Ensuring Equal Educational

Opportunities for English Language
Learners
Enhance and Strengthen Commissioner’s
Regulations Part 154
2
Graduation under Current Requirements
(Completion)
Calculated College and Career Ready*
(Readiness)
*Students graduating with at least a score of 75 on Regents English and 80 on a Math Regents, which correlates with
success in first-year college courses.
Source: NYSED Office of Information and Reporting Services
JUNE 2013 GRADUATION RATES
% Graduating % Graduating
All Students 74.9 All Students 37.2
American Indian 62.2 American Indian 21.3
Asian/Pacific Islander 80.6 Asian/Pacific Islander 57.2
Black 59.7 Black 14.2
Hispanic 59.2 Hispanic 18.0
White 86.5 White 50.4
English Language Learners 31.4 English Language Learners 5.9
Students with Disabilities 48.7 Students with Disabilities 5.4
NEW YORK STATE DEMOGRAPHICS
Buffalo
(3,670)
Rochester
(3,259)
Syracuse
(2,678)
Brentwood (4,905)
Hempstead
(1,723)
Yonkers
(2,956)
New York City
(147,359)
Utica
(1,463)
Central Islip
(1,717)
Newburgh
(1,522)
Spring Valley
(East Ramapo)
(1,960)
Source: Public School ELL Counts as of May 31, 2013
NYC, 70%
Long
Island,
13%
Big 4, 6%
ROS, 11%
Top ELL
Districts
# of
ELLs
New York City 147,359
Brentwood 4,905
Buffalo 3,670
Rochester 3,259
Yonkers 2,956
Syracuse 2,678
Spring Valley 1,960
Hempstead 1,723
Central Islip 1,717
Newburgh 1,522
Utica 1,463
3
Of the approximately 2.7 million
public school students in New York
State, 8% are English Language
Learners.
Spanish, 64.5%
Chinese, 10.7%
Arabic, 3.9%
Bengali, 3.0%
Haitian Creole,
1.9%
Russian, 1.7%
Urdu, 1.7%
French, 1.3%
Yiddish, 1.0%
Karen, 0.9%
Other, 9.4%
Spanish
Chinese
Arabic
Bengali
Haitian Creole
Russian
Urdu
French
Yiddish
Karen
Other
Linguistically
diverse state
with over 140
languages
spoken by our
students.

2012-13 Top 10 ELL Home Languages
Source: Public School ELL Home Languages as of May 31, 2013
4
NEW YORK STATE DEMOGRAPHICS
5
37.1%
77.1%
80.2%
77.8%
0.0%
10.0%
20.0%
30.0%
40.0%
50.0%
60.0%
70.0%
80.0%
90.0%
ELL Ever ELL Non-ELL All Students NY
New York State ELL, Ever ELL, Non ELL, and All
Students 4 Year August Graduation Rate 2012-13
Source: NYSED Information and Reporting Services - August 2013 Graduation Rate Data 4 Year Outcomes

6
ELL, Ever ELL, Non ELL 4 Year August Graduation Rate by Big 5
2012- 2013

Source: NYSED Information and Reporting Services - August 2013 Graduation Rate Data 4 Year Outcomes

19.9%
62.1%
60.4%
20.7%
79.4%
50.9%
29.3%
73.3%
54.9%
34.5%
61.5%
74.9%
38.7%
76.7%
69.7%
0.0%
10.0%
20.0%
30.0%
40.0%
50.0%
60.0%
70.0%
80.0%
90.0%
ELL Ever ELL Non-ELL ELL Ever ELL Non-ELL ELL Ever ELL Non-ELL ELL Ever ELL Non-ELL ELL Ever ELL Non-ELL
BUFFALO CITY ROCHESTER CITY SYRACUSE CITY YONKERS CITY NYC


PROCEDURAL HISTORY



 At its December 2011 meeting, the Board of Regents directed
Department staff to engage the field to determine the areas of Part 154
that should be revised or enhanced to better serve the needs of ELLs.

 As a result, over the past three years, Department staff consulted with
stakeholders Statewide in various ways, including:
 Focus Groups (over 100 key stakeholders statewide)
 Survey to the Field (over 1500 respondents)
 Review of Draft Recommendations by key stakeholders
 Review of Draft Recommendations by US DOJ, US OCR, USDE Title I,
USDE Title III
 Review of Draft Recommendations by members of the Board of Regents

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PROCEDURAL HISTORY
 In August 2013, after review and consultation with members of the Board of
Regents, the Department released draft recommendations for review by
stakeholders. Comments were received through October 2013.

 In late December 2013 and early January 2014, the Department met with USDE
and US DOJ to review the draft recommendations.

 In April 2014, the Board of Regents was presented with an update on the
recommendations and stakeholder engagement process, and the Board
directed staff to develop a proposal for amendments to Part 154 of the
Commissioner’s Regulations.

 In May 2014, a proposal for amendments to Part 154 of the Commissioner’s
Regulations was presented to the Board for discussion.

 A 45-day period for public comment was conducted between July 9, 2014 and
August 23, 2014. The Department received over 100 comments during this
period.



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AREAS OF PROPOSED AMENDMENTS


 Identification
 Parent Notification and
Information
 Retention of Records
 Placement
 Program Requirements and
Provision of Programs
 Program Continuity


 Exit Criteria
 Support Services and
Transitional Services
 Professional Development
and Certification
 District Planning and
Reporting Requirements

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CR PART 154 PUBLIC COMMENTS: SUPPORTIVE
10

The majority of the responses are supportive of the amendments.
Particularly strong support was expressed in the areas of:

 Expansion of the ELL exit criteria.

 Increased opportunities for parental involvement in the language they
best understand.

 Bilingual program planning and continuity.

 Inclusion of ELLs in district intervention plans and expansion of support
for former ELLs.

 Delineation of ELL subpopulations, including Students with Interrupted
formal education (SIFE), Newcomers, Developing ELLs, Long-term ELLs
and ELLs with disabilities.





CR PART 154 PUBLIC COMMENTS: CONCERNS
11

 Concerns were predominantly regarding provisions
of existing CR Part 154 regulations.

 Challenges to find qualified personnel to implement the initial
identification process and SIFE determination.

 Conflicting perspectives on the scope of bilingual education program
accessibility. In terms of offering bilingual programs to all ELLs,
some comments assert that the requirements are excessive and
others say they are insufficient.

 The requirements that 15% of mandated professional development for
all teachers and 50% of mandated professional development for ESL
and bilingual teachers be focused on meeting the needs of ELLs are
too prescriptive.

 Concerns over potential impact on resources for districts, particularly
small districts.

IDENTIFICATION

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IDENTIFICATION

PROPOSED REGULATORY CHANGE

COMMENTS


Implement a four step ELL identification process to
ensure holistic and individualized decisions can be
made by qualified staff, including:
(1) administration of the Home Language
Questionnaire;
(2) an individual interview with the student;
(3) a determination for students with a disability of
whether the disability is the determinant factor
affecting the student’s ability to demonstrate
proficiency in English; and
(4) the administration of a statewide English
language proficiency identification assessment.
Qualified staff is defined as an bilingual or ESL
teacher, or a teacher trained in cultural
competency, language development and the needs
of English Language Learners.


 Support was expressed for defining qualified staff to
conduct the identification process and enhanced intake
procedures that will provide teachers with more
information about incoming ELLs.

 Concerns were raised about lack of qualified staff and
additional resources necessary to fully implement the
enhanced identification process, (e.g., collecting student
work).



IDENTIFICATION

13
PARENT NOTIFICATION AND INFORMATION

PROPOSED REGULATORY CHANGE


COMMENTS

School staff shall meet with parents or persons in
parental relation at least once a year, in addition to
other generally required meetings with parents, to
discuss with parents their child’s academic content and
language development progress and needs.

Districts shall collect and maintain:
records indicating parent’s preferred language or mode
of communication; and
records of notices and forms generated during the
identification and placement process in ELL student’s
cumulative record.

 Support was expressed for the expansion of
opportunities for parents/guardians to participate in
their child ‘s academic development in the language
they best understand.

 Guidance was requested regarding meetings, required
documentation and recordkeeping.

 Concern was expressed about obtaining additional
translators.





IDENTIFICATION

14
PLACEMENT

PROPOSED REGULATORY CHANGE


COMMENTS


Require placement in a Bilingual Education / ESL
program within 10 school days after initiating the
identification process.


Districts shall complete the identification process
before an ELL student receives a final school
placement.




 Support was expressed for the revised ELL
identification process, which will better ensure proper
program placement.

 Concern was expressed regarding resource
implications of conducting the identification process
during the summer.



IDENTIFICATION

15
PROGRAM REQUIREMENTS & PROVISION OF PROGRAMS

PROPOSED REGULATORY CHANGE

COMMENTS


English as a Second Language instruction shall be
offered through two settings:

•Integrated ESL (ESL methodologies in content area
instruction co-taught or taught by a dually certified
teacher); and
•Stand-alone (ESL instruction with an ESL teacher to
develop the English language needed for academic
success).

Continue to require that each school with 20 or more
ELL students of the same grade who speak the same
home language provide a Bilingual Education
program.





 Support was expressed for integrating ESL and
content area instruction.

 Concern was expressed over the possibility of a
district housing a bilingual program in one building.

 Concerns were raised regarding implementing the
integrated ESL co-teaching model as it may impact
configuration of programs and resources.




IDENTIFICATION

16
CONTINUED: PROGRAM REQUIREMENTS & PROVISION OF PROGRAMS

PROPOSED REGULATORY CHANGE

COMMENTS

Districts shall create annual estimates of ELL enrollment
before the end of each school year and create a sufficient
number of Bilingual Education programs in the district, if
there are 20 or more ELLs of the same grade level who
speak the same home language district wide.

A district will be allowed to apply for a one-year waiver for
languages that represent less than 5% of the statewide
ELL population, if the district can demonstrate it meets
established criteria and provides alternate home language
supports.

New programs triggered by this provision shall be placed in
a school that has not been identified as a Schools Under
Registration Review or as a Focus or Priority School, if
such school exists in the district.



 Support was expressed for improved program
planning and continuity, which will result from the
provision of an annual estimate of ELL
enrollment.

 Support was expressed for strengthened access,
instruction, and services that will result from
district level bilingual programs.

 Recommendation was made by NYSUT to adopt
class size maximums for each program type.

 Recommendation was made by NYSUT to
include procedures in the regulations for
identifying and providing language support
services (bilingual and ESL instruction) to
address the language needs of young children
enrolled in UPK classes.




IDENTIFICATION

17
GRADE SPAN AND PROGRAM CONTINUITY

PROPOSED REGULATORY CHANGE

COMMENTS

Districts shall provide program continuity so that
ELLs can continue to receive the program type
(Bilingual Education or ESL) in which they were
initially enrolled. In order to ensure program
continuity, schools shall continue to provide a
Bilingual Education program if at least 15 students
who speak the same home language were enrolled
in such program in the previous grade.

The maximum allowable grade span for grouping
instruction in ESL and Bilingual Education programs
is two contiguous grades.

 Support was expressed for the provisions regarding
continuity of bilingual/ESL programs.

 Concern was expressed regarding implementing the two
year contiguous grade level provision in small school
districts.



IDENTIFICATION

18
EXIT CRITERIA

PROPOSED REGULATORY CHANGE

COMMENTS


Implement three different criteria to allow
students to exit ELL status, including:

(1) scoring proficient on the statewide
English language proficiency
assessment;
(2) a combination of NYSESLAT scores and
3-8 ELA assessment or ELA Regents
scores; or
(3) a determination that an ELL with a
disability cannot meet criteria (1) or (2)
because of their disability and are not in
need of ELL services.




 Strong support was expressed for revision of the ELL exit
criteria, which will provide students multiple ways to demonstrate
English proficiency.

 Concern was expressed over giving districts too much discretion
to exit ELLs, which districts could use as a cost-cutting measure.

IDENTIFICATION

19
SUPPORT AND TRANSITIONAL SERVICES

PROPOSED REGULATORY CHANGE

COMMENTS



Districts shall annually identify ELLs not
demonstrating adequate performance and provide
additional supports aligned to district wide
intervention plans.

Districts shall provide at least two years of
transitional supports to ELLs who exit out of ELL
status (former ELLs).





Support was expressed for the benefits of including ELLs
in districtwide interventions plans.

 Support was expressed for expanding transitional services
for Former ELLs to two years as it further reinforces
support for students who exit ELL status.

IDENTIFICATION

20
PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT AND CERTIFICATION

PROPOSED REGULATORY CHANGE

COMMENTS



Require that 15 percent of professional development
hours for all teachers and administrators be specific to
the needs of ELLs, language acquisition and cultural
competency.

Require that 50 percent of professional development
hours for all Bilingual Education and ESL teachers to be
specific to the needs of ELLs, language acquisition and
cultural competency.

Create certification areas for bilingual teaching
assistants and tenure and seniority protection areas for
bilingual teaching assistants, bilingual teachers and ESL
teachers.

Require that all prospective teachers complete
coursework on ELL instructional needs, language
acquisition and cultural competency










 Support was expressed for including teachers and
administrators in ELL specific professional
development as it builds capacity to meet the
specific needs of ELLs.

 Concern was raised by NYSUT and others that the
allotment of specific professional development hours
is too prescriptive. NYSUT recommends that
schools should be able to customize the PD
according to their school-wide goals and the needs
of teachers, school-related professionals, and
administrators


IDENTIFICATION

21
DISTRICT PLANNING AND REPORTING

PROPOSED REGULATORY CHANGE

COMMENTS



Districts shall provide additional information in plans
regarding programs for subpopulations of ELLs,
information provided to parents, methods to annually
measure and track ELL progress, and systems to identify,
assess, and exit students from ELL status.


Require districts to provide additional information in
reports regarding programs for subpopulations of ELLs
including program information, if offered, by
subpopulations and languages spoken in the district.




 Support was expressed for reporting ELL
subpopulation and the recommendation was made
that data on subpopulations be made public in the
best interest of transparency.

 Concern was expressed over the increased
paperwork for tracking and reporting requirements.


Actions Department recommends

Adopt Subparts CR Part 154-1 and CR Part 154-
2.
Discuss amendments to CR Part 154-2.
pertaining to parent notification and professional
development requirements.
Discuss addition of new Subpart CR Part 154-3
pertaining to ELL identification and exit
procedures for students for disabilities.




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