I am taking a page from Peter Greene at http://curmudgucation.blogspot.com and providing those who are interested my notes on the Regents meeting that was webcast this morning.
The morning and evening meetings for January 12 are currently available here. http://usny.nysed.gov/webcasts.html If the location changes, I will come back an update this link.
This meeting was for Ken Wagner of the NYSED to review the graduation data for the 2010 cohort (those students who entered 9th grade in September of 2010) in comparison to the previous 4 years. http://www.p12.nysed.gov/irs/pressRelease/20141218/2010-CohortGradRate-12-17-14.pdf
Overall, there is good news as the graduation rate is up 3% in the major urban areas. Urban and high need districts have the lowest graduation rates, low need districts have the highest, which is no surprise. The graduation rates increase from June to August (after the August Regents exams). I found Charter School graduation rates surprisingly low given the expectations.
Regent Tilles, at around 29:23, asked about Charters vs Districts, instead of Charters vs the rest of New York State. He continued to say there is other data from Charters on drop out or push out rates from Charters that the Regents should see. Regent Tilles, I do not have time to review this today but it is all in the link below if you would like to take a look.
Ken Wagner also talked about the Advanced Designation Regents credential (interesting that he did not use the word “diploma”) which he says “feels” relevant to college readiness. The number of students who have achieved this credential has remained flat over the last four years.
At this point, there is no mention of the local diploma since it has been eliminated, and there is also no mention of the students who still achieved the local diploma in 2014.
Which brings us to slide 15. Now, I have posted before about the CDOS, removal of the RCT and that my estimate, from talking to High school special education teachers around the state, is that this will impact 3 to 5% of students who will no longer be able to graduate.
There it is, 3 to 5% of students with normal IQ’s who have learning disabilities that put the Regents exams out of reach, but who could graduate with the RCT option. (Regents Competency Tests for special education students). Ken Wagner does not reference this statistic once.
The rest of the presentation centers around ELL graduation issues, which are a challenge and will be a bigger challenge with the new Common Core aligned Regents. There is a reference to setting cut scores.
The Regents asked some good follow up questions, and made some good points. Regent Brown asked if there was a link between the decline in Advanced Designation diplomas and district finances and the ability to provide access to classes.
Regent Cashin question whether the increase in Regents diplomas (vs local diplomas) over all decreased the need for remediation in college.
Regent Tilles brought up the point of cut scores so that the number of failing students does not increase, that the manipulation of cut scores impacts graduation rates. As mentioned above, he asked for data comparing charter school graduation rates with the overall district graduation rates as opposed to state level.
Regent Young inquired about more specific data on ELL students, and that the data does not speak to solutions. He also pointed out that the data does not point to solutions by race.
Regent Rosa asked that the story be complete, what classes and opportunities are available to the students to reach these goals as not all districts offer all classes.
Regent Dawson pointed out that rural schools are losing population and cannot offer course work for the Advanced Designation Regents diploma and referenced schools with graduation classes as low as 2, 3, and 4 students.
Regent Phillips proposed reviewing what the outliers, the out performing cohorts are doing to see if there is something to be learned.
Regent Meredith pointed out that Yonkers has the highest graduation rate of the 5 biggest urban centers and that should be looked at to see what the difference is.
Chancellor Tisch asked about the factors that impact students who were not able to graduate in June, but were able to in August.
Not one mention of the 3 to 5% local diploma graduates, how the elimination of the local diploma will impact graduation rates or how that will impact the students who are now faced with an obstacle that they cannot overcome.
I called the Regents office at this number 518-474-5889 to express my concern that this was not addressed. Others called and were referred to the Deputy Commissioners Office for P-12 education-518/474-3862. They were then referred to Office of State Assessment-518/474-5902 #3. Still, sadly, no answers.