BY STATE EDUCATION COMMISSIONER RICHARD P. MILLS
The Meeting in Brief: The Regents will vote on the school leadership regulations, emergency regulations about modified temporary licenses to implement their policy decision regarding Chancellor Klein’s request, the annual report on charter schools, and possibly, the policy statement on middle-level education. The Regents will consider a draft report to the Governor and Legislature – the 655 statistical report (still being assembled). The Board will begin work on their 2004-05 state aid proposal and discuss potential budget proposals. The Regents will discuss how to support USNY and its member institutions and also how to organize the work of the Regents during their annual retreat.
Access to Postsecondary Education for Students with Disabilities
Regents have noted the increasing numbers of students with disabilities
graduating from high school, attending higher education, and achieving
impressive graduation rates. In 2000, leaders of all sectors in higher education
joined the Regents in endorsing the aims of the report of the Task Force on
Postsecondary Education and Individuals with Disabilities. Last year we joined
forces to seek $15 million in new aid to higher education to support their
efforts. This spring, the Regents included greater access for persons with
disabilities among the priorities in the coming statewide plan for higher
this goal depends on leadership in higher education, and New York has such
leaders. At the July meeting, Peter Salins, Provost of the State University of
New York; Todd Hutton, President of Utica College; and Sandye Anthony-Tobias,
Associate Director of Student Affairs at The City University of New York will
speak to the Regents about how their institutions are providing access to
students with disabilities.
discussion about students with disabilities in higher education follows June’s
discussion on special education in the Big Five school districts. Once again, we
are reminded that the important goals require work across the institutional
boundaries. This is yet another demonstration of the importance of a USNY
Question: Given the commitment of higher education leadership, how might
we advocate with our partners to secure the priority legislation to provide $15
million for disability access in the coming session?
Budget Development Process/Budget Initiatives
Regents continue their methodical review of budget priorities leading to a
decision in September. The Board reviewed existing three-year budget initiatives
in April, and discussed future proposals in committees in June. The July
discussion will prepare for Regents adoption of their budget proposals in
September (except for state aid to education).
Question: What is the optimum array of budget proposals given Regents
priorities, and the needs and resource constraints facing USNY institutions?
July the Regents will frame their decision on what to recommend to the Governor
and Legislature for state aid in 2004-2005.
The July discussion starts at a familiar point: the Regents long-standing
commitment to a more progressive state aid distribution that recognizes the need
to align resources to close the student achievement gap. The Board will review
the context of this decision, including student achievement gains in recent
years, the remaining gap, and where the funding went in the last four years.
Regents will also reflect again on their goals for state aid to education and
then affirm those goals to guide the proposal to be introduced in the September
Regents meeting. Regents will adopt their proposal in December.
Regents Policy Statement on Middle-Level Education
draft policy statement on middle-level education reflects changes suggested by
Regents during their discussion in June. The Regents may adopt this policy
statement now or direct further revisions. If the Regents decide to adopt the
policy now, it is still possible for the Board to reopen this statement if the
subsequent debate on regulations leads to new insights deemed appropriate for
the policy statement.
next phase of the policy work on middle-level education is to examine and then
modify regulations. Regents will have a State Education Department analysis of
current regulations in relation to the policy discussion, survey results, and a
set of questions to focus Regents debate.
Questions: Are the Regents ready to vote on the policy statement or do
they request further revision?
Are the Regents ready to take up the regulations on middle-level
education for revision?
this matter comes to the Regents as part of the consent agenda, it is worth
noting a milestone: the Regents will vote in July on new regulations for the
preparation of school leaders. If adopted, colleges and universities will begin
offering newly approved leadership programs in September 2004.
has been a long road to this point. We have had commission reports, extensive
engagement with school leaders and university presidents, deans and faculty, as
well as other community leaders. We have joined forces with superintendents and
district superintendents to identify almost 2000 prospective school leaders. We
examined many new regional models of leadership education and embraced their
best ideas. We stopped the clock to allow still others to engage with us – and
the work benefited. Along the way we encouraged productive relationships with
higher education and local school leaders. And we learned a better way, I think,
to craft regulations among partners throughout USNY who are committed to
excellence in leadership education.
In June, Chancellor Klein
requested a limited number of modified temporary teacher licenses for the coming
year and the one following. The Regents voted to accept this request with a
number of conditions. The Regents policy decision on that matter now requires an
amendment to regulations this month.
on Charter Schools
New York Charter Schools Act provides for an annual report from the Regents on
the operations of charter schools. The Regents will vote to approve this report
in July. The report includes various cost, achievement, and enrollment data for
the 32 charter schools operating this year.
are also required to prepare a 5-year report by the end of this year.
Discussion of that draft report is scheduled at the September meeting.
Act affords the Regents an opportunity to add to the report any observations
they deem necessary. Among the items the Regents may wish to include are
suggestions about the program and fiscal impacts of charter schools on other
public schools, compliance with building codes, the authority of BOCES to
provide services, per-pupil cost factors in elementary and secondary programs,
and unreasonable schedules for processing applications.
Question: How should the charter school law be amended to better achieve
the goals of the Act?
Annual Report from Professional Standards and Practices Board
Board Co-Chairs David A. Caputo and Patricia M. Squicciarini will report to the
Regents on the extensive activities of the State Professional Standards and
Practices Board for Teaching. The Standards Board devoted many days to a teacher
code of ethics, a program to celebrate teaching, evaluation of Regents teaching
initiatives, and research, among so many other topics.
I talk with the Co-Chairs prior to every Standards Board meeting. The
Regents now have the same opportunity. In the monthly discussions with the
Co-Chairs, we always delve into the fundamentals. Here are some questions the
Regents might want to ask:
Questions: Is the quality of New York’s teaching force improving, and
how do we know?
So many of us who were teachers became so because another teacher
summoned us to that great work. What would persuade teachers as a profession to
take up the recruitment of future teachers?
What is the next key issue on the
A monthly publication of the State Education Department
Back to Report Home Page | Return to SED Home Page