As ESSAA’s Regents Liaison, Paul Scampini attends the monthly meetings of the Board of Regents. Following is a summary of meeting held on December 12 and 13, 2016:
- The December meeting again began with Commissioner Elia providing a progress update on NYSED’s development of the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) plan and a review of information that has been recently provided by the USDOE. She re-emphasized that while the recent national election results could potentially alter some key components and the timeline of the plan, the Department is continuing to move forward with the application. Some of the key areas she discussed included:
- The updated timeline for submitting the plan.The DOE has extended the deadline for submission to September 18, 2017.
- The challenges associated with the 95% participation rate requirement and the options that states have for responding when rates fall below the 95% threshold.As the plan is written now, any students in an accountability group in excess of the 5% non-participation rate will be considered as non-proficient for accountability purposes.
- The timeline for identifying underperforming schools has been moved back to the 2018-19 school year.
- New requirements which will require individual schools to collect very specific data on allocations on pupil expenditures.
- A new round of stakeholder meetings will take place in March to gather more feedback.
- From the work of the ESSA workgroups and stakeholder meetings, one of the most emphasized high concept idea themes has been the need for identifying and providing the most appropriate assessments and testing conditions for students of NYS. In response, Scott Marion, the Executive Director of the National Center for the Improvement of Educational Assessment, made a presentation about potential opportunities within the ESSA structure to address this issue.He feels thatESSA offers states the opportunities to:
- Develop a single coherent accountability system
- Determine their own reasonable student achievement goals (as compared to the NCLB goals that read – 100% of all students will be proficient in designated areas by 2014)
- Expand accountability indicators outside the areas of reading and math for reporting and accountability purposes.
- The State Aid Subcommittee presented an updated version of the 2017-18 State Aid Proposal they will be submitting.They are proposing a three year phase-in plan to eliminate the existing $4.3 billion gap in Foundation Aid and are also proposing additional investments in UPK ($100 million), ELL ($100 million), College and Career Pathways ($60 million) and professional development ($30 million).
- NYSED staff members joined members of the Science Education Consortium to present an overview of the finalized Next Generation Science Standards which were unanimously adopted by the Board of Regents.
- NYSED staff members, Angelica Infante-Green and Mary Cahill provided an update on the progress toward the implementation of the new ELA and Mathematics Learning Standards.Based on the feedback the Department received from the most recent round of public comment, revisions will be considered.The goal remains to begin implementing the new standards during the 2017-18 and 2018-19 school years with the first year of revised 3-8 assessments being administered during 2018-19.
- The Board was updated on the implementation of Computer Based Testing for state assessments.More than 800 schools participated in Field Testing last year.For 2016-17, schools may participate in Operational and/or Field Testing.The window for signing up to participate is currently open with over 100 schools already registered.
- The Board unanimously approved the amendments to the Violent and Disruptive Incident Reporting System (VADIR) that was proposed at the September meeting.The amendment, which will go into effect for the 2017-18 school year, combines and aligns the reporting mechanisms for VADIR and DASA while reducing the categories of Violent and Disruptive Incidents from twenty to nine.
- Finally, as part of the consent agenda, the Board approved an amendment relating to the establishment of criteria for the approval of work-readiness assessments for earning the Career Development and Occupational Studies (CDOS) Commencement Credential.
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