The NYS Educational Conference Board – representing parents, classroom teachers, school-related professionals, school business officials, building administrators, superintendents, and school boards – strongly opposes any proposal to continue to penalize schools that have improved performance and have been subsequently removed from federal “priority schools” status.
The New York State receivership statute, and regulations adopted in 2015, designated certain schools in “priority” status as struggling or persistently struggling. However, the State Education Department had long planned to complete an updated review of accountability status, which was completed and announced earlier this year.
As a result of this reassessment, many schools designated as “priority” in 2015 have improved their performance and are no longer on this list.
The State Education Department has clear regulatory authority to remove these improving schools off the receivership list.
Schools across New York have worked hard to improve student achievement. Schools that have improved enough to be removed from the “priority” status should be applauded; their successes should not be diminished.
These schools, students, educators and parents have already celebrated their achievements, they should be supported, not continue to be penalized. To deny their success by legislative action would send a harsh message to the children, teachers, and other staff in those schools.
Also, over the past year, the Governor, Legislature, and Regents have taken a series of actions to address the consequences of state standardized tests for children and educators. This proposal would move in the opposite direction by asserting that even progress in raising achievement on those assessments will not be recognized and rewarded.
The Educational Conference Board strongly urges rejection of any effort to redefine struggling or persistently struggling schools to include schools that are not currently on the “priority” schools list. We strongly support the achievement of schools that have improved.