Summary of May 6th and 7th Board of Regents Meeting
On April 12, 2019 Governor Cuomo signed into law amendments to Education Law 3012-d. The amendments revise the previous requirement associated with APPR regulations which tied student performance on state test scores to teacher/principal evaluations. The May 2019 Board of Regents Meeting began with a discussion of the new APPR requirements. NYSED staff members updated Board of Regents members on the significant changes associated with the new APPR guidelines and outlined future steps that will be taken to align the teacher/principal evaluation process with the new regulations.
While the use of state assessments is now optional for districts, there is still a category in the APPR formula that requires a rating relating to student performance. Districts which opt not to use standardized tests as part of the APPR process must develop Student Learning Objectives (SLOs) through the collective bargaining process. The SLOs must demonstrate appropriate expectations for student academic achievement. NYSED will be creating a menu of approved SLO options for measures of student performance that districts may use.
While the decoupling of test scores with evaluations represents a major change to the evaluation system, the presenters emphasized that most components of the APPR process will remain the same in the future including:
  1. Required classroom observations by both administrators and independent evaluators
  2. The Rating Matrix which includes the designations: Highly Effective (H), Effective (E), Developing (D), and Ineffective (I)
  3. The requirements for Teacher and Principal Improvement Plans
NYSED is continuing to work with stakeholders to develop a regulatory proposal to implement the new requirements of the Law. Members of the APPR Assessment and Evaluation Workgroups will be meeting in the near future to offer input and recommendations. Proposals will be presented to the Board at various intervals in the coming months and feedback will be consistently collected through stakeholder feedback and public comment. No timeline has been set for the approval of the new regulations and it is anticipated that the required steps will take a significant amount of time.
It is also important to note that that districts are not required to submit a new proposed evaluation plan for approval until the plan that they currently have in place expires.
Below you will find links to access a summary of the information that was presented.
Representatives from the Classroom Academy Teacher Residency Program updated the Board of Regents on the status of their pilot teacher preparation program. The partnership between SUNY Plattsburgh and Southern Adirondack BOCES offers teacher candidates, who have bachelor degrees outside of education, an innovative pathway to obtaining certification. Participants complete a two- year residency where they are fully immersed in classroom environments as they gradually take on increased instructional responsibilities.
Members of the Safe Schools Task Force updated the Board on the implementation status of several recent recommendations that have been developed by their three workgroups.
Of special note is a requirement that was enacted as part of the 2019-20 State budget that requires Memorandums of Understanding (MOU) between school districts and Law Enforcement Agencies which clearly define the roles and areas of responsibility for school resource officers, law enforcement personnel, school staff, and school security personnel.
There continues to be significant emphasis by the task force on the promotion and measuring of school climate and on the incorporation of Social Emotional Learning into instruction.
The link to the presentation provides a summary of the items discussed and includes a concise list of the plans and procedures that schools/districts should have in place to ensure compliance with current school safety regulations.
The Board reviewed and discussed a proposed amendment to create safety nets for the Teacher Content Specialty Tests in Biology, Chemistry, Earth Science and Physics required for certification. With the implementation of the new science standards, the Content Test is being revised to reflect the changes. The amendment would allow candidates the option of taking either the previously administered version or the new test during the transition to the new standards in the coming year.
It is anticipated that the amendment will be presented to the Board of Regents for approval at the September 2019 meeting.