1. A key area of emphasis for the Board of Regents over the next two years will be an extensive review of the current graduation requirements in New York State. The October 2019 Board of Regents meeting began with an update on the progress of the Graduation Measures in New York State Initiative.  Kim Wilkins, Deputy Commissioner for P-12 Instructional Support, facilitated a presentation/discussion outlining the scope of the project and updated the Board on the initial steps that will be followed in the coming months.
Preparations are currently being finalized to begin the Information Gathering Phase which will include regional meetings, collection of stakeholder feedback, a review of current research, and an examination of current practices in other states. The Guiding Questions, which will be used to frame discussions, were also reviewed.
Key items emphasized during the presentation included:
  • The various options available for stakeholders to provide and monitor feedback throughout the project such as Regional Meetings for stakeholders, an email site dedicated solely to public comment (GradMeasures@nysed.gov), a NYSED Listserv, social media, and a Graduation Measures webpage which will be regularly updated.
  • Regional Meetings are currently being scheduled for each judicial district across the state and will be facilitated by the district’s Board of Regents representative. A Blue Ribbon Committee will be formed after the Regional Meetings are completed to guide the project further. Several Board members expressed approval for this approach feeling it will bring stakeholders into the process very early and assist the Blue Ribbon Committee with developing the key areas which need to be addressed.
Below you will find a link to the presentation that was followed during the discussion. The slides provide a tentative timeline and a concise summary of the scope of the initiative which could be useful for high school principals to share with staff and community members.
2. The Board was updated on the implementation of the Next Generation ELA and Math Standards.  The 2018-19 school year was dedicated to building awareness of the new standards across the state. During 2019-20, schools are expected to begin integrating the new standards into classroom instruction.
Some key implementation dates related to the rollout of the standards include:
  • Spring 2021 – first administration of 3-8 ELA/Math assessments aligned with the new standards
  • June 2022 – first administration of Algebra 1 Regents Exam aligned with new math standards
  • June 2024 – first administration of new ELA Regents Exam aligned with the ELA standards
Below you will find two links that were used during the presentation. The first link includes a comprehensive timeline for the rollout of the new standards including the schedule for initial administration of all related assessments. The second link provides a summary of information and resources that have been developed to assist educators with implementing the standards. Included is information on how to access curriculum roadmaps, guidance for supporting special education and ELL students, parent documents, professional development resources, and early learning resources.
3. In order to comply with the legislative changes that were passed in the 2019-2020 state budget, the Board of Regents formally approved amendments to the APPR regulations for classroom teachers and building principals. The changes are consistent with what has been discussed and presented at previous Board of Regents meetings and in stakeholder discussions with the Interim Commissioner and NYSED staff.
The link below provides an updated outline of the changes. Pages 6 – 9 of the document specifically cover the APPR requirements for the evaluation of principals.
After a 60 day public comment period, it is anticipated that the measures will be permanently adopted at the February 2020 BOR meeting.
4. Kevin Smith, the Deputy Commissioner for Adult and Continuing Education Services (ACCES), reviewed the current pathways available for students to pursue a High School Equivalency Diploma. After presenting recently collected data on students who are earning diplomas through this option, several members of the Board of Regents expressed that this pathway should be included with the work being done with the Graduation Measures Initiative.
5. Based on recent public comments that have been received, the Board of Regents discussed proposed changes to clarify some of the language in the Student Data Privacy regulations. It is anticipated that the finalized regulation will be presented for formal adoption at the January 2020 Board of Regents meeting.
6. In recent months, the Board has approved limited extensions and a statement of continued eligibility (SOCE) option for special education teachers who teach certain core subject areas in grades 7-12. The Board discussed an amendment that would add General Science and Languages Other Than English to the list of subject areas currently included. It is anticipated that the proposed amendment will be presented to the Board for approval at the January 2020 meeting.
7. Interim Commissioner Berlin informed the Board that after some final revisions, the newly developed Computer Science Standards should be released within the next few months.