NYSED put out this memo which was made public on September 14th.
Amendment to Regulations regarding Graduation Requirements to Extend the Appeal Process to include Appeal of Scores for the Safety Net Local Diploma for Students with Disabilities.
This memo will grant the opportunity to all SPED students who have taken a Regents exam twice and scored a 52 to 54 to apply for a waiver so that they do not have to keep taking this exam. The student must have a passing grade, good attendance and a recommendation from their teacher. Students may use this waiver option on two exams.
Regent Tilles was adamant that this was a good step but not far enough. He called for this to be made retroactive to the graduating class of 2015. (The NYSED attorney stated that there is a statutory limitation for making laws retroactive, but students from the class of 2015 who are enrolled in school would be able to use the waiver, as they would be scheduled to graduate after 2016).
Tilles went on further to discuss the CDOS, and that he supported it when he voted for it, but the work was not done to make it a valid credential. He said that all efforts were to be made that the CDOS would be recognized as a real skills diploma and that has not happened. He feels responsible for students being offered something that is “not worth something.” That colleges, civil service and military expect real diplomas.
Regent Cottrell asked if there were different levels of disability (that would require different types/levels of assessments.) NYSED presenter DeLorenzo described the SAAC credential and discussed alternate standards for severe disabilities. He did not publicly state that yes, there are a multitude of ranges of disabilities.
Regent Cea stated that she was in favor of this proposal and said she is also pushing for project based assessments.
Regent Ouderkirk asked who was working on different graduation options. Berlin or Elia stated that it was a committee of SED employees working on this, with no outside advisers. (Note: We need to push for NYSED to listen to the Coalition for Multiple Pathways to a Diploma). At this time, Elia (or Berlin) described NYSED looking at CTE options and definitely said “tests”, which I heard as not project based or real skills assessment. Similar to how NYSED rolled out the Regents Pathways with just a lot more written tests to choose from.
There was a separate agenda item to discuss the release of the Algebra II/Trig regents exams. At this time Regent Johnson raised the question of why are there five regents exams and is that a valid assessment of college and career readiness. Commissioner Elia stated that staff at SED were looking at what other states are doing and additional pathways. Regent Johnson also brought up phone calls that she received from parents over the summer requesting that the old Regents be brought back as they were too difficult for their children to pass. This was dismissed by Berlin as the students could only have failed the CC Regents up to two times at this point.
Please note: I will review with my co-attendee and update from her notes.