Update on Test Integrity, APPR, and State Aid

1.  Test Integrity – At the Board of Regents meeting conducted earlier this week, the Board passed a series of additional reforms intended to safeguard and ensure test integrity. In fact, shortly following the Board’s meeting SED announced the appointment of Tina Sciocchetti as director of test security and educator integrity. The appointment of Ms. Sciocchetti is intended to build department capacity in “developing the investigative and deterrence capacity to protect our teachers, administrators, and … students from the kinds of testing scandals that have occurred in other states.” At yesterday’s BOR meeting it was explained that any adult involved in administering and scoring tests will be required to report allegations of inappropriate behavior, (this report requirement currently pertains only to school principals), which is expected to result in more investigations on a yearly basis. Some investigations will be done directly by the new Test Security Unit, but most investigations will be done by school districts/BOCES according to timelines and procedures set by TSU.

2. APPR Regulations – The last action taken at the meeting of the Board of Regents was to act upon regulatory amendments necessary to conform to statutory revisions accruing from the union-SED-Governor negotiations that resolved the APPR litigation. Of course, implementation questions remain such as :
·  When will SED issue the “form” that is to be issued by school districts/BOCES to submit APPR plans for review/approval? or
·  When will SED issue the State-approved instrument for feedback from teachers, students and families?

3. State Aid – During our recent GRC Lobby Day, many legislators supported our recommendation to roll as much of the $250 proposed by the Governor for Competitive grants into operating aid. This news article indicates that during an interview Tuesday, Governor Cuomo has expressed receptivity to rolling a substantial portion of the $250 into operating aid, stating that the sum of $250 million was intended as a “place holder.”