Provides that students who have an IEP shall not be required to take more than one regents examination in any given day.
TITLE OF BILL: An act to amend the education law, in relation to the administration of exams to students with disabilities
PURPOSE OR GENERAL IDEA OF BILL: To offer alternatives to students with disabilities who have provisions for extended testing time pursuant to an Individual Education Plan or pursuant to Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, with regard to the administration of more than one Regents exam in one day.
SUMMARY OF SPECIFIC PROVISIONS: The education law is amended by adding a new section 319 as described in the bill.
JUSTIFICATION: Public school districts in New York State are responsible for identifying and evaluating students who require academic assistance, program modifications or other support services due to a disabling condition. Extended testing time is one of the options available to those students who are identified as disabled, but who are not exempted from mandated standardized academic testing. Such students can qualify for up to double the testing time provided to non-disabled students.
Extended testing time provisions are a successful method of enabling many students to participate in these tests. However, this can become problematic when a student with extended time provisions is scheduled for more than one Regent's Examination on one day. For example, the time allotted for a typical Regent's examination is 3 hours. A disabled student who is allowed double testing time (6 hours) and is scheduled for two exams on the same day will face 12 consecutive hours of testing.
The existing regulatory remedy requires school districts to apply to the State Education Department for multiple day testing on behalf of the student on a case-by-case basis. In order to do so, the following is required of the school district:
* Multiple day testing must be included on the student's IEP, which is typically written prior to the release of the Regent's Examination schedule by the State Education Department and prior to the district's knowledge of a conflict.
* Many disabled students with extended testing time are classified as Learning Disabled. Retention of acquired knowledge is almost always an issue for these students. To offer an alternate date months after the scheduled date is not a viable option.
* In applying for multiple day testing, school districts are required to provide evaluative material to support the student's need in this regard. Thus, school district personnel are (on a case-by-case basis)
investing valuable time and resources to repetitiously convince the State Education Department that 12 hours of testing with no break is detrimental to children with disabilities. As the regulatory agency mandating and scheduling these tests, it should be incumbent upon the State Education Department to ensure that students are offered viable alternatives to this.
* According to the State Education Department, 80 such applications were received and approved during the 2003-04 school year. There are 701 school districts in New York State, and thousands of students who have these provisions on their IEPs or 504 plans. These numbers are a clear indicator that the current remedy is lacking.
PRIOR LEGISLATIVE HISTORY: 2006: A.6358 Referred to Education 2006: S.5746 Referred to Education (Same As) 2008: A.594 Referred to Education 2008: S.5746 Referred to Education (Same As) 2009-10: S.6946 Referred to Education 2011-12: S.2503/A.3289 Referred to Education
FISCAL IMPLICATIONS: None.
EFFECTIVE DATE: This act shall take effect on the one hundred eightieth day after it shall have become a law. Effective immediately, the addition, amendment, and/or repeal of any rule or regulation necessary for the timely implementation of this act on its effective date is hereby authorized to be made on or before such effective date.
STATE OF NEW YORK ________________________________________________________________________ 488 2013-2014 Regular Sessions IN SENATE (PREFILED) January 9, 2013 ___________Introduced by Sen. KENNEDY -- read twice and ordered printed, and when printed to be committed to the Committee on Education AN ACT to amend the education law, in relation to the administration of exams to students with disabilities THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK, REPRESENTED IN SENATE AND ASSEM- BLY, DO ENACT AS FOLLOWS: Section 1. Legislative findings and intent. The legislature finds that certain students with disabilities are allowed extended testing time according to their individual education program, or perhaps even accom- modations provided pursuant to regulations promulgated under section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973. The legislature further finds that these students, as a result of this extended time allowance, are being subjected to ten or eleven straight hours of testing when they are required to take two regents exams on the same date. The legislature acknowledges the department of education's need for security concerning the substance of the examination. As such, the legislature understands the department's continuing hesitance to allow these students with disabilities to take the exams on days other than which they had been officially scheduled. However, the benefits of providing these children with respite between each exam far outweighs the potential of one of these students garnering information about the exam from another student who had previously taken the exam. Therefore, it is the intent of this legislature to have the commissioner of education implement a process whereby students with certain disabilities are not required to take more than one regents examination in any given day. S 2. The education law is amended by adding a new section 319 to read as follows: S 319. EXAMINATION OF STUDENTS WITH DISABILITIES. THE COMMISSIONER SHALL PROMULGATE REGULATIONS ESTABLISHING GUIDELINES WHICH PROVIDE THATEXPLANATION--Matter in ITALICS (underscored) is new; matter in brackets [ ] is old law to be omitted. LBD02061-01-3 S. 488 2
ANY CHILD WHO HAS EXTENDED TESTING TIME PROVISIONS ON HIS OR HER INDI- VIDUALIZED EDUCATION PROGRAM, OR WHO RECEIVES EXTENDED TESTING TIME ACCOMMODATIONS PURSUANT TO SECTION 504 OF THE REHABILITATION ACT OF 1973, IS PROVIDED AN OPPORTUNITY TO ONLY TAKE ONE REGENTS EXAMINATION ON ANY GIVEN DAY. S 3. This act shall take effect on the one hundred eightieth day after it shall have become a law. Effective immediately, the addition, amend- ment, and/or repeal of any rule or regulation necessary for the timely implementation of this act on its effective date is hereby authorized to be made on or before such effective date.