The Board of Regents conducted their monthly meeting on Monday, December 13th and Tuesday, December 14th, 2021. Chancellor Lester Young opened the meeting with a moment of silence in remembrance of all the families affected by the recent tornadoes in the South and Midwest
The opening session focused on an update of the work being done across the state to implement the goals of the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Initiative (DEI). Several BOCES District Superintendents and school district superintendents from across the state shared stories relating to their initial experiences with implementing DEI. Commissioner Rosa began the discussion by stating that she is very encouraged with the work that has been done in recent months to create a foundational base for advancing this work.
Some of the areas talked about during the discussion included:
- Anticipated development of an online repository of DEI resources for educators and community members which will be available this Spring.
- Work being done with Human Resource offices on establishing more equitable hiring practices and promoting the recruitment of diverse candidates.
- Conducting district equity audits.
- Implementing more culturally responsive communication practices.
- Development of culturally relevant curriculum across grade levels.
- Working with school boards to ensure DEI is considered of governance and policy decisions.
- Organizing professional development opportunities for both professional and support staff.
- Engaging community partners with DEI efforts.
- Addressing the challenges of moving from discussion to action within districts.
- Navigating resistance being encountered due to the current political environment.
- Sharing personal stories of negative and positive experiences with implementation.
The link below provides an outline of the topics that covered in the presentation and discussion.
The Board was updated on the work being done by the Girls of Color Interagency Advisory Workgroup. Chief Diversity Officer for the College of St Rose, Yolanda Caldwell, who chairs the group was joined by Assistant Commissioner for the Office of Student Support Services, Kathleen DeCataldo, to talk about their efforts. With representation from over twenty community agencies, school districts, and state agencies, the advisory group works to “improve outcomes and address the unique needs of girls of color so they are ready and able to succeed in school and life.”
Areas discussed included:
- The Goals and Guiding Principles of the Workgroup.
- A presentation of data reflecting disparities on disciplinary incidents, suspensions, and expulsions for girls of color in schools.
- The group’s efforts to promote support and understanding of the Crown Act legislation which prohibits hair discrimination.
Ongoing efforts of the Workgroup will include a focus on:
- Reimagining guidance for the Dignity for All Students Act (DASA).
- Continued review of school discipline data and discipline codes – including dress codes.
- Addressing the bullying and harassment frequently experienced by girls of color.
- Working with interagency workgroup members on creating safe spaces for girls of color.
More detailed information on the presentation can be found in the link below.
After several months of preparation and discussion, the Board adopted the finalized 2022-2023 Regents State Aid Proposal. The proposal is broken down into three main categories:
- Continued phase-in of Foundation Aid that includes wealth adjusted allocations to support financially challenged districts
- Increased funding of Expense-based Aid
- Expansion of BOCES and Special Services Aid
A more detailed summary of the presentation can be found in the link below.
Representatives from The Regional Educational Laboratory Northeast and Islands REL staff presented key findings form a recent study on the New York State teacher shortage and certification trends. Areas of focus in the study include:
- The various pathways being used by teachers to earn certification.
- The content areas are that most frequently sought by certification candidates.
- Retention rates of new teachers in districts where they are hired.
- Numbers of experienced teachers who are pursuing additional certificates.
More detailed information and data relating to the research presented in the discussion can be found in the link below.
Representatives of the Office of Higher Education discussed three potential amendments geared toward addressing the growing shortage of qualified teachers. by reducing some of the complexities associated achieving certification. The proposed amendments, which seek to reduce some of the complexities associated with obtaining certification, will go out for the 60-day comment period, and will be presented for adoption in April 2022. Links to the outline of each discussion are included below each of the proposed amendments.
The proposed amendments include:
- Eliminating the Teacher Performance Assessment (edTPA) requirement.
Board members discussed an amendment which would eliminate successful completion of the edTPA for teacher certification. The edTPA assessment would be replaced with a performance assessment which will be integrated into the candidate’s student teaching, practicum, or similar clinical experience.
In anticipation of the potential concerns and questions associated with this amendment, Assistant Commissioner for Higher Education, Bill Murphy, stated that an FAQ document is being developed which will be available on the NYSED website in the near future.
- Changing requirements relating to the reissuance of an Initial Teaching Certificate
A proposed amendment was discussed which would ease the requirement for classroom teachers and school building leaders who have met initial certification requirements, but have not completed the criteria for Professional Certification within the five-year time frame, to obtain a reissuance of their initial certificate.
The proposal would eliminate the need for candidates to complete the currently required 50 clock hours of CTLE or professional learning credits. Applicants will still need to demonstrate content knowledge by passing a content specialty test within one year before or after the reissuance of the certificate. In addition to classroom teachers and school leaders, the proposed amendment would also include school counselors seeking to have their certification reissued.
- Changing the Liberal Arts Core Requirement for Teacher Preparation Programs.
A third proposed amendment would remove the general liberal arts and sciences core requirement for NYS undergraduate and graduate teacher preparation programs and the individual evaluation pathway to certification. This would allow teacher preparation programs greater flexibility with offering coursework in the core content areas pedagogy.