Archive for the 'Guidance and Announcements' Category

Home Room, December 17, 2012

December 17th, 2012 by Robert Lowry

President Obama delivered remarks at a prayer vigil in Newtown last evening; here is the transcript; here is video.

We’ve been getting questions about whether flags can or should be flown at half-staff today.  The President directed that flags be flown at half-staff on federal buildings through sunset, Tuesday, December 18.  It is customary to follow the direction of the federal government.  Local authorities do have discretion of their own.

On Friday Governor Cuomo and State Education Commissioner King issued statements.

From our blog over the weekend:  Can we keep everyone safe today?

The Journal News and USA Today described how New York school districts bordering the Newtown area were preparing for the return of students today.

The New York Post reported on worries that results on grade 3 through 8 assessments could drop sharply as the tests are revised to align with the Common Core standards.  Regent Kathleen Cashin said of implementation, “too much, too soon.”

Kentucky, which is a year ahead of us in Common Core implementation, experienced a precipitous drop in results in the first administration of its tests following alignment with the new standards.

GothamSchools reports that Governor Cuomo’s Education Reform Commission has completed its preliminary report, originally due December 1.  When the report might be released is unknown, however.  The recommendations are expected to feature prominently in the Governor’s State of the State address, on January 9.

Four weeks after its release, our school finance survey report is still getting media attention.  The Watertown Daily Times published a lengthy feature article on Sunday quoting local superintendents.

Finally, congratulations to the Middletown City School District, one of 16 winners in the U.S. Education Department’s Race to the Top District Competition, and the only one from New York State.  Newsday reported, “Secret to successful schools in Middletown: ‘High expectations.’”

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What the Board of Regents is up to this month (March 2012)

March 19th, 2012 by Robert Lowry

The New York State Board of Regents conducts its monthly meeting for March today and tomorrow.

Below are some of the topics the Regents are scheduled to address.

The first item – on strengthening test integrity, has already drawn some media attention.

In addition to the items below, it is possible that the Regents will consider revised regulations on teacher and principal evaluations, especially if Governor Cuomo signs the bill on that issues passed by the Assembly and Senate last week before the Regents conclude their meetings. Read the rest of this entry »

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Racing to the Top: Time Lines

October 22nd, 2010 by Robert Lowry

Here is an interesting and/or intimidating item — a set of detailed time lines for projects to be undertaken by the State Education Department and various partners (including school districts) under the state’s Race to the Top grant. Read the rest of this entry »

Category: Guidance and Announcements, National Policy | 1 Comment »

SED seeking input on learning standards for English language arts and math

October 21st, 2010 by Robert Lowry

As part of the successful effort to win Race to the Top funding, the Board of Regents voted to adopt the national “Common Core” Standards for mathematics and English language arts and literacy.

States are permitted to add to the Common Core Standards.

Over the past summer, the State Education Department assembled work groups to recommend additions for new York.

Now SED is seeking reactions to the recommended additions through online surveys.

You may review the recommendations and complete the surveys here:

The SED website explains,

The State Education Department will be gathering input from October 20th, 2010 to November 29th, 2010. After the survey data and comments are compiled, there will be a revision period in December prior to the submission of the final materials for Board action in January 2011.

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January Regents Exams to continue, some other testing cuts to proceed

August 9th, 2010 by Robert Lowry

Last week, the State Education Department announced that it had received sufficient funding in the almost finally finalized state budget to reverse some but not all of the planned reductions in the state’s assessment program.

Perhaps most notably, the Department will continue to administer January Regents Exams.

Here is the Department’s memo outlining planned changes to the state’s assessment program for the coming school year.

Below are the reductions the Department will still implement: Read the rest of this entry »

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New guidance from TRS on retirement incentives and legal challenges

June 14th, 2010 by Robert Lowry

The State Teachers Retirement System has published guidance on the newest state retirement incentives enacted two weeks ago (Chapter 105 of the Laws of 2010).

TRS has also published a more extensive notice on the implications of the legal challenge to the previously enacted NYSUT-only 55-25 incentive (Chapter 45 of the Laws 2010).

Below is a slightly updated rendition of the email message I sent earlier on state retirement incentives.

Read the rest of this entry »

Category: Guidance and Announcements | 1 Comment »

New regulations to help districts keep good teachers

April 22nd, 2010 by Robert Lowry

The prospect of sweeping teacher layoffs have been commanding media attention lately, including the lead-off story on the NBC Nightly News last evening.

Earlier this week the State Board of Regents voted to adopt three recommendations originating with the Council to help school districts retain good teachers who might otherwise be laid off.

Guidance on the new regulations has been released by the State Education Department. Read the rest of this entry »

Category: Guidance and Announcements, Teachers | 1 Comment »

State Education and Health Departments issue new guidance on school-based H1N1 vaccination clinics

November 18th, 2009 by Robert Lowry

Today the State Education Department and State Health Department issued new guidance for schools on how to work with local health departments in conducting school-based vaccination clinics for the H1N1 influenza.

The materials include a letter from the two state agency commissioners; a guidance document; a sample memorandum of understanding for the use of school facilities for this purpose; a parent/guardian H1N1 vaccination consent form; a sample letter to parents/guardians; and a summary of relevant legal issues.

Individual items may be obtained below:

All the items, plus additional guidance, may also be obtained here:  http://usny.nysed.gov/swine-flu-info.html#November

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New guidance for schools on H1N1 (swine flu)

August 11th, 2009 by Robert Lowry

Last week, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control released new guidance for schools and other local officials on handling outbreaks of the H1N1 virus, also referred to as swine flu.

The guidance is available here.

The CDC also has a communications toolkit for school leaders here.

The Council is planning a webinar for the first week of September to provide district leaders with the latest advice on dealing with flu outbreaks.  Details on logistics will be provided soon.

Newspaper reporting on the guidance has focused on a shift in the government’s advice on school closings.  For example, the Associated Press noted,

The government is urging school officials to stay calm when swine flu strikes this fall, closing buildings only in drastic cases and allowing sick students to return as soon as 24 hours after their fever is gone.

States and schools should also be planning now for the possibility of schoolwide vaccinations beginning in mid-October.

Federal officials know more now about swine flu than they did last spring, when alarm and confusion led hundreds of schools to temporarily shut down. New guidance issued Friday reflects what the officials have learned.

Closing schools is rarely warranted, even if students or teachers have swine flu, said Thomas Frieden, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

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$30 million available to support energy conservation projects in schools

July 28th, 2009 by Robert Lowry

A few weeks back we posted an item about the availability of funding for energy conservation studies through the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA).

Now NYSERDA asks that we pass along notice of availability of more substantial funding to support implementation of energy conservation initiatives.

Read the rest of this entry »

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