Summary of December 9th and 10th Board of Regents Meeting
The December 2019 Board of Regents Meeting began with an update on the progress of the Graduation Measures in New York State Initiative.   Regional Meetings are being organized across the state to gather stakeholder feedback which will begin after New Year. A research review is also being conducted to examine current graduation requirements in other states and countries.
NYSED has contracted with the outside educational consulting group, ACHIEVE, to facilitate the research review. Ms. Marie O’Hara, the Director of Research at ACHIEVE, provided Board members with a preliminary report of some of the data they have been reviewing along with information on trends they are seeing across the country regarding diploma requirements.
Ms. O’Hara outlined the scope of the specific areas they are examining which include:
1.      The number of courses a student must successfully complete to graduate, including the number of specific courses in different subject areas.
2.      The assessment/exit exam requirements associated with successfully completing the courses.
3.      The various innovative graduation pathway options that are becoming available to students.
4.      Co-curricular learning, leadership experiences and capstone project requirements.
Ms. O’Hara also presented case study data from four states that have recently gone through the process of reviewing and revising graduation requirements.
Her finalized report will be presented at the February 2020 Board of Regents meeting.
The link below provides an overview of the information that was reviewed during the presentation.
Brian Cechnicki, Director of Education Finance, presented a final review of the Board of Regents two billion dollar State Aid Proposal which will be submitted to the legislature. The focus of the budget requests continue to concentrate primarily on:
1.      Three year increased phase in of Foundation Aid
2.      Expanding access and support for Early Childhood education.
3.      Increasing technical support capabilities for the State Education Department.
The Board passed a previously discussed amendment to expand eligibility for students who participate in Unified Sports Programs. Many students who participate in Unified Sports, most particularly students with disabilities, remain in school until the age of 21. Because Unified Sports are designed to promote participation and inclusivity, eligibility will be extended to include four consecutive seasons beyond the age of 18.
The Board discussed the need for updating student transportation regulations so they align with current policies and procedures of the Department of Motor Vehicles. It is anticipated that the proposed amendment will be presented for adoption at the April 2020 meeting.
As part of the work being done by the Early Childhood Blue Ribbon Committee, a focus group has been working on recommendations to strengthen early childhood teacher and leader preparation programs. The group is recommending the development of Birth to Grade 3 teacher preparation model programs to strengthen teacher competency. They are also recommending that Birth to Grade 12 leader preparation models be established to include specific coursework centered on effective early childhood leadership practices.
At a recent stakeholder meeting, information was shared regarding the Principal Talent Management System. The software system will allow district leaders to solicit interest from potential candidates who have experience and credentials that match job descriptions for administrative vacancies.
Board members viewed a demonstration of the software which will be piloted in the coming months. The link below provides detailed visuals of what the software will look like and how it will function.