Requires the department of education to make local diplomas available to certain students.
Ayes (17): Flanagan, Farley, Lanza, LaValle, Marcellino, Maziarz, Ranzenhofer, Robach, Saland, Seward, Oppenheimer, Addabbo, Avella, Montgomery, Serrano, Stavisky, Huntley
Ayes W/R (1): Breslin
Ayes (59): Adams, Addabbo, Alesi, Avella, Ball, Bonacic, Breslin, Carlucci, DeFrancisco, Diaz, Dilan, Duane, Farley, Flanagan, Fuschillo, Gallivan, Gianaris, Golden, Griffo, Grisanti, Hannon, Hassell-Thomps, Johnson, Kennedy, Klein, Lanza, Larkin, LaValle, Libous, Little, Marcellino, Martins, Maziarz, McDonald, Montgomery, Nozzolio, O'Mara, Oppenheimer, Parker, Peralta, Perkins, Ranzenhofer, Ritchie, Rivera, Robach, Saland, Sampson, Savino, Serrano, Seward, Skelos, Smith, Squadron, Stavisky, Stewart-Cousin, Storobin, Valesky, Young, Zeldin
Excused (3): Espaillat, Huntley, Krueger
TITLE OF BILL: An act to amend the education law, in relation to the availability of a local diploma
PURPOSE OR GENERAL IDEA OF BILL: The purpose of the bill is to ensure that students entering ninth grade prior to 2013-14 be permitted to graduate with a local diploma as the Board of Regents evaluate and plan for the implementation of multiple pathways to a high school diploma that takes into consideration multiple assessment options for all students, including those better aligned to assess the skills and knowledge of students with disabilities.
SUMMARY OF SPECIFIC PROVISIONS: Section 1 amends article 5 of the education law to add new section 208-b to require the availability of the local diploma for students entering ninth grade prior to 2013-14.
Section 2 requires the New York State Education Department to conduct public hearings to evaluate existing diploma requirements and to develop a report to the legislature and executive that outlines a plan for implementing multiple pathways to a high school diploma.
Section 3 sets forth an immediate effective date.
JUSTIFICATION: In 1996, the New York State Education Department began to phase out of the local diploma in an effort to have all students fulfill the requirements for the more rigorous Regents diploma. As a result, beginning in the 2008-09 school year, students entering ninth grade are no longer permitted to graduate high school with a local diploma (with exemptions for safety net options for students with disabilities).
However, recently the safety net options for students with disabilities have also been restricted. No longer are students with disabilities allowed to replace a traditional Regents examination with a Regents Competency Test (RCT). Only the 55-64 pass score on the Regents exam remains as the safety net option to earn a local diploma for students entering ninth grade in 2011-12 and thereafter. (Regents diploma pass score is 65 or above).
The Board of Regents have yet to establish a graduation pathway for students for which high stakes Regents examinations fail to properly assess their skills and knowledge. Multiple pathways to a high school diploma that recognizes academic achievement through the availability of alternative forms of assessments is necessary to ensure that all student have access to a high school diploma. Students who in the past graduated with a local diploma may find it extremely difficult to articulate their skills and knowledge via a high stakes exam, and as such may find they are unable to graduate with their peers. As we emphasize the importance of college and career readiness, it is vital that we ensure multiple pathways for a multitude of learners.
This bill extends the local diploma as an option to students entering ninth grade prior to the 2013-14 school year while the New York State Education Department and the Board of Regents evaluate the current requirements for graduation and develop multiple pathways, such as, but not limited to, a Career and Technical Education (CTE) and Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) diplomas. In the development of multiple pathways the Board of Regents shall take into consideration the needs of students with disabilities and determine alternative assessment options which may better assess the skills and knowledge of all students.
PRIOR LEGISLATIVE HISTORY: This is a new bill.
FISCAL IMPLICATIONS: None.
EFFECTIVE DATE: This act shall take effect immediately.
STATE OF NEW YORK ________________________________________________________________________ 7331 IN SENATE May 2, 2012 ___________Introduced by Sens. FLANAGAN, GRISANTI, RITCHIE, YOUNG -- 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 availability of a local diploma THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK, REPRESENTED IN SENATE AND ASSEM- BLY, DO ENACT AS FOLLOWS: Section 1. The education law is amended by adding a new section 208-b to read as follows: S 208-B. AVAILABILITY OF A LOCAL DIPLOMA. THE DEPARTMENT SHALL MAKE THE LOCAL DIPLOMA AVAILABLE TO ALL STUDENTS WHO ENTER THE NINTH GRADE PRIOR TO THE TWO THOUSAND THIRTEEN--TWO THOUSAND FOURTEEN SCHOOL YEAR. S 2. The department of education shall conduct a series of public hearings throughout the state regarding the development and implementa- tion of multiple pathways to a high school diploma, including but not limited to a state career and technical education (CTE) and science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) diploma pathway. The public hearings shall assist the department in evaluating the current diploma requirements and developing a plan which sets forth the neces- sary legislative and regulatory changes needed to implement multiple pathways to a high school diploma for the students entering the ninth grade in the 2013-14 school year and thereafter. Any newly developed pathways to a high school diploma must take into consideration the needs of students with disabilities unable to achieve the local diploma but for which the former Individual Education Plan diploma is no longer available. Such evaluation and report shall be submitted to the gover- nor, the temporary president of the senate and the speaker of the assem- bly within six months of the effective date of this act. S 3. This act shall take effect immediately.EXPLANATION--Matter in ITALICS (underscored) is new; matter in brackets [ ] is old law to be omitted. LBD15675-01-2