July 2003
Report to the State Board of Regents

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.

Improving Access to Postsecondary Education for Students with Disabilities

The 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 education.

Achieving 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.

This 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 perspective.

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?

2004-2005 Budget Development Process/Budget Initiatives

The 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?

2004-2005 State Aid Proposal

In 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

The 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.

The 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?

School Leadership Regulations

While 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.

It 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.

Modified Temporary Licenses

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.

Annual Report on Charter Schools

The 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.

We 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.

The 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

Standards 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 horizon?

A monthly publication of the State Education Department

Back to Report Home Page | Return to SED Home Page

Last Updated: November 01, 2004