Board of Regents Wraps Up 2017 with Multiple Action Items
The December meeting of the Board of Regents wrapped up the work of many summer and fall advisory/task forces. Recommendations from the Early Childhood Blue Ribbon Panel, the 180 Day Requirement advisory groups, and the Principal Preparation Project Advisory group were discussed and adopted. A summary of that body of work follows:
New Standards for Administrators
After several discussions on the work of the Principal Preparation Project Advisory Team, the Board adopted the Professional Standards for Educational Leaders (PSEL) to replace the former Interstate School Leaders Lincensure Consortium(ISLLC) as the new set of professional standard for administrators. These standards will be used as the basis of preservice education programs institutes of higher education, as well as principal evaluations.
The PSEL standards depart from ISCLL in several ways. The new standards use approximately 40 additional elements to delineate professional roles or tasks, provide stronger emphasis on skills and responsibilities for establishing culturally responsive and multicultural schools and places somewhat less emphasis on traditional responsibilities regarding school management.
NYSED provided many way for the field to provide input. Multiple meeting across the state and with key professional organization were held, as well as solicitation of written comments. Input from the field yielded the following :
- The themes of equity and cultural responsiveness are an appropriate emphasis for the PSEL Standards.
- The field will need realistic timelines for implementation and coordination between the two sets of standards.
- Superintendents must have a working knowledge of the PSELs in order to evaluate and support principals.
- There will be a great need for professional development.
- Strong P-20 partnerships are needed between school districts and institutes of higher education to ensure sufficient mentoring and coordination between practice and theory.
The standards are intended to be phased in over time with 2020 as the timeframe for the standards going into effect for the registration for school building leader preparation programs and 2022 for the evaluation principals.
Discussion by members of the Board of Regents stressed support for the adoption of the standards . The Regents felt that the PSEL standards were consistent with the future needs of our schools and the skills that building level leaders will need to meet the need to establish culturally responsive buildings and classrooms.
A question was raised as to how the new standards applied to Superintendents. Commissioner Elia responded that there was need to examine this issue further and it was on the docket of the Department.
Further information on this item may be found at: http://www.regents.nysed.gov/common/regents/files/1217hea1.pdf
Early Childhood Blue Ribbon Panel
An initial set of nine recommendations was proposed and adopted. The nine recommendations provide for the expansion of prekindergarten for four year olds and establishment of necessary system supports to sustain a high quality service sector for children ages zero to eight. The recommendations result in a funding request of $37 million, which the Panel and Board of Regents submit is a conservative plan and much more effective than interventions and remediation programs which are often provided too late and too sporadically. The nine recommendations include;
- $20 million to expand the prekindergarten programs to approximately 2,000 four year-old children in 40 school districts.
- $300,000 to conduct a cost study to examine the actual cost of a high-quality prekindergarten program for all four-year-old children.
- $6 million for pilot programs which will fund half-day and full-day 10-month and summer inclusion prekindergarten programs for three and four-year-old children.
- $2 million to establish five Early Learning Regional Technical Assistance Centers (TAC) to provide support to early care and educational settings.
- $2 million as a formula-driven, non-competitive funding source to establish targeted communities the opportunity to self-identify and meet their specific family and community engagement needs.
- $3 million to expand QUALITYstarsNY.
- $2.5 million to fund professional development so that all teachers may to be culturally competent, culturally responsive, and linguistically capable.
- $500,000 to fund the f the creation of a unified HIPAA and FERPA compliant data system and
- $700,000 toward the implementation of a comprehensive developmental screening process for all children ages zero to eight.
Discussions around the table confirmed that the recommendations provide for a sustainable system approach for investing in an early childhood system designed to meet the needs of all children zero to eight. The recommendations expand prekindergarten as a needed program in every area of the state and to ensure that children with learning needs are integrated with their peers. Early education programs will be designed to support the learning of both teachers and students so that all environments are culturally responsive in our ever increasingly diverse state.
180 Day Requirement Recommendations
As a result of a statewide talking tour for educators and administrators on the 180 day requirement, a set of recommendations were made that shift the approach to this requirement. Input from the field suggested that greater flexibility and clarity was needed. In response to these suggestions NYSED has proposed that instead of a daily minimum amount of instructional time, an hourly requirement for the entire school year will be used, spread out over 180 days.
- Pupils in half day kindergarten will be required to have 450 hours of instruction.
- Pupils in full day kindergarten – grade 6 will be required to have a minimum of 900 instructional hours.
- Pupils in grades 7-12 will be required to have a minimum of 990 instructional hours.
Based on this flexibility, it follows then that additional flexibility will occur for such things as shortened sessions.
For example :
- Districts that currently offer shortened sessions and have more than the current daily minimum instructional hours, will be able to schedule conferences and activities as they see fit within the 180-day calendar, so long as they meet the annual total minimum hours of instruction.
This item was for discussion only and will come back to the Board in March for action. Further information on this item can be found at: http://www.regents.nysed.gov/common/regents/files/1217p12d2.pdf
Other Items of Importance
- An important decision was made concerning the ability to award a Local Diploma for some students with disabilities. On or before December 12, 2017, students with disabilities that have not earned a minimum of 55 on the ELA or math Regents or did not initiate an appeal of a score between 52 and 54 would be able to meet the ELA and/or math Regents exams eligibility consideration for the superintendent’s determination option by completing the requirements for the CDOS commencement credential.
For such students the superintendent must conduct a review to determine whether that student has otherwise demonstrated proficiency in the knowledge, skills, and abilities in ELA or math, in addition to any other subject areas where the student was not able to demonstrate his/her proficiency of the state’s leaning standards a s measured by the corresponding Regents examination required for graduation.
Additionally, there will be some students who have not had the opportunity to work towards a CDOS and for those student the regulations address their situation and provide options as well.