Report from Senator Flanagan’s Regional Hearings

Good afternoon.
Senator Flanagan, chairperson of the Senate Education Committee, conducted five regional hearings between September 17 and November 13 in order to assess progress in regard to “The Regents Reform Agenda.” Earlier today, the senator released a report in which he suggests actions to be taken by the State Education Department and outlines details related to legislation to be introduced. The link below will provide access to a CapitalNewYork.com article. A link in the second paragraph of the article will provide access to the Report of the Senate Education Committee.

http://www.capitalnewyork.com/article/albany/2013/12/8537316/senate-ed-chair-proposes-bills-reduce-testing-increase-privacy

The report recommends SED take the following actions:

  • Expedite federal waivers from mandates on various testing restrictions, including those for students with disabilities and English language learners
  • Produce missing modules “immediately”
  • Align assessments proportionately to the curriculum actually implemented
  • Delay operation of the Education Data Portal for one year
  • Increase funding for professional development

The report signals the following legislative actions to be taken:

  • “P-2” bill to ban standardized testing in grades Pre-K through grade 2
  • “Unnecessary Testing” bill to require the commissioner to expedite a review of APPR plans solely to eliminate unnecessary student assessments
  • Privacy bill to strengthen protections of personal information stored on the statewide data portal, and to establish significant civil and criminal penalties for unauthorized disclosure, and create independent oversight within SED on matters related to poverty
  • Truth-In-Testing bill to require the commissioner to report on the effectiveness of common core state tests and require an independent audit to review and evaluate the common core testing program

SAANYS delivered testimony at the October 1 senate hearing that was held in Syracuse, New York. That testimony is posted and available on the SAANYS website. Following the hearings, on November 18, SAANYS Executive Director Kevin Casey, along with leaders from other educational organizations, met with Senator Flanagan to discuss the testimony delivered at the hearings and to suggest possible courses of action in regard to pre-k through grade 2 testing, personally identifiable student information, and implementation of the Regents reform agenda. The recommendations provided by SAANYS are attached.

We hope that you will find this information helpful. We will continue to keep you informed.

Jim Viola, SAANYS director of government relations

IP Senator Flanagan – 3 Issues

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