A meeting of the New York State Board of Regents’ P-12 Education Committee was held Monday, February 8, 2020. Attendees included Committee members, New York Charter Schools Association staff, NYSED staff and various presenters.
Charter School Action Items
Several Regents abstained from voting on charter revisions and renewals citing concerns about charter schools, in general, relating to accountability, Special Education enrollment and practices, and saturation in certain regions. Chancellor Rosa cautioned the Regents against making decisions about the merits of charter schools based on opinion rather than fact.
The Committee approved the following charter renewals, effective immediately:
South Bronx Early College Academy Charter School (CSD 8): A short term, 3-year renewal lasting through June 30, 2023, was approved. The school will increase its enrollment from 326 to 330 students, and continue serving grades 6-8.
West Buffalo Charter School: A full-term, 5-year renewal lasting through June 30, 2025, was approved. The school will continue to serve 500 students in grades K-8.
Bronx Community Charter School (CSD 10): A full-term, 5-year renewal lasting through June 30, 2025, was approved. The school will continue serving 520 students in grades K-8.
Mott Haven Academy Charter School (Bronx CSD 7): A full-term, 5-year renewal lasting through June 30, 2025, was approved. The school will continue to serve grades K-5 and will increase enrollment from 450 to 468 students. Bronx Community & Mott Haven renewal resolutions & reports can be found here
The Committee approved the following revisions to schools’ charters, effective immediately:
Global Community Charter School (Harlem CSD 5): A revision was approved to increase the maximum grade span and enrollment from 465 students in grades K-5 to 645 students in grades K-8, and to add a key design element to reflect the school’s planned International Baccalaureate (IB) program for the middle grades. The school will add a 6th grade in the next school year, and continue adding grades in the following years through 8th grade.
Growing Up Green Charter School II (CSD 28 Jamaica, Queens): A revision was approved to increase maximum grade span and enrollment from 504 students in grades K-5 to 812 students in grades K-8. The school will add a 6th grade in the next school year, and continue adding grades until it reaches 8th grade.
Other Action Items
Perkins V State Plan
In November, NYSED CTE Department staff presented a draft four-year plan outlining priorities including increasing access to CTE programs, supporting at-risk students enrolled in programs and improving the quality of programs. The Committee approved the plan today. See the full resolution here.
Graduation Measures Work
NYSED staff provided an update on the work the department is doing to get input on new graduation measures, including meeting with stakeholders in all areas of the state. The Department has hired Lynne Wells, former Assistant Superintendent of Capital Region BOCES, as the New Project manager for the graduation measures initiative.
Department staff presented the newly released graduation rates for the 2015 cohort (students who entered 9th grade in 2015). Graduation rates overall rose, and gaps shrunk for black and Hispanic students, English Language Learners, and Students with Disabilities. Charter school graduation rates increased by 2.9 percentage points, which is more than the overall state increase. The Regents asked questions about how to interpret the new data in light of the fact that more schools are taking advantage of alternative pathways to graduation. It was stated that no data is available about whether the students who chose those alternate pathways would have persisted to graduation had those alternate measures not been available. The Regents also asked multiple questions about ELL graduation rates, about a large gap for recipients of Advanced Regents degrees, and about the dropout rate in New York City. The Regents requested a review of the process that students must undertake in order to drop out.
Substantial Equivalency of Instruction for Nonpublic Schools
The Committee discussed comments received on a proposed addition to the Regulations of the Commissioner of Education Relating to Substantially Equivalent Instruction for Nonpublic School Students. The department received 140,000 comments on the proposed regulations and had to hire two temporary workers to go through the comments. Audience members from private schools throughout the state were present, but no vote was taken as the department plans to reengage with stakeholders on the topic.
We look forward to bringing you summaries of meetings of the Regents’ P-12 Education Committee in the months ahead.