure parents, and other family members, are engaged as meaningful partners in the special education process and the education of their children;
  • Ensure teachers design, provide and assess the effectiveness of specially-designed instruction to provide students with disabilities with access to the general education curriculum and that teachers provide research-based instructional teaching and learning strategies and supports for students with disabilities;
  • Ensure schools provide multi-tiered systems of behavioral and academic support;
  • Ensure schools provide high quality inclusive programs and activities; and
  • Improve transition planning and post-secondary results for students with disabilities.

With support from the Board of Regents, staff will:

  • Develop State policy and guidance to support actions.
  • Use the Blueprint to review school district effectiveness to support students with disabilities.
  • Develop and share related resources for families, youth and schools.
  • Support professional development and technical assistance for schools and families in these targeted areas.
  • Disseminate the Blueprint and other critical information to schools, parents and the State’s technical assistance networks.

The October 2015 Regents Item regarding the Targeted Improvement Activities and Resources to Improve Results for Students with Disabilities can be found at:

The presentation entitled “Blueprint for Improved Results for Students with Disabilities” can be found at:

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The Aim High New York Survey

The New York State Education Department (NYSED) is conducting the Aim High NY survey in order to provide an opportunity for the public to comment on the New York State P-12 Common Core Learning Standards in English Language Arts/Literacy and Mathematics. The results of the survey will directly inform any changes that NYSED makes to the standards as a result of the review.

The Aim High NY survey provides an opportunity for every New Yorker to go online, review each standard and comment on what is liked, not liked, or offer a suggestion for a change to a particular standard.

The survey is not a referendum on the standards. Only comments tied to a specific standard will be considered. The objectives of this review are to:

  1. Increase awareness and understanding of New York’s current standards in ELA and math that were adopted in 2011; and
  2. Gather actionable feedback from all New Yorkers as part of the Department’s regular review process of the academic standards with an eye toward continuous improvement.

Please note: Respondents do not need to comment on every standard. Please comment on as few or as many standards as desired.

Comments provided about specific standards will be evaluated and reviewed by teams of New York educators of all levels specializing in the specific content areas. Any changes recommended by these teams will be presented to the New York Board of Regents for consideration. Changes to the standards based on feedback will not be implemented until the 2016 -17 school year or later.

The following principles will guide this review:

  1. Focus on the standards: The review will focus on the substance of the actual standards themselves.
  2. Improve what already exists; don’t start over: The intent is to improve current standards based on public input from parents, educators, administrators, etc.

The Aim High NY Survey can be accessed at:

The New York State Education Department (NYSED) looks forward to hearing from you and reviewing your feedback on the standards.

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Determining McKinney-Vento Eligibility for Students in Direct Placements

Recently, the New York State Education Department (NYSED) has received requests for clarification on whether students who have been removed from their home by child welfare officials but not placed in foster care are eligible under the McKinney-Vento Act.

Based on these inquires, the Department has issued a field memo to assist Local Child Education Agencies (LEAs) and McKinney-Vento liaisons (also known as LEA liaisons or homeless liaisons) with McKinney-Vento eligibility determinations when a student has been removed from his/her home because of an allegation of abuse or neglect and the child welfare agency arranges for a relative or family friend to assume temporary custody of the student, rather than place the student in foster care. In most of these cases, at least initially, the student should be considered homeless and is therefore protected under the McKinney-Vento Act and related state law.

To access the field memo regarding the determination of McKinney-Vento eligibility for students in direct placements please visit:

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Growth Reporting System (GRS) Available for Educators

The secure online Growth Reporting System (GRS) is available for authorized teachers, principals, and district personnel in districts and charter schools to view their 2014-15 State-provided growth results and data.  Student rosters are available for download within the system. 

Please review the GRS Tutorial at: and the GRS User Guide at: prior to logging into the system.

For information regarding the resources about State growth measures please visit:

For a video explaining growth scores please visit:

Questions related to the GRS and State growth measures should be addressed to:

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Mandatory McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act Training for 2015-16

To ensure that New York State school districts are aware of their responsibility to identify eligible homeless students, as well as provide services to help them succeed in school, the Department is requiring all school districts to participate at one of this year’s McKinney-Vento Workshops or webinars hosted by our technical assistance center, The New York State Technical and Education Assistance Center for Homeless Students (NYS-TEACHS).

For more information, please access the field memo regarding the 2015-16 McKinney-Vento training at:

For information about NYS-TEACHS 2015-16 McKinney-Vento training, please visit:

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New York State Teacher of the Year 2017 Information

New York State wishes to recognize and celebrate exceptionally skilled and passionate educators. This year, the Department will identify five teachers to serve as ambassadors for New York State teachers. Of these five teachers, one will be selected as the New York State Teacher of the Year and nominated for the National Teacher of the Year program.

A nominee must:

  • Be rated “effective” or “highly effective” on his or her Annual Professional Performance Review (APPR) or, if the APPR is not applicable to his or her current teaching area, have a record of superior teaching performance as evidenced by student learning gains, assessments, and recognition of work;
  • Demonstrate exceptional educational talent as evidenced by effective instructional practices and student learning results in the classroom and school;
  • Be an exceptionally skilled and dedicated teacher;
  • Be appropriately credentialed within his or her current teaching area and work directly with students in a public school at any grade level or in any subject area from pre-kindergarten through grade 12;
  • Plan to remain in the field of education during and after his or her year of recognition;
  • Have a minimum of five years of current teaching experience;
  • Demonstrate leadership through active roles in the school and community; and
  • Be poised and articulate, with the energy and equanimity to manage a busy schedule.

While all of these qualifications are considered, the most important qualification is the superior ability to inspire learning in students of all backgrounds and abilities.

Any parent, community member, student, or educator can nominate an individual who meets the selection criteria outlined above to be a New York State Teacher of the Year. Nominees must complete and submit the application by Monday, February 1, 2016. For more information on the timeline and process, please visit:

To access the 2017 Teacher of the Year announcement please visit:

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Participation on the 2015 Grades 3-8 ELA and Math Assessments and the Release of the Assessments Tool Kit

When students do not participate in State assessments, students, parents, teachers, principals, school district officials, as well as State policymakers, miss out on information that helps to determine whether students are on track for educational success.  Assessment results also indicate what schools need to do to strengthen teaching and indicate the quality of instruction happening in classrooms.

The Assessments Toolkit was created to help superintendents communicate with parents and teachers in their districts about the value and importance of the annual Grades 3-8 English Language Arts and Math assessments. The Toolkit contains customizable materials such as a letter to parents, a PowerPoint presentation about the higher learnings standards and assessments, sample Twitter and Facebook posts and a short video. While use of the Toolkit is completely optional, superintendents are encouraged to review these materials and use them as a way to reach parents and teachers.

To access the Assessments Toolkit please visit:

Additional resources will be made available in the coming weeks.

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Survey for Global Regents Test Development

In preparation for the new Global History and Geography Regents Exam (scheduled for its first administration in June 2018), the New York State Education Department has posted a public survey to provide feedback that will inform the test development process.

A brief draft overview of the new Global History and Geography Regents Exam is provided and the online survey link is available at: Please share this with all interested parties, as it is important to hear all voices in the development of a new Regents exam.

The survey will be available until midnight, Monday, November 30, 2015.

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2015-16 Title I §1003(a) Basic School Improvement Grant Technical Assistance

§1003(a) of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) requires that State Education Agencies allocate funds to Local Education Agencies (LEAs) for Title I Priority and Focus Schools to meet the progress goals in their District Comprehensive Improvement Plan and School Comprehensive Education Plan(s) (DCIP/SCEP) to improve student performance.  These funds are to be used to support implementation of school improvement activities, as required in the 2015-19 ESEA flexibility waiver.

The following districts and schools are eligible for §1003(a) funds for technical assistance in Title I Priority, Focus and Local Assistance Plan (LAP) Schools:

  • Title I Districts that were identified as Focus Districts and Title I schools that were identified as Priority, Focus or LAP Schools as of August 31, 2015 and which will provide instruction to students during the 2015-16 school year; and,
  • Title I Districts that were identified as Focus Districts and Title I schools identified as a Priority or Focus Schools as of June 1, 2015 that were subsequently removed from that status and will provide instruction to students during the 2015-16 school year.

The 2015-16 lists of Focus Districts, Priority Schools, Focus Schools and LAP Schools are posted online at:

Applications for funding will be accepted on a rolling basis until Monday, November 30, 2015, but all activities are subject to review and approval of funding. Applications with activities starting in September were due by Monday, August 31, 2015.  

For more information about the 2015-16 Title I §1003(a) Basic School Improvement Grant Application, please visit:

For more information about technical assistance for the 2015-16 Title I §1003(a) Basic School Improvement Grant, please visit:

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2015-16 Diagnostic Tool for School and District Effectiveness (DTSDE)/Focus District Institutes

The first Diagnostic Tool for School and District Effectiveness (DTSDE) Focus District Institute for the new school year held on October 6-7, 2015 was a huge success! The sessions focused largely on the DTSDE Rubric and the DTSDE Reviewer Practices.

Three additional Focus District Institutes are scheduled during the 2015-16 school year and are as follows:

  • December 15-16, 2015
  • March 10-11, 2016
  • May 4-5, 2016

The following information will be posted approximately 30 days prior to each session on the Office of Accountability website:

  • Deadline for registration;
  • Registration link and access code;
  • Final date for cancellation of registration;
  • Acceptable methods of payment;
  • Cut off dates for room block reservations; and
  • Link that provides guidance for parking near or at the Convention Center  

More information about the 2015-16 training Institutes can be found at:

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Diagnostic Tool for School and District Effectiveness (DTSDE) Cohort Training

Training for the established DTSDE cohort groups (listed below) will continue in the 2015 -16 school year based on the following schedule:

Professional Learning Community (PLC) Group – Albany at the Convention Center

  • December 2 - 3,2015
  • January 11 - 12,2016
  • April 19 - 20,2016
  • May 25 - 26,2016

Principal Mentoring Group – Albany at the Convention Center

  • November 13, 2015
  • May 24, 2016

Certification Group – NYC and Albany

  • NYC – date and venue to be announced
  • Albany – date and venue to be announced

For information regarding upcoming training please contact

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RECEIVERSHIPReceivership - Update

Receivership is now under the auspices of the Office of Innovation and School Reform led by Assistant Commissioner, Cheryl Atkinson.

All questions about Receivership should be directed to

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The Self-Assessment Deadline Has Passed

Commissioner’s Regulations §100.18(f)(6) requires that all schools and districts be included in the State accountability system and that Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP) be determined for each public school, charter school and district. This requirement also pertains to schools/districts with fewer than 30 continuously enrolled students who have participated in State assessments during the prior two years combined, or any configuration of grades kindergarten through 12 whereby students do not participate in the regular state assessment program.

In order to comply with this requirement for the 2014-15 school year, the schools/districts described above were required to complete and submit a Self-Assessment form by Friday, October 9, 2015. If your district was required to submit a Self-Assessment form and has yet to do so, please contact the Office of Accountability at as soon as possible.

The Self-Assessment form can be found at:

Completed Self-Assessment forms, any questions regarding the Self-Assessment process, or requests for extensions in submission of self-assessments must be submitted via e-mail to:

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2015-16 Local Assistance Plans

Local Assistance Plans are due to the Department on Friday, November 20, 2015.  The link to each plan should be submitted to:

For more information please write to:

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Last Updated: December 9, 2015