MEMORANDUM To: District Superintendent

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MEMORANDUMTo:From:Date:Re:District Superintendent James Dexter, WASHINGTON-SARATOGA-WARRENHAMILTON-ESSEX BOCESDr. Julia Rafal-Baer, Assistant Commissioner06/15/2014Assessment Administration in Conjunction with Annual Professional PerformanceReviews (APPRs)The Department recognizes that during the first year of full implementation of Annual ProfessionalPerformance Reviews (APPR), a variety of pressures at the state and local level may have resulted in studentsin some districts and BOCES being tested more than needed or in rote standardized test preparation thatcrowds out quality instruction. Numerous stakeholders, including – and most importantly – families andstudents, have raised concerns as a result of these local decisions.The State has not created any additional tests as part of the implementation of the Common Core. Allrequired state tests other than two high school social studies Regents exams – including all grades 3-8assessments and high school exams in English, math, and science – are required by federal law. On February11, 2014, the Board of Regents adopted emergency regulations to address the concerns raised by stakeholdersand to adjust and improve the implementation of the Common Core standards and teacher/principalevaluation. The approved regulatory amendments to the APPR system are intended to help districts andBOCES reduce local testing and ensure that the amount of testing is the minimum necessary to informeffective decision-making. At its March 2014 meeting, the Board of Regents made a series of technicalamendments to the regulations to clarify the requirements for districts and BOCES that opt to use anassessment that is not a traditional standardized assessment for grades K-2 for APPR purposes. TheDepartment has developed a webpage with multiple resources in order to help districts and BOCESsuccessfully navigate the regulatory amendments and efficiently access relevant material: ce-local-testing.Based on the concerns conveyed to the Commissioner surrounding the use of assessments, and in accordancewith Section 1 of Subpart F of Chapter 56 of the laws of 2014, the Commissioner has directed the Office ofTeacher and Leader Effectiveness to review your APPR plan to identify opportunities for you to act locally toensure that your district is using the minimum assessments necessary to inform effective decision making,consistent with your instructional vision. As you are now in the second full year of APPR implementation,the Department encourages you to use this letter to help review your currently approved APPR plan toidentify modifications that would be approvable by the Department and result in less testing for yourstudents. As you know, the Department has consistently communicated that the amount of testing should bethe minimum necessary to inform effective decision-making at the classroom, school, and district/BOCESlevel.1

The Department has developed guidance and technical support materials regarding the role of assessmentswithin the APPR system. These materials include methods to eliminate, where consistent with the district’s orBOCES’ instructional vision, the use of pre-tests and other locally-adopted standardized tests. In lieu ofpre-tests, districts and BOCES can use past performance trends, historical data and/or prior-year test resultsto establish targets for determining student learning growth. Additionally, locally-adopted standardized testscan be replaced with state assessments, school-wide growth measures, or performance-based assessments.Education Law §3012-c provides you with design flexibility. The Department encourages you and your localbargaining units to use the available resources to ensure that thoughtful conversation occurs, and strategicdecisions are made, regarding the use of student assessments. Teaching, not testing, is the core of our work.There are an assortment of ways in which a district or BOCES can design a meaningful and authenticassessment program that provides information to drive instructional decisions, ultimately leading to anincrease in students' knowledge and skills. By taking the time to re-review your local assessment practices,you can engage in collaborative conversations with your local stakeholders about ways in which you mightchoose to use data and/or evidence more effectively and efficiently to ensure that all local tests help informinstruction and improve student learning, rather than needlessly add to the number of assessmentsadministered within your district.To help further facilitate these conversations on the local level, the Office of Teacher and LeaderEffectiveness has reviewed your APPR plan and determined that there are a number of ways in which,through a material change request, you could make thoughtful adjustments consistent with your district’sinstructional vision to your currently approved APPR plan to reduce and/or refine assessments used, subjectto collective bargaining decisions1.Teaching, not testing, is the core of the Regents Reform Agenda.1Please note: material changes for the 2014-15 school year must be submitted by March 1, 2015 (see: APPR Guidance: urce/attachments/appr-field-guidance.pdf. For districts or BOCES that want to make a materialchange to their APPR plan solely to eliminate unnecessary student assessments, the Department provides an expedited review process using theExpedited Material Change Form dited-mc-fill-in-form-distribute.pdf). Please also xpedited-mc-cover-letter-2-24-14.pdf for further information).2

Consideration 1: Use of Pre-AssessmentsThe use of pre-assessments in a grade or subject is a local decision to be made consistent with yourdistrict’s instructional vision.The APPR team has found the following examples of where your district has collectively bargained the useof a pre-assessment as a baseline measurement in Task 2, the State Growth or Other Comparable Measuressubcomponent and/or in Task 3, the Locally-selected Measures subcomponent (please note that theinformation below reflects information taken directly from your district’s currently approved APPR plan):Task 2 Course NameK ELA1 ELA2 ELA3 ELAK Math1 Math2 Math3 Math6 SCI7 SCI8 SCI6 SS7 SS8 SSGlobal 1Global 2American HistoryLiving EnvironmentAlgebra 19 English10 English11 EnglishCulinary ArtsAutomotive TechnologyCareer ConnectionsConstruction TradesCriminal Justice StudiesEarly Childhood EducationEarth Science (Non-Regents)EconomicsELA 12Auto Body RepairAIS Math (grades 3-5)CosmetologyArt (UG)ArtAlgebra 1 Year 13

AIS US History & GovernmentAIS Science (grades 9-12)ELA 12 Year 1AIS Math (grades 6-8)ELA Foundations 9-12AIS Global HistoryAIS English (grades 9-12)AIS English (grades 3-5)AIS ELA (grades 6-8)21st Century SkillsAIS Math (grades 9-12)Machine Tool TechnologyWritingHeating, Ventilation, Air Conditioning & RefrigerationHeavy Equipment & OperationsHorse CareHorticulture & LandscapingInformation TechnologyJob SkillsLibrary (grades 6-8)ELA Foundations (UG)Living Environment Year 1Reading DevelopmentMath 12 Year 1Math 12 Year 2Math FoundationsMath Foundations (UG)Math Foundations 6-8Math Foundations K-5MusicParticipation in GovernmentLife Skills (grades 6-8)GED MathELA FoundationsELA Foundations 6-8Physical EducationELA Foundations K-5English as a Second Language (ESL) (grades K-12)Environmental Conservation & ForestryEnvironmental ScienceFamily & Consumer ScienceSocial Studies FoundationsGED ELAScience FoundationsGED ScienceGED Social StudiesGraphics & Visual CommunicationsGeometry (non-Regents)4

Geometry Non-Regents (grades 9-12)HealthHealth (grades 6-8)Health OccupationsELA 12 Year 2Foreign LanguageSince pre-assessments are not a Department requirement with student learning objectives (SLOs), onepossible approach through which your district could reduce the number of assessments given is by using pastperformance trends, historical data, and/or prior-year assessment results to inform the baseline used to settargets within SLOs, rather than requiring teachers to give a pre-assessment to students at the beginning ofthe interval of instruction (year, semester, quarter, etc.).The following resources may be particularly helpful: The SLO 103 for Teachers or-teachers) The Assessments in APPR ts-in-annual-professional-performance-review-appr) Sections D28, D29, D37, D47, and D69 of the APPR Guidance es/resource/attachments/appr-field-guidance.pdf)In addition, please allow the following districts’ approved APPR plans to serve as examples of districtsthat have made decisions to eliminate pre-assessment use in their APPR plans: Tuckahoe Union Free School rs/plans/docs/tuckahoe-ufsd-appr-plan.pdf) Rochester City School rs/plans/docs/rochester-appr-plan.pdf) Webster Central School rs/plans/docs/webster-appr-plan.pdf)5

Consideration 2: Use of Multiple Assessments in Task 2 and Task 3The use of different assessments for the Locally-selected Measures subcomponent from those used forthe State Growth or Other Comparable Measures subcomponent is a local decision made throughcollective bargaining.The APPR team has found examples of where your district has collectively bargained the use of differentassessments in Task 3, the Locally-selected Measures subcomponent, than the district selected in Task 2, theState Growth or Other Comparable Measures subcomponent, to assess the same students within the samegrade and subject.There are a number of possible approaches through which your district can, subject to collective bargainingdecisions, reduce the number of assessments in these subcomponents. Please see the chart below:CourseTask 2 Assessment NameTask 3 Assessment Name4 ELANYS Grade 4 ELA AssessmentWestern Suffolk BOCES-Developed Grade 4 ELAAssessment5 ELANYS Grade 5 ELA AssessmentWSWHE BOCES-Developed Grade 5 ELA Assessment6 ELANYS Grade 6 ELA AssessmentWSWHE BOCES-Developed Grade 6 ELA Assessment7 ELANYS Grade 7 ELA AssessmentWSWHE BOCES-Developed Grade 7 ELA Assessment8 ELANYS Grade 8 ELA AssessmentWSWHE BOCES-Developed Grade 8 ELA Assessment4 MathNYS Grade 4 Math AssessmentWSWHE BOCES-Developed Grade 4 Math Assessment5 MathNYS Grade 5 Math AssessmentWSWHE BOCES-Developed Grade 5 Math Assessment6 MathNYS Grade 6 Math AssessmentWSWHE BOCES-Developed Grade 6 Math Assessment7 MathNYS Grade 7 Math AssessmentWSWHE BOCES-Developed Grade 7 Math Assessment8 MathNYS Grade 8 Math AssessmentWSWHE BOCES-Developed Grade 8 Math AssessmentK ELATerraNova 3WSWHE BOCES-Developed Grade K ELA Assessment1 ELATerraNova 3WSWHE BOCES-Developed Grade 1 ELA Assessment2 ELATerraNova 3WSWHE BOCES-Developed Grade 2 ELA Assessment3 ELANYS Grade 3 ELA AssessmentWSWHE BOCES-Developed Grade 3 ELA AssessmentK MathTerraNova 3WSWHE BOCES-Developed Grade K Math Assessment1 MathTerraNova 3WSWHE BOCES-Developed Grade 1 Math Assessment2 MathTerraNova 3WSWHE BOCES-Developed Grade 2 Math Assessment3 MathNYS Grade 3 Math AssessmentWSWHE BOCES-Developed Grade 3 Math Assessment6 SCITerraNova 3WSWHE BOCES-Developed Grade 6 ScienceAssessment7 SCITerraNova 3WSWHE BOCES-Developed Grade 7 ScienceAssessment8 SCINYS Grade 8 Science AssessmentWSWHE BOCES-Developed Grade 8 ScienceAssessment6 SSTerraNova 3WSWHE BOCES-Developed Grade 6 ScienceAssessment7 SSTerraNova 3WSWHE BOCES-Developed Grade 7 Social StudiesAssessment8 SSTerraNova 3WSWHE BOCES-Developed Grade 8 Social StudiesAssessmentGlobal 1TerraNova 3WSWHE BOCES-Developed Global 1 AssessmentGlobal 2Global 2 RegentsWSWHE BOCES-Developed Global 2 AssessmentAmerican HistoryAmerican History RegentsWSWHE BOCES-Developed American HistoryAssessmentLiving EnvironmentLiving Environment RegentsWSWHE BOCES-Developed Grade 9-12 LivingEnvironment Assessment6

Algebra 1Algebra 1 RegentsWSWHE BOCES-Developed Grade 9-12 Algebra 1 Year1 Assessment9 EnglishTerraNova 3WSWHE BOCES-Developed Grade 9 ELA Assessment10 EnglishTerraNova 3WSWHE BOCES-Developed Grade 10 ELA Assessment11 EnglishComprehensive English RegentsWSWHE BOCES-Developed Grade 11 ELA AssessmentForeign LanguageFLACS-Developed Checkpoint A Spanish AssessmentWSWHE BOCES-Developed Spanish AssessmentWritingTerraNova 3WSWHE BOCES-Developed Grade 9-12 WritingAssessmentScience FoundationsTerraNova 3WSWHE BOCES-Developed Grade 9-12 ScienceFoundations AssessmentReading DevelopmentTerraNova 3WSWHE BOCES-Developed Grade 9-12 ReadingAssessmentParticipation in GovernmentTerraNova 3WSWHE BOCES-Developed Grade 9-12 Participation inGovernment AssessmentMath FoundationsTerraNova 3WSWHE BOCES-Developed Grade 9-12 MathFoundations AssessmentLiving Environment 1TerraNova 3WSWHE BOCES-Developed Grade 9-12 LivingEnvironment 2 AssessmentAlgebra 1 (year 1)TerraNova 3WSWHE BOCES-Developed Grade 9-12 Algebra 1 Year1 AssessmentSocial Studies FoundationsTerraNova 3WSWHE BOCES-Developed Grade 9-12 GlobalFoundations AssessmentGeometry (non-Regents)TerraNova 3WSWHE BOCES-Developed Grade 9-12 GeometryNon-Regents AssessmentELA FoundationsTerraNova 3WSWHE BOCES-Developed Grade 12 ELA FoundationsAssessmentELA 12TerraNova 3WSWHE BOCES-Developed Grade 12 ELA AssessmentEconomicsTerraNova 3WSWHE BOCES-Developed Grade 9-12 EconomicsAssessmentEarth Science(non-Regents)TerraNova 3WSWHE BOCES-Developed Grade 9-12 Earth ScienceAssessmentEnvironmental ScienceTerraNova 3WSWHE BOCES-Developed Grade 9-12 EnvironmentalScience AssessmentELA Foundations 6-8AIMSWEBWSWHE BOCES-Developed Grade 6-8 ELAFoundations AssessmentELA Foundations K-5AIMSWEBWSWHE BOCES-Developed Grade K-5 ELAFoundations AssessmentELA Foundations (UG)NYSAAWSWHE BOCES-Developed ELA Foundations UGAssessmentELA 12 Year 1JMT-Regionally Developed English Language ArtsAssessmentJMT-Regionally Developed Career ReadinessAssessmentELA 12 Year 2JMT-Regionally Developed English Language ArtsAssessmentJMT-Regionally Developed Career ReadinessAssessmentEarly Childhood EducationJMT-Regionally Developed Early Childhood EducationAssessmentJMT-Regionally Developed Career ReadinessAssessmentCulinary ArtsJMT-Regionally Developed Culinary Arts AssessmentJMT-Regionally Developed Career ReadinessAssessmentCriminal Justice StudiesJMT-Regionally Developed Criminal Justice StudiesAssessmentJMT-Regionally Developed Career ReadinessAssessmentConstruction TradesJMT-Regionally Developed Construction TradesAssessmentJMT-Regionally Developed Career ReadinessAssessmentELA Foundations 9-12TerraNova 3WSWHE BOCES-Developed Grade 9-12 ELAFoundations AssessmentAuto Body RepairJMT-Regionally Developed Auto Body RepairAssessmentJMT-Regionally Developed Career ReadinessAssessmentCosmetologyJMT-Regionally Developed Cosmetology AssessmentJMT-Regionally Developed Career ReadinessAssessment7

AIS US History &GovernmentAmerican History RegentsWSWHE BOCES-Developed Grade 9-12 US History &Government AssessmentAIS Science (grades 9-12)Living Environment RegentsWSWHE BOCES-Developed Grade 9-12 LivingEnvironment AssessmentAIS Math (grades 9-12)Integrated Algebra RegentsWSWHE BOCES-Developed Algebra AssessmentAIS Math (grades 6-8)NYS Grade 6-8 Math AssessmentWSWHE BOCES-Developed Grade 6-8 MathAssessmentAIS Math (grade 3)NYS Grade 3-5 Math AssessmentWSWHE BOCES-Developed Grade 3 Math AssessmentAIS Global HistoryGlobal 2 RegentsWSWHE BOCES-Developed Global History AssessmentAIS English (grades 9-12)Comprehensive English RegentsWSWHE BOCES-Developed Grade 9-12 ELAAssessmentAIS ELA (grades 6-8)NYS Grade 6-8 ELA AssessmentWSWHE BOCES-Developed Grade 6-8 ELAAssessmentAutomotive TechnologyJMT-Regionally Developed Automotive TechnologyAssessmentJMT-Regionally Developed Career ReadinessAssessmentMath 12 Year 1JMT-Regionally Developed Mathematics AssessmentJMT-Regionally Developed Career ReadinessAssessmentCareer ConnectionsJMT-Regionally Developed Culinary Arts AssessmentJMT-Regionally Developed Career ReadinessAssessmentMath 12 Year 2JMT-Regionally Developed Mathematics AssessmentJMT-Regionally Developed Career ReadinessAssessmentEnglish as a SecondLanguage (ESL) (gradesK-12)NYSESLATWSWHE BOCES-Developed Grade K-12 ESLAssessmentMachine Tool TechnologyJMT-Regionally Developed Machine Tool TechnologyAssessmentJMT-Regionally Developed Career ReadinessAssessmentLife Skills (grades 6-8)TerraNova 3WSWHE BOCES-Developed Grade 6-8 Life SkillsAssessmentInformation Technology:Information TechnologyJMT-Regionally Developed Information TechnologyAssessmentJMT-Regionally Developed Career ReadinessAssessmentHorticulture & LandscapingJMT-Regionally Developed Horticulture & LandscapingAssessmentJMT-Regionally Developed Career ReadinessAssessmentHorse CareJMT-Regionally Developed Animal Science AssessmentJMT-Regionally Developed Career ReadinessAssessmentHeavy Equipment &OperationsJMT-Regionally Developed Heavy Equipment &Operations AssessmentJMT-Regionally Developed Career ReadinessAssessmentHeating, Ventilation, AirConditioning & RefrigerationJMT-Regionally Developed Heating, Ventilation, AirConditioning & Refrigeration AssessmentJMT-Regionally Developed Career ReadinessAssessmentHealth OccupationsJMT-Regionally Developed Health OccupationsAssessmentJMT-Regionally Developed Career ReadinessAssessmentGraphics & VisualCommunicationsJMT-Regionally Developed Graphics & VisualCommunications AssessmentJMT-Regionally Developed Career ReadinessAssessmentGED Social StudiesTerraNova 3WSWHE BOCES-Developed GED Social StudiesAssessmentGED ScienceTerraNova 3WSWHE BOCES-Developed GED Science AssessmentGED MathTerraNova 3WSWHE BOCES-Developed GED Math AssessmentGED ELATerraNova 3WSWHE BOCES-Developed GED ELA AssessmentEnvironmental Conservation JMT-Regionally Developed Environmental Conservation& Forestry& Forestry AssessmentJMT-Regionally Developed Career ReadinessAssessmentMath Foundations UGNYSAAWSWHE BOCES-Developed Math Foundations UGAssessmentAIS Math (grades 4-5)NYS Grade 3-5 Math AssessmentWSWHE BOCES-Developed Grade 4-5 MathAssessmentAIS ELA (grades 4-5)NYS Grade 3-5 ELA AssessmentWSWHE BOCES-Developed Grade 4-5 ELAAssessment8

Consideration 3: Use of School- or BOCES-wide, Group, or Team MeasuresThe use of school- or BOCES-wide, group, or team measures with one or more State/Regentsassessment(s) is a local decision made through collective bargaining.The APPR team has found examples of where your district can, subject to collective bargaining decisions,further reduce the number of assessments used in Task 2, the State Growth or Other Comparable Measuressubcomponent, and/or in Task 3, the Locally-selected Measures subcomponent, through the use of a schoolor BOCES-wide, group, or team measure based on one or more State/Regents assessment(s).Please see the chart below:CourseTask 2 Assessment NameTask 3 Assessment NamePhysical EducationWSWHE BOCES-Developed Grade K-12 PhysicalEducation AssessmentWSWHE BOCES-Developed Grade K-12 PhysicalEducation AssessmentArtWSWHE BOCES-Developed Grade K-12 ArtAssessmentWSWHE BOCES-Developed Grade K-12 ArtAssessmentMusicWSWHE BOCES-Developed Grade K-12 MusicAssessmentWSWHE BOCES-Developed Grade K-12 MusicAssessmentHealthWSWHE BOCES-Developed Grade 9-12 HealthAssessmentWSWHE BOCES-Developed Grade 9-12 HealthAssessmentJob SkillsWSWHE BOCES-Developed Grade 9-12 Job SkillsAssessmentWSWHE BOCES-Developed Grade 9-12 Job SkillsAssessmentArt (UG)WSWHE BOCES-Developed Grade UG Art AssessmentWSWHE BOCES-Developed UG Art Assessment21st Century SkillsWSWHE BOCES-Developed 21st Century SkillsAssessmentWSWHE BOCES-Developed 21st Century skillsAssessmentLibrary (grades 6-8)WSWHE BOCES-Developed Grade 6-8 LibraryAssessmentWSWHE BOCES-Developed Grade 6-8 LibraryAssessmentHealth (gra

MEMORANDUM To: District Superintendent James Dexter, WASHINGTON-SARATOGA-WARREN- HAMILTON-ESSEX BOCES From: Dr. Julia Rafa

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