Summary of March 11th and 12th Board of Regents Meeting
  • The March 2019 Board of Regents Meeting began with the reelection of Chancellor Betty Rosa and Vice Chancellor Andrew Brown to another term in their respective roles. Both individuals received unanimous support from Board of Regents members.
  • The primary educational focus of this month’s meeting was a presentation and discussion regarding the status of Special Education in New York State. Commissioner Elia was joined by several members of NYSED’s Office of Special Education to review state data related to federal performance targets established by the US Department of Education.
New York State has been designated as a State in Need of Assistance for the area of special education by the DOE for over ten consecutive years. Based on data presented from the 2017-18 school year, New York is currently meeting federal accountability standards in only two of seventeen performance targets. As a result, the state is required to receive federally regulated Monitoring and Support for the following areas:
  • Longstanding Noncompliance
  • Timely Initial Individual Evaluations
  • Timeliness of Due Process Hearings
  • Graduation Rate
  • Dropout Rate
  • Participation in State Assessments
Additionally, 44 NYS school districts are currently identified as not meeting IDEA requirements, either through poor student performance or noncompliance with regulations. They are all required to receive NYSED coordinated interventional support in the coming year.
Many Board members appeared blindsided by the fact that New York has been listed as a State in Need of Assistance for more than a decade. A few expressed frustration and that they had never been made aware that such accountability deficiencies existed. Commissioner Elia attempted to address concerns by stating that the Board has been presented with the data in previous years, but the information had been presented differently.
Chancellor Rosa expressed frustration that the data unfairly singles out districts with high concentrations of special education students. She feels these districts are much more likely to be identified as poor performing due to the federal statute that requires students take tests that are significantly above the academic level they are performing at.
Commissioner Elia concluded the discussion by stating that the department is developing a plan to address the deficiencies which will be presented at a future Board of Regents meeting.
The links below provide a summary of the data and information that was presented:
  • The Board was updated on the work of the Blue-Ribbon Commission for the Arts toward implementing the new NYS Arts Learning Standards. The group is continuing work on the development of an Individual Arts Assessment Pathway (IAAP) as part of a three unit alternative graduation requirement option in the Arts. They plan to begin piloting one unit in schools during the 2019-20 school year and two more units during 2020-2021. During the summer of each year, teacher institutes will occur to evaluate student work and finalize scoring rubrics. A full rollout of all three units is scheduled for the 2021-2022 school year.
More specific information on the presentation is available in the link below: