Albany, NY – Over the summer, the New York Board of Regents raised the bar to pass New York State tests. Nearly every school in the state saw its scores go down. Now, after raising proficiency standards on English and math exams that students took during the 2009-2010 school year, the Board wants to waive state requirements for providing academic intervention for many of those students. Capital District Bureau Chief Dave Lucas reports.
The Board of Regents is voting on a policy that will give school districts across the state what the regents terms "flexibility" in determining which students will receive academic intervention services (AIS) during the 2010-11 school year. Under the regulation, every student who would have been required to receive extra help based on the 2008-09 test scores will receive that help. During this year only, districts would be able to exercise local discretion in providing AIS services to students who scored at the proficient level under the old cut scores but below the proficient level on the new, higher cut scores on the State's grades 3-8 English language arts and mathematics exams. Douglas Williams of Schenectady says if we're going to make every child a success in New York State, we have to start with the children that are NOT achieving, and give them the tools they need to be successful. Even though the state may not provide funding, education advocates say that the Rochester school district appears to be the only one of the New York's Big Five schools that will continue to offer the intervention services to students. It is not known how many districts in total will opt to continue to provide those services. The regents responded to a request for vote results by email, stating "The full Board will act on this measure tomorrow."