SED Proposes High-Level Concepts for Draft Every Student Succeeds Act Plan

nysed-logo-textThe New York State Education Department today released high-level concepts to receive feedback on whether they should be incorporated into the state’s application under the federal Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA).  The high-level concepts are designed to help New York State develop and maintain highly effective schools under ESSA and to ensure that all New York’s children receive the best possible education.

“The future of New York’s children depends upon a successful implementation of ESSA,” Board of Regents Chancellor Betty Rosa said. “New York State must create a responsive accountability plan that reflects the many issues that impact our schools and communities and we must use a broader scope of indicators to measure our schools.  New York is putting significant effort into developing an ESSA plan that fosters the development of highly effective schools across the state. I encourage parents, teachers and administrators to look closely at these concepts and provide thoughtful feedback in the coming weeks.”

“It is critically important for school districts to prepare for implementation of the new ESSA provisions,” said Commissioner MaryEllen Elia.  “For that reason, we are being proactive in our efforts to gather input from across the state.  ESSA Think Tank members from more than 100 groups – including school districts, unions, business groups, parent organizations, and many others – met over the summer to provide input on this important work. This effort will continue as we receive feedback and draft an ESSA plan for New York’s children.”

NYSED will solicit feedback on the proposed concepts in two rounds. The first round of comments will be gathered from educators, parents and students at more than 45 Regional State Plan Development meetings being held across the state this month and in early November. District Superintendents and Superintendents of the Large Five City School Districts are hosting the meetings and inviting key stakeholders such as administrators, school board members, teachers, parents and students, including students with disabilities and English language learners.

Meeting participants will provide feedback on the high-level concepts both at the regional meetings and through a survey that will be used to develop the state’s plan.  After the Board of Regents approves the state’s draft ESSA, a general public comment period will be held and will include public regional meetings across the state.

The feedback will help inform the draft state ESSA plan to be presented to the Board of Regents for approval.  After the Board approves the plan, the Department will submit the plan to the Governor for review and the U.S. Department for Education for approval in 2017.

A total of 36 high-level concepts are proposed and the full list can be viewed here

The high-level concepts include:

  • To ensure all schools are provided with accurate measurement of their students’ academic proficiencies, New York proposes to determine a State-designed rigorous action that will lead to improvements in the participation rate of schools that do not test 95 percent of their students;
  • To ensure that the appropriate assessment is administered to English language learners and that these students are not over tested, New York proposes not to require English language learners to take multiple English skills tests in a single year to satisfy the English Language Arts (ELA) assessment requirement;
  • To ensure all students have access to advanced coursework, New York will seek USDE approval to allow grade 7 and 8 students to take a Regents exam in mathematics in lieu of the grade level math test;
  • To ensure all students have equal access to learning and being able to demonstrate what they have learned, New York proposes to:
    • expand on the current set of testing accommodations that enable students with disabilities to participate in assessment programs on an equal basis with their nondisabled peers; and
    • provide accessibility features that will enhance the test experience for all students, including the use of assistive technologies on computer-based tests as they are developed;
  • To incentivize schools to make efforts to have students reach advanced levels of proficiency, extra credit will be given to schools for students who are performing at the advanced or college and career readiness level;
  • To ensure that schools engage students, we will hold schools accountable based on measures of chronic absenteeism and suspensions;
  • To ensure that educators entering the field from preparatory programs understand and are prepared to enter the profession, the Department will increase the minimum placement requirement of 100 hours, require that these placements include a full-time workload for an extended period (e.g., one semester), and require that field experience occur throughout the preparatory program rather than at the end of the program to allow prospective educators exposure to the rigors of the profession before committing to program completion; and
  • To ensure that all students have equitable access to the most effective educators, regardless of their physical location, the Department will support school districts, BOCES and Institutes of Higher Education to develop comprehensive systems of educator support that address five common challenge areas:
    • preparation;
    • recruitment and hiring;
    • professional development and growth;
    • retention of effective teachers; and
    • extending the reach of the most effective educators to the most high-need students; and family and community engagement.

SED is also soliciting feedback on a number of questions for which it has not yet formulated a high-concept idea. Those questions are posted on the SED’s ESSA website.

More information on ESSA and the development of New York’s plan can be found on NYSED’s website.  In addition, the USDE has established an ESSA website.