The Board of Regents conducted their monthly meeting on Monday, September 14th via video conference. Former Chancellor Betty Rosa was introduced as the new Interim Commissioner. Vice Chancellor Andrew Brown facilitated the meeting for the Board of Regents and began by recognizing the outstanding efforts of teachers and administrators across the state during this past summer to ensure that teaching and learning would continue this Fall in schools across the state.
Interim Commissioner Rosa formally recognized Jennifer Wolfe, a ninth-grade social studies teacher from the Oceanside Union Free School District on Long Island, as the 2020 New York State Teacher of the Year.
Deputy Commissioner Kim Wilkins provided an update on the status of the reopening of schools. The Deputy Commissioner emphasized that NYSED continues to collaborate with the NYS Department of Health to update guidance documents which will be regularly released to the field. It is anticipated that a new set of revisions and updated FAQs will be sent out in the next few days.
The most recent information indicates that approximately two thirds of schools across the state are using a hybrid instructional model with the other one third being equally divided between remote and in-person instruction.
Deputy Commissioner Wilkins also shared preliminary data which was gathered from the Digital Equity Survey recently sent out to educators across the state. Several Board members feel this needs to be a top Board of Regents priority and were disappointed with the low 50% response rate. Deputy Commissioner Wilkins stated that additional efforts are being taken to better assess the digital access needs and that this year’s BEDS process will begin collecting digital access data.
The link below provides a summary of the Deputy Commissioner’s presentation.
The Board extended the timeline for several regulatory changes that had been previously adopted due to the COVID-19 crisis including:
  • Continuation of the edTPA safety net to include teacher candidates who are completing degree work during the 2020-21 school year.
  • Extending the deadline for completing requirements associated with obtaining an Emergency COVID-19 Teaching Certificate.
  • Increased flexibility with the timeline for schools to conduct mandatory diagnostic screenings for new kindergartners or transfer students.
The Board approved two new amendments relating to ELL students. One provides increased flexibility with the identification of ELL students in schools that are using remote instruction. The second provides flexibility with the requirements for ELL students to earn the Seal of Biliteracy due to the cancellation of the 2020 NYSESLAT assessment.
The link below includes a summary of the amendments.
In an effort to promote transparency and promote equity with participation in advanced academic programs, NYSED’s Office of Information and Reporting Services is preparing an annual AP/IB Performance Report. The report presents disaggregated data of enrollment and achievement in AP and IB courses in an effort to promote conversations on how to increase participation from underrepresented subgroups. The data is also used in the calculation of a school’s College, Career and Civic Readiness Index.
Board of Regents members were presented with a summary of the report, viewed sample slides of how the data will be presented, and discussed how the information should be shared with the public.
A summary of the presentation is included in the link below.
The Board began preliminary discussions on the best way to proceed in developing their 2021-2022 legislative priorities and budget proposal. NYSED Chief Financial Officer Phyllis Morris shared data on current financial projections and stated that the Division of Budget has made it clear, that in the absence of any additional Federal Aid, the 20% reductions of state aid to school districts will continue. Board members discussed whether their legislative and budget planning should focus on the immediate needs associated with the COVID-19 crisis, or on more traditional long-range proposals.
A summary of both legislative priority and budget presentations can be found in the links below.