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Appellate court reinstates termination of teacher found incompetent

On Board Online • May 29, 2017

By Kimberly A. Fanniff
Senior Staff Counsel

Lisa Broad, a tenured elementary school teacher in New York City public schools, received her unsatisfactory ratings in the 2009-10, 2011-12 and 2012-13 school years. Observations found issues with inattentive students and a dirty classroom as well as multiple concerns involving the quality of her teaching and classroom management skills.

In Broad v. New York City School Board/Department of Education, the Appellate Division of state Supreme Court, First Department, upheld her termination.

Decisions, decisions: Putting your manual online

On Board Online • May 29, 2017

By Stephanie Combs
Associate Policy Consultant

In the digital age, many districts have posted their policy manuals online or desire to do so. This article will explain how to select the best option for your district.

Controversial subjects are routine in today's classroom debates

On Board Online • May 29, 2017

By Stephanie Gouss
Special Correspondent

Your school district's mission statement probably includes something about preparing students to be conscientious citizens of the world. Toward that goal, teachers of social studies, science and English routinely ask students to discuss important - but controversial - topics.

Walk into a social studies classroom, and you might hear talk about immigration policy, health care, taxation, or the behavior of North Korea leader Kim Jong-un.

Elia releases draft learning standards

On Board Online • May 8, 2017

By Cathy Woodruff
Senior Writer

Education Commissioner MaryEllen Elia has released a retooled set of learning standards designed to move New York beyond the Common Core Learning Standards - and the controversies they sparked.

Stakeholders in the world of public education, including school board members and the public, have until June 2 to review and comment on the proposed New York State P-12 English Language Arts and Mathematics Learning Standards. Released on May 2, the full text is available at www.nysed.gov/aimhighny .

Support strong for aid increase

On Board Online • May 8, 2017

By Paul Heiser
Senior Research Analyst

A new poll finds strong support for the additional money for schools included in the recently enacted state budget.

The random poll of 714 registered voters across the state by the Siena College Research Institute asked respondents to what degree they agreed that the $1.1 billion increase in aid to local school districts "will make New York better."

Trump finally says something about education

On Board Online • May 8, 2017

Timothy G. Kremer
NYSSBA Executive Director

Every day, President Donald Trump makes news. We've learned what he thinks about a myriad of subjects. But he hasn't said much about public education, even when he had all the state Teachers of the Year in his office in late April.

So far, the most noteworthy signs of the direction of the administration have been the appointment of Betsy DeVos as secretary of education, the release of his budget proposal, and the recent signing of a sweeping executive order that directs Secretary DeVos to review - and repeal - regulations that have the federal government overstepping its authority.

Regents passing scores to remain 65

On Board Online • May 8, 2017

By Cathy Woodruff
Senior Writer

State Education Commissioner MaryEllen Elia has pulled the plug on a plan to raise the passing scores for math and English language arts Regents exams for students entering high school in 2018 and aiming to graduate in 2022.

This year's seventh graders were to be the first class required to pass the exams with scores at so-called "aspirational" levels - 75 for ELA and 80 for math - in order to graduate with Regents diplomas. Instead, the passing scores will remain at 65.

The decision was applauded by local school leaders, who see lots of changes ahead in the world of assessment.

Workers comp changes included in final budget

On Board Online • May 8, 2017

By Julie M. Marlette
Director of Governmental Relations

The recently enacted state budget included a number of changes to the workers compensation law, several of which were supported by NYSSBA and should result in substantial cost savings for school districts.

A summary of the changes is below.

  • Permanent partial disability. Since 2007, New York has had a limit on the period of time that carriers and self-insured individuals had to pay for permanent disabilities insurance coverge.

U.S. Supreme Court decision emphasizes local judgment in special education cases

On Board Online • May 8, 2017

By Jay Worona
Deputy Executive Director and General Counsel

For the first time since 1982, the U.S. Supreme Court has ruled on the specific entitlements that students with disabilities have under the federal Individuals with Disabilities Act (IDEA) to receive a free appropriate public education (FAPE).

In Endrew F. v. Douglas County School District, the nation's highest court unanimously decided that the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals erred when it ruled that it was sufficient for the school district in the case to provide a special education student with an educational benefit that was anything more than de minimis (trivial). That's too low a standard for FAPE, according to the court.

ESSA and New York's opportunity to educate the whole child

On Board Online • May 8, 2017

Betty Rosa
Regents Chancellor

In 2012, Joy Dryfoos passed away at the age of 86. You may not know her name or be familiar with her work, but she has been an inspiration for me. Some called her the "mother of the community school" because of her work to increase collaborations between schools, social service agencies, and health professionals in communities plagued by poverty and all the issues that poverty brings with it.

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