New Pathway to a NYS High School Equivalency Diploma

NY-ADR

11/1/17 N.Y. St. Reg. EDU-44-17-00009-P
NEW YORK STATE REGISTER
VOLUME XXXIX, ISSUE 44
November 01, 2017
RULE MAKING ACTIVITIES
EDUCATION DEPARTMENT
PROPOSED RULE MAKING
NO HEARING(S) SCHEDULED
 
I.D No. EDU-44-17-00009-P
New Pathway to a NYS High School Equivalency Diploma
PURSUANT TO THE PROVISIONS OF THE State Administrative Procedure Act, NOTICE is hereby given of the following proposed rule:
Proposed Action:
Amendment of section 100.7 of Title 8 NYCRR.
Statutory authority:
Education Law, sections 101, 207, 208, 209, 305(1), (2), 308, 309 and 3204(3)
Subject:
New Pathway to a NYS High School Equivalency Diploma.
Purpose:
Allows students to use passing scores on certain Regents examinations in lieu of certain sub-tasks on TASC.
Text of proposed rule:
1. Clauses (a) and (b) of subparagraph (i) of paragraph (2) of subdivision (a) of section 100.7 of the Regulations of the Commissioner of Education are amended to read as follows:
(i) In order to receive a high school equivalency diploma, candidates shall:
(a) take a general comprehensive examination prescribed for the program, in English, and achieve a standing designated as satisfactory by the Commissioner of Education, except a passing score or scores, on any mathematics Regents examination, ELA Regents examination, Social Studies Regents examination and/or Science Regents examination or any other examination approved by the commissioner pursuant to section 100.2(f) or (mm) of this Part, may be accepted as a passing score on the corresponding sub-test or sub-tests of any general comprehensive examination prescribed for the program and administered on or after February 7, 2018. For purposes of this clause, passing score or scores on any Mathematics Regents examination, English Regents examination, Social Studies Regents examination and/or Science Regents examination shall mean a passing score as defined in section 100.5(a)(5)(i)(a)(2) and (3); (a)(5)(i)(b)(2) and (3) and 100.5(g) (English); (a)(5)(i)(c)(3) and (4) and 100.5(g) (Mathematics); (a)(5)(i)(d)(2) and (3) (Science); (a)(5)(i)(e)(4) and (5) (Global History and geography); and/or 100.5(d)(7)(i)(a),(b) and (c) of this Part, as applicable for such examination; or
(b) take a general comprehensive examination prescribed for the program in a language other than English, where available, and achieve a standing designated as satisfactory by the commissioner on such examination, except [that such] a passing score or scores on any mathematics Regents examination, ELA Regents examination, Social Studies Regents examination and/or Science Regents examination or any other examination approved by the commissioner pursuant to section 100.2(f) or (mm) of this Part may be accepted as a passing score on the corresponding sub-test or sub-tests of any general comprehensive examination prescribed for the program and administered on or after February 7, 2018, except that such candidates shall receive a high school equivalency diploma with a transcript that bears an inscription indicating the language in which the general comprehensive examination was taken. For purposes of this clause, passing score or scores on a mathematics Regents examination, ELA Regents examination, Social Studies Regents examination and/or Science Regents examination shall mean a passing score as defined in100.5(a)(5)(i)(a)(2) and (3); (a)(5)(i)(b)(2) and (3) and 100.5(g) (English); (a)(5)(i)(c)(3) and (4) and 100.5(g) (Mathematics); (a)(5)(i)(d)(2) and (3) (Science); (a)(5)(i)(e)(4) and (5) (Global History and geography); and/or 100.5(d)(7)(i)(a), (b) and (c) of this Part, as applicable for such examination. Such candidates shall receive a high school equivalency diploma with a transcript that bears an inscription indicating the language in which the general comprehensive examination was taken, and may exchange such diploma with a transcript for a diploma with a transcript not containing such inscription upon achievement of a satisfactory standing on the Reading and Writing subtest of the general comprehensive exam subsequently taken in the English language; or
Text of proposed rule and any required statements and analyses may be obtained from:
Kirti Goswami, NYS Education Department, Office of Counsel, 89 Washington Avenue, Albany, NY 12234, (518) 474-6400, email: legal@nysed.gov
Data, views or arguments may be submitted to:
NYS Education Department, 89 Washington Avenue, Albany, NY 12234
Public comment will be received until:
45 days after publication of this notice.
Regulatory Impact Statement
1. STATUTORY AUTHORITY:
Education Law section 101 continues the existence of the Education Department, with the Board of Regents at its head and the Commissioner of Education as the chief administrative officer, and charges the Department with the general management and supervision of public schools and the educational work of the State.
Education Law section 207 empowers the Board of Regents and the Commissioner to adopt rules and regulations to carry out laws of the State regarding education and the functions and duties conferred on the Department by law.
Education Law section 208 authorizes the Regents to establish examinations as to attainments in learning and to award and confer suitable certificates, diplomas and degrees on persons who satisfactorily meet the requirements prescribed.
Education Law section 209 authorizes the Regents to establish secondary school examinations in studies furnishing a suitable standard of graduation and of admission to colleges; to confer certificates or diplomas on students who satisfactorily pass such examinations; and requires the admission to these examinations of any person who shall conform to the rules and pay the fees prescribed by the Regents.
Education Law section 305(1) and (2) provide that the Commissioner, as chief executive officer of the State system of education and of the Board of Regents, shall have general supervision over all schools and institutions subject to the provisions of the Education Law, or of any statute relating to education, and shall execute all educational policies determined by the Board of Regents.
Education Law section 308 authorizes the Commissioner to enforce and give effect to any provision in the Education Law or in any other general or special law pertaining to the school system of the State or any rule or direction of the Regents.
Education Law section 309 charges the Commissioner with the general supervision of boards of education and their management and conduct of all departments of instruction.
Education Law section 3204(3) provides for required courses of study in the public schools and authorizes the State Education Department to alter the subjects of required instruction.
2. LEGISLATIVE OBJECTIVES:
The proposed amendment is consistent with the authority conferred by the above statutes and is necessary to implement Regents policy relating to expanded pathways for earning a high school equivalency diploma.
3. NEEDS AND BENEFITS:
Currently, in New York State (NYS), there are three pathways toward earning a high school equivalency diploma: TASC™ testing (Test Assessing Secondary Completion); Approved 24-College-Credit Program; and National External Diploma Program (NEDP).
Various constituents have raised concerns that the current pathways to a NYS HSE diploma adopted by the Board of Regents to date are limited in scope and do not provide individuals who have passed required Regents examinations with the ability to utilize those passing scores towards earning a NYS HSE diploma after they have exited secondary school.
The New York State Education Department (NYSED) has discussed the feasibility of offering individuals pursuing a HSE diploma the option of being able to utilize passing Regents examination scores in core subjects in place of corresponding TASC™ subtests. These conversations have been influenced by factors including the following:
• The long-standing practice that passing HSE examination scores from a given GED® test or TASC™ test series can be used indefinitely while that series is still being administered.
• The practice of “grandfathering” implemented by NYSED, which permits the use of passing scores from the 2002 GED® series, in conjunction with new TASC™ scores, to determine eligibility to earn a HSE diploma.
• The use of passing scores on certain Regents examinations as a requirement for high school graduation.
• The policy of allowing school-aged students to use any Regents examination score toward high school graduation purposes, regardless of the age of the score.
Currently, students who do not earn 22 credits and pass at least 5 assessments (Regents examinations, Department-approved alternatives or pathway examinations) are unable to earn a high school diploma, and get no credit or value for the classes and examinations they may have passed. Those who leave secondary school prior to acquiring a high school diploma often do not reengage in any educational program until 21 years of age or older. While it is anticipated that post-compulsory aged youth (17-21) would be most likely to be positively impacted by this pathway, it would be an incentive and advantage also to those older adults seeking their HSE diploma.
The purpose of allowing students to utilize passing Regents examination scores toward earning an HSE diploma after they have exited secondary school would be to encourage engagement in educational programs, improve and increase high school completion rates, and work toward a strategy to better connect students to Adult Education programming with the goal of achieving a HSE diploma.
At the September 2017 Regents meeting, the Board of Regents directed Department staff to develop a regulation to establish a fourth pathway to a high school equivalency diploma. The proposed amendment allows students who have passed any Regents high school examination in Mathematics, English Language Arts (ELA), Social Studies or Science, the opportunity to use passing scores in place of the corresponding TASC™ subtests. Given that Regents examinations are valid measures of the knowledge, skills and abilities required for high school graduation, valid passing scores on Regents examinations should count for the associated TASC subtest.
Conditions:
• Students will not be allowed to utilize previously passed Regents examination scores towards a HSE diploma until they have exited from high school.
• A passing score on a Regents examination shall mean a 65, for students with disabilities, a 55-64. It also includes an appeal score of 52-54 for students with disabilities pursuant to § 100.5(d)(7)(i)(c) of the Commissioner’s regulations. English Language Learners who enter the United States in grades 9 or higher, and do not score 65 or higher on the ELA Regents Examination after at least 2 attempts, may utilize a score of 55-64, pursuant to the appeal option specified in § 100.5(d)(7)(i)(b) of the Commissioner’s regulations, to substitute for the TASC Reading and Writing subtests. A passing score shall also include any of the appeal options set forth in § 100.5(d)(7)(i)(a).
This new pathway to an HSE diploma will provide equitable access points and a diverse means by which New Yorkers can earn HSE credentials. The ability to use passing Regents examination scores toward earning an HSE diploma will expand the opportunity for high school students at risk of dropping out as well as students with disabilities to stay engaged with their education and offer an incentive for meeting graduation requirements to those whose circumstances may not allow for completion of high school.
4. COSTS:
(a) Costs to State government: None.
(b) Costs to local governments: None.
(c) Costs to private regulated parties: None.
(d) Costs to regulating agency for implementation and continued administration of this rule: None.
5. LOCAL GOVERNMENT MANDATES:
The proposed amendment does not impose any additional program, service, duty or responsibility upon local governments but merely implements Regents policy relating to expanded pathways for earning a high school equivalency diploma.
6. PAPERWORK:
The proposed amendment does not impose any new specific recordkeeping, reporting or other paperwork requirements.
7. DUPLICATION:
The proposed amendment does not duplicate existing State or federal regulations.
8. ALTERNATIVES:
There were no alternatives and none were considered.
9. FEDERAL STANDARDS:
There are no related federal standards.
10. COMPLIANCE SCHEDULE:
It is anticipated that regulated parties will be able to achieve compliance with the proposed amendment by its effective date.
Regulatory Flexibility Analysis
The purpose of the proposed amendment is to implement Regents policy relating to expanded pathways for earning a high school equivalency diploma by removing barriers to receiving a high school equivalency diploma for individuals who have achieved a passing score on at least on Regents examination.
The proposed amendments to the Regulations do not impose any new recordkeeping or other compliance requirements, and will not have an adverse economic impact, on small businesses or local governments. Because it is evident from the nature of the rule that it does not affect small businesses or local governments, no further steps were needed to ascertain that fact and one were taken. Accordingly, a regulatory flexibility analysis for small businesses is not required and one has not been prepared.
Rural Area Flexibility Analysis
1. TYPES AND ESTIMATED NUMBER OF RURAL AREAS:
The purpose of the proposed emergency amendment is to implement Regents policy relating to expanded pathways for earning a high school equivalency diploma by removing barriers to receiving a high school equivalency diploma for individuals who have achieved a passing score on at least on Regents examination.
This proposed amendment applies to all individuals seeking a high school equivalency diploma, including those in the 44 rural counties with fewer than 200,000 inhabitants and the 71 towns and urban counties with a population density of 150 square miles or less.
2. REPORTING, RECORDKEEPING, AND OTHER COMPLIANCE REQUIREMENTS; AND PROFESSIONAL SERVICES:
Currently, in New York State (NYS), there are three pathways toward earning a high school equivalency diploma: TASC™ testing (Test Assessing Secondary Completion); Approved 24-College-Credit Program; and National External Diploma Program (NEDP).
Various constituents have raised concerns that the current pathways to a NYS HSE diploma adopted by the Board of Regents to date are limited in scope and do not provide individuals who have passed required Regents examinations with the ability to utilize those passing scores towards earning a NYS HSE diploma after they have exited secondary school.
The New York State Education Department (NYSED) has discussed the feasibility of offering individuals pursuing a HSE diploma the option of being able to utilize passing Regents examination scores in core subjects in place of corresponding TASC™ subtests. These conversations have been influenced by factors including the following:
• The long-standing practice that passing HSE examination scores from a given GED® test or TASC™ test series can be used indefinitely while that series is still being administered.
• The practice of “grandfathering” implemented by NYSED, which permits the use of passing scores from the 2002 GED® series, in conjunction with new TASC™ scores, to determine eligibility to earn a HSE diploma.
• The use of passing scores on certain Regents examinations as a requirement for high school graduation.
• The policy of allowing school-aged students to use any Regents examination score toward high school graduation purposes, regardless of the age of the score.
Currently, students who do not earn 22 credits and pass at least 5 assessments (Regents examinations, Department-approved alternatives or pathway examinations) are unable to earn a high school diploma, and get no credit or value for the classes and examinations they may have passed. Those who leave secondary school prior to acquiring a high school diploma often do not reengage in any educational program until 21 years of age or older. While it is anticipated that post-compulsory aged youth (17-21) would be most likely to be positively impacted by this pathway, it would be an incentive and advantage also to those older adults seeking their HSE diploma.
The purpose of allowing students to utilize passing Regents examination scores toward earning an HSE diploma after they have exited secondary school would be to encourage engagement in educational programs, improve and increase high school completion rates, and work toward a strategy to better connect students to Adult Education programming with the goal of achieving a HSE diploma.
At the September 2017 Regents meeting, the Board of Regents directed Department staff to develop a regulation to establish a fourth pathway to a high school equivalency diploma. The proposed amendment allows students who have passed any Regents high school examination in Mathematics, English Language Arts (ELA), Social Studies or Science, the opportunity to use passing scores in place of the corresponding TASC™ subtests. Given that Regents examinations are valid measures of the knowledge, skills and abilities required for high school graduation, valid passing scores on Regents examinations should count for the associated TASC subtest.
Conditions:
• Students will not be allowed to utilize previously passed Regents examination scores towards a HSE diploma until they have exited from high school.
• A passing score on a Regents examination shall mean a 65, for students with disabilities, a 55-64. It also includes an appeal score of 52-54 for students with disabilities pursuant to § 100.5(d)(7)(i)(c) of the Commissioner’s regulations. English Language Learners who enter the United States in grades 9 or higher, and do not score 65 or higher on the ELA Regents Examination after at least 2 attempts, may utilize a score of 55-64, pursuant to the appeal option specified in § 100.5(d)(7)(i)(b) of the Commissioner’s regulations, to substitute for the TASC Reading and Writing subtests. A passing score shall also include any of the appeal options set forth in § 100.5(d)(7)(i)(a).
This new pathway to an HSE diploma will provide equitable access points and a diverse means by which New Yorkers can earn HSE credentials. The ability to use passing Regents examination scores toward earning an HSE diploma will expand the opportunity for high school students at risk of dropping out as well as students with disabilities to stay engaged with their education and offer an incentive for meeting graduation requirements to those whose circumstances may not allow for completion of high school.
No professional services are required to comply.
3. COSTS:
The proposed amendment does not impose any new costs on high school equivalency diploma candidates in New York State, including those located in rural areas of the State.
4. MINIMIZING ADVERSE IMPACT:
The amendments were proposed to implement Regents policy relating to expanded pathways for earning a high school equivalency diploma by removing barriers to receiving a high school equivalency diploma for individuals who have achieved a passing score on at least on Regents examination. The amendment applies equally to all qualified individuals pursuing a high school equivalency diploma in New York State.
5. RURAL AREA PARTICIPATION:
Copies of the rule have been provided to Rural Advisory Committee for review and comment.
Job Impact Statement
The purpose of the proposed amendment is to establish a fourth pathway for a high school diploma by allowing students who have passed any Regents high school examination in Mathematics, English Language Arts (ELA), Social Studies or Science, the opportunity to use passing scores in place of the corresponding TASC™ subtests.
Because it is evident from the nature of the proposed rule that it will have no impact on the number of jobs or employment opportunities in New York State, and no further steps were needed to ascertain that fact and none were taken. Accordingly, a job impact statement is not required and one has not been prepared.
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