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From Office of Higher Education Deputy Commissioner John D'Agati
February 2014


Quick links to headlines in the Office of Higher Education Newsletter:


Personnel Updates

 After 35 years of service, Barbara Meinert, Coordinator for the Office of College and University Evaluation has retired. We wish her well! In the interim, I am working with the staff to ensure a smooth transition, while we begin recruitment efforts for a new Coordinator.


Office of College and University Evaluation

 New Process for Submission of Proposed Programs. In October 2012, the Office of Higher Education established an electronic application portal to allow colleges to prepare and submit online most types of program registration proposals. After the portal had been operative for about a year, the Office reviewed the service’s features and user experiences. We believe the portal helped to refine our application materials and pave the way for a new, comprehensive guidance document. Its limitations, however, led us to consider a sleeker platform. As a result, we have discontinued the portal but will sustain the convenience of electronic submissions by accepting proposals through a dedicated electronic mailbox. For more information about the revised process for submitting program proposals, please visit our Web site at: http://www.highered.nysed.gov/ocue/aipr/register.html

 Teacher, Educational Leadership and Pupil Personnel Services Program Review Changes. Applications for programs leading to teacher, educational leadership and pupil personnel services (PPS) certification for the first time can be submitted through a dedicated electronic mailbox, OCUEedapps@mail.nysed.gov, rather than in hard copy. Revised applications for these programs are posted at: http://www.highered.nysed.gov/ocue/aipr/register-te.html, along with a comprehensive teacher, educational leadership and PPS guidance document, available at: http://www.highered.nysed.gov/ocue/aipr/documents/ocue-educator-guidance-Dec-2013.pdf

 Student Teaching Waiver. Institutions wishing to offer an alternate model of student teaching that does not include two separate placements, as required by regulation, can now request a waiver. Information regarding the student teaching waiver, including criteria and an application form, is available at: http://www.highered.nysed.gov/ocue/aipr/register-te.html


Office of Teacher and Leader Effectiveness

 Clinically Rich Teacher Preparation Pilot Program Highlights. On December 12, 2013, the Office of Teacher and Leader Effectiveness had a unique opportunity to partner with colleagues from the Office of Accountability and the Regents Research Fund to provide information and training on the Diagnostic Tool for School and District Effectiveness (DTSDE). Both initiatives are focused on providing high-quality teachers, tools, resources, and professional development in New York’s high need schools. The meeting, which was attended by approximately 20 clinically rich program coordinators representing 12 out of 13 of the funded institutions, was conducted by Assistant Commissioner Stephanie Wood-Garnett, Assistant Commissioner Ira Schwartz and Senior Fellow Monica George-Fields at the NYSED offices in New York City. Discussed at this meeting were ways in which our work in high need schools and districts intersects, as we strive to prepare the best qualified and most effective new teachers for employment in the schools where they are needed the most.

 Clinically Rich Program Presentation for the Board of Regents. On January 14, 2014, the Board of Regents was provided with an update and overview of the clinically rich program. Two programs presented: SUNY Albany and Fordham University. The panel consisted of: a high school principal from Amsterdam, NY, who has had Resident Teaching Fellows from SUNY Albany in his building for the past three years; a SUNY Albany embedded field supervisor; and a faculty member/program director from Fordham University. The panel presented highlights of each of their programs, the collaboration between P-12 and Higher Education, as well as the difference in caliber between candidates from traditional student teaching placements and candidates with clinically rich student teaching placements. The item can be found at: http://www.regents.nysed.gov/meetings/2014/January2014/114hed2.pdf.

 edTPA Video Protocols. We ask that schools of education ensure that all teacher candidates are fully apprised of the importance of the confidentiality and security of videos filmed in P-12 schools for the purposes of certification. You may wish to provide specific campus-level guidance regarding precautions that all teacher candidates must follow regarding the video footage attained for certification purposes. For example, campus-level guidance should prohibit the sharing, copying or redisclosure of any video footage obtained in the classroom, with any individuals or groups for any purpose other than for State certification. The campus-guidance should also have provisions requiring prompt destruction of any videos once a candidate passes the examination. At the State level, if the misuse of the video footage is brought to the State’s attention, the candidate’s score on the examination may be nullified and such misuse may be considered when the candidate applies for certification pursuant to Part 83 of the Commissioner’s Regulations. Our goal is to protect the students who attend P-12 schools and districts that have given your teacher candidates the opportunity to complete this certification requirement. We also want to ensure that your institutions do not face unintended consequences as a result of video misuse by a teacher candidate.

edTPA Scorer Recruitment. We encourage NYS educators to apply to become scorers of edTPA. Teacher candidate portfolios are scored by K-12 teachers, administrators, National Board-certified teachers, teacher education faculty, and clinical supervisors of student teachers. For more information about the edTPA or to apply to be considered as a possible scorer of teacher candidate portfolios, please visit the web at edtpa.aacte.org.

 Faculty Development Program Highlights. Through the implementation of professional development opportunities, research, collaborative discussion and design of resources and tools, educator preparation programs across NYS are working to align with the Regents Reform Agenda, including the new and revised certification examinations. OHE’s Faculty Development project staff provide ongoing support, bi-weekly monitoring calls, site visits, communication, and are reflecting on ways to gather data that accurately measures the project impact on higher education faculty and staff.

 Model Induction Program Highlights. NYSED’s Model Induction Program is to support early career educators in low performing schools and specific teacher shortage areas to become effective or highly effective, increase retention rates, and improve student learning results. This includes enhancing support provided to early career teachers working in these areas currently, as well as encouraging other early career educators to seek certification in specific shortage areas by providing them with differentiated supports and incentives. For example, in Albany City School District and Wyandanch Union Free School District, professional development has occurred on the topics of Common Core Learning Standards, data driven instruction, and other district-based initiatives. Buffalo Public School is collaborating with Niagara University (NU). A seminar course will be offered by NU to Model Induction mentees and all are encouraged to participate. Those who successfully complete the course will receive three graduate credits.

 NYC edTPA Conference. On December 6th, a city-wide edTPA conference was held at CUNY. This event was planned by Faculty Development project staff at CUNY collaboratively with cIcu and NYSED, following the success of the NY State edTPA conference held in Saratoga last fall. Based on feedback from that event, CUNY realized the need to have a similar opportunity for institutions in NYC. The Department provided support throughout the collaborative planning and implementation process, and the conference was attended by Deputy Commissioner of Higher Education John D’Agati, Assistant Commissioner for the Office of Higher Education Stephanie Wood-Garnett and NYSED project staff, including Jennifer Case (presenter), and Melissa Greene.

 New and Revised Certification Examinations. The announcements regarding the standard setting process and the cut scores that the standard setting committee recommended to Commissioner and the Board of Regents for the Academic Literacy Skills Test, Educating All Students test, Revised (2013) School Building Leader Part One and Part Two test, and edTPA are posted on the OHE website http://www.highered.nysed.gov/.


The Office of Teacher and Leader Effectiveness, Policy and Programs

 Strengthening Teacher and Leader Effectiveness (STLE). The STLE program includes three funding rounds. The grant currently supports more than 100 school districts across the State through individual and BOCES-led consortia grants. Funding from this grant supports work being done in districts with approved Annual Professional Performance Review (APPR) plans and at least 25% of students from low-income households. A third round of the grant will be announced this week. It is estimated that in total over $70 million will be provided to support grantees utilizing a comprehensive approach to recruitment, development, support, retention and equitable distribution of effective teachers and school leaders as part of the implementation of their APPR plan. The TLEPP Office anticipates announcing the winners of the third round of the grant early next week. The TLEPP Office recently launched a new webpage on EngageNY which can be found at http://www.engageny.org/resource/improving-practice. Watch the first of the new STLE videos (below) to see how one school district is successfully developing and supporting effective teachers and school leaders through this grant - http://www.engageny.org/resource/strengthening-teacher-and-leader-effectiveness-grant-program.


Office of K-16 Initiatives and Access Programs

 Scholarships for Academic Excellence. The Scholarship Unit has begun the process of nominating the 2014 Series Scholarship for Academic Excellence (SAE) for New York State high school students. Pending the appropriation of State funds, up to 8,000 scholarships will be awarded. Of the 8,000, 2,000 scholarships will have a value of $1,500 each and 6,000 scholarships will have a value of $500 each. Each SAE award is for four years. Along with the SAE, the office is accepting applications for the Regents Physician Loan Forgiveness Program (RPLFP). A total of 80 awards will be granted pending the appropriation of State funds. Award recipients will receive two annual payments of up to $10,000 each year. Information on the RPLFP may be found at: http://www.highered.nysed.gov/kiap/scholarships/rplfap.htm

 STEP and CSTEP Annual Video Conference. On February 13, 2014, the SED program liaisons and program administrators for the Science and Technology Entry Program (STEP) and the Collegiate Science and Technology Entry Program (CSTEP) will engage in their annual video conference. This venue provides an opportunity for all parties to meet and exchange information regarding activities that are occurring in their regions, share upcoming statewide and regional initiatives, and get an update from SED regarding any information that is pertinent to them regarding the administration of their projects. The video conference provides an opportunity for all STEP/CSTEP administrators to "meet" prior to the student conferences and the professional organization conference.

 Smart Scholars Early College High School Program Update. During the 2012-13 academic year, approximately 50% of students, or 2,331, students from all grade levels in the program were enrolled in college courses and earned a total of 15,634 college credits or an average of approximately 7 college credits per student. During the 2013-14 academic year, the Smart Scholars intermediary, SUNY/EDWorks, has partnered with The College Board and Pearson to pilot ACCUPLACER//MyFoundationsLab for up to 800 ninth and tenth grade students in eight of the Smart Scholars ECHS programs. This combination diagnostics and intervention program includes pre-testing, individualized support through MyFoundationsLab, and post-testing for students as well as professional development for teachers. The program, offered at no financial cost to the schools, will help identify and address skill gaps early, to ensure greater college credit access and success. Aggregate data will be used to conduct a longitudinal study to evaluate the effectiveness of the pilot program and potential expanded use by other Smart Scholars ECHS programs. The first cohort of Smart Scholars ECHS students to experience four full years of program implementation will graduate high school at the end of the current school year (June 2014). The majority of these students are on track to have earned 20 or more college credits by the time they graduate.


Test Security and Educator Integrity

 Office of School Personnel Review and Accountability. In 2013, OSPRA successfully prosecuted and obtained adverse actions against 157 teachers and obtained 51 revocations, 68 surrenders, 19 suspensions and 19 denials of certification. OSPRA is also exploring ways to expand the digital fingerprint network to allow greater access to individuals who are undergoing a fingerprint background check for purposes of certification and to strengthen the verification of identity at the time of fingerprinting. OSPRA continues to implement the sweeping changes enacted in 2012 designed to reduce both the timeline and costs associated with teacher tenure hearings. The average number of days to get a decision from an arbitrator has decreased from 653 in 2011 to 239 for NYC cases and 170 for the rest of the state. In 2011, the average 10 day hearing was estimated to cost approximately $47,688. The average cost for NYC cases is now approximately $16,800 and the rest of the state is approximately $14,000.

 The Test Security Unit. The Test Security Unit has 289 open investigations throughout New York State. We are reviewing the recently received 2013 Erasure Analysis data for investigative leads and evidence of misconduct. During the week of January 27-30, 2014, TSU investigators are monitoring Regents examinations at 18 schools.

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Last Updated: March 10, 2014
March 10, 2014