Education Committee NewsletterFebruary 2001
- Regents Bring Career and Technical Education Up to Par With Standards
- Standard Setting Studies
- Governor's School Aid Proposal
At the end of January 2001 the New York State Board of Regents adopted
a proposal that raises the standards for Career and Technical Education
while giving schools and students more flexibility in how they can reach
Over the course of 18 months the Regents and the Department consulted with administrators, teachers, parents, business and testing experts, to develop their new Career and Technical Education policy.
The new policy includes the following elements:
- a program approval process;
- flexibility in the delivery of core academic courses;
- a work skills employability profile;
- technical assessments based on industry standards; and
- technical endorsement on the Regents diploma and Regents diploma with advanced designation.
CTE students must pass all required Regents examinations or alternatives approved by the State Assessment Panel, at the same level of performance as required of all students in New York State. All students will also be eligible for component testing when it becomes available. The key change is in the flexibility granted in terms of required course work, and the content and structure of the curriculum.
The Business Council supports this new Regents policy for CTE students. We believe it will improve both students academic and vocational education. It will ultimately lead to greater success in the workplace or post-secondary education.
The State Education Departments Office of state Assessment is planning the standard setting studies for the new state exams that will be administered for the first time during this school year.
Standard setting is the process by which the Department establishes the scores that are used to judge student performance. The Department is inviting a business representative to serve as an observer to the process for each of the tests.
The Governors budget proposed a $382 million (2.79%) overall increase in school aid for the 2001-02 school year. This represents a $313 million increase in formula aids and a $69 million increase in categorical grants.
The Governors recommendations include combining 11 aid formulas into one called Flex Aid. This new single aid formula would include operating aid and special education aids to name just two. While it offers school districts considerably more decision-making power on how funds are spent, it also causes consternation among people worried about whether or not certain children will be served.
Changes are also proposed for building aid in order to contain some of the costs the present formula would generate. Other recommendations include the following:
- BOCES (Boards of Cooperative Educational Services) aid is frozen at 2001 levels.
- Present law funding is provided for summer school programs.ÿ Present law funding is provided for transportation aid.
- Funding for LADDER programs is reduced by $545 million from what present law would generate.
- Funding for textbooks and library materials is maintained at 2001 levels and funding for software is increased by $4 million.
- Funding for Teachers for Tomorrow is recommended to increase by $25 million to a total of $50 million. It includes initiatives for recruiting and retaining qualified teachers, alternative certification programs for teacher shortage areas, professional support programs for new teachers, incentives for retirement-age teachers to remain or reenter the teaching profession.
- Includes a new School Wide Performance Incentive for $7.5 million targeted to improved performance in the Big 5 City School Districts.
Among the programs the Governors budget proposes to eliminate are:
- Teacher Support Aid
- Teacher Centers
- National Board for Professional Teaching Standards Certification Grants Mentor/Intern Program NYC Peer Intervention Program