New York State ASCD

New York Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development


In This Issue
Recorded Conversations with Influential Voices
As the year unfolds, we will be interviewing and posting conversations 
with policy makers and other influential voices from across the state. 

Join Now
October, 2015 
Dear Colleagues,

With the colors of fall becoming vibrant,  we hope all is well for you and your classrooms, schools, and districts.  We invite you to share any good news from your work and we will be happy to share it in the upcoming newsletters. We thank Fred Ende, Karen Vitek, Karen Bell, and Theresa Gray for their contributions to the October issue.

We continue to provide updated information and vetted resources to help support you in your work. With a focus on New York, we also keep you connected with national issues. We invite you to let us know areas you are interested in having us cover. 

With best wishes,
Valerie and Jill

3-8 Testing Results
What Do Results Mean? 
Drawing a normal distribution bell curve on a chalkboard.
The recently published cut scores revealing results of last year's testing showed a consistent bell curve in grades 3-8 ELA  Between 4% and 11% failed to meet learning standards Between 18% and 23% partially met the standards. Between 66% and 73% met the standards and between 5% and 6% met the standards with distinction. A pretty standard bell curve. A similar bell curve exists for the math results as well. A growing concern about this mathematical phenomena is if they build a cut score system on a bell curve, how can we get to our stated goal to bring all students to be at levels 3 and 4, if the mathematics behind the system force a bell curve?
October APPR Update
A number of modifications have been made to the 3012-d requirements based on feedback form the field.  At the September Board of Regents meeting, a number of amendments were proposed for consideration (these wouldn't go into effect until December. . . they would first go before the Board for approval in November).  The changes proposed span both technical amendments (basically word changes to make the regulations easier to follow) and actionable items (those changes where policy would be impacted).  Below are the key actionable item changes (you can find additional information on the Board memo, located at this address.
  • SED will be reexamining its reliance on the current growth model for effectiveness. 
  • Districts in rural settings or those with only one registered school may be able to waive themselves from the independent evaluator clause of the educator observation category.  
  • Citing supporting educator privacy, SED is no longer requiring that parents be provided with educator scores on the student performance and observation categories.  Instead, the policy from 3012-c will carry over (with the exception of the fact that no composite effectiveness score exists).  This policy stipulates that the final quality rating of an educator must be shared if requested.
  • SED has clarified that though artifacts are no longer allowable to show sole evidence of meeting rubric elements, for those elements that are not observable during a classroom observation, conversation during pre- or post-observation, or during other natural conversation, may allow for these elements to be applied to an observation score.I
  • In addition, changes have been made to the RFQ for assessment submission for APPR purposes.  Assessments to be used for SLOs are no longer required to be tied to technical details (i.e. reliability, validity, etc.), nor do they require sponsorship from a BOCES.  Additional details on the RFQ can be found here.
Fred Ende is Assistant Director of Curriculum and Instructional Services for Putnam/ Northern Westchester BOCES.
Do We Need To Teach Coding?
And Why All Students?

With the recent news announced by NYC Mayor de Blasio that all students will be offered computer science you may be thinking about how your district is addressing this topic. Back in 2013 launched an initiative to improve access to computer science (coding) for all students with an emphasis on increasing diversity in the computer science field. They have been promoting the Hour of Code program during the first week of December. They have also worked on developing curriculum K-12 and training teachers.  Learning to code is being promoted as not only a means to better jobs for students but also to increase computational thinking skills by using technology to boost critical thinking, creativity and problem solving skills. Some key questions to ask are:  Are our teachers prepared to teach coding skills? How can we provide professional development? Where does coding fit into the curriculum for our youngest students? How can teaching coding skills help our students to be future ready? Where does coding fit into our STEM/STEAM initiatives? How can we increase interest in computer science for all of our students? 

Karen Vitek teaches Computer Science at Spackenkill High School in Poughkeepsie, NY    

Changing Educational Paradigms
Sir Ken Robinson
What is TeachLivE?

TeachLivE, the mixed reality
simulation in which individuals interact with avatars, is being used across the state to enhance clinical practice in teacher and leader preparation programs. There are multiple environments that can be utilized, including an upper elementary/middle school class, a high school class, and an adult avatar. Both Buffalo State and SUNY New Paltz have been using TeachLivE in their programs and are collaborating in a SUNY Innovative Instruction Technology Grant (IITG) to bring TeachLivE to more SUNY campuses for their education programs.

At SUNY New Paltz, TeachLivE is a component within the Educational Leadership program using the adult avatar. Scenarios are provided in which candidates take on the role of principal and engage in a "difficult conversation" with a parent, teacher or secretary.  Immediate feedback is given on the individual's performance and if time allows, the person can go back into the simulator and repeat the interaction implementing some of the suggestions. The pre-service programs utilize the opportunity to interact with student avatars with a variety of challenges, as candidates teach them a lesson. Observed and given feedback candidates are offered the opportunity to improve in a safe and encouraging environment.

No harm is done and candidates learn how to deescalate a situation and use policies to solve issues that they will undoubtedly encounter and learn the skills to effectively work in the field of education.

Karen Bell, Ph.D. is Associate Professor of Education at SUNY New Paltz

Making Learning Visible @ Erie 2-Chautauqua-Cattaraugus BOCES
                             This year our professional development team is  
working on "making learning visible" a la John Hattie. We'redoing this in our work to grow as leaders by selecting professional goals and gathering evidence around those goals in a very transparent and visual way. This might be pictures of exit tickets, workshop evaluations, follow up surveys and work or anything that captures the learning. We will work together with feedback partners to notice patterns or develop new lines of inquiry around which to gather additional evidence. Our hope is to not only to grow and develop our skills in working with adult learners, but to be able to model this type of reflection and assessment for the teachers that we support. It promises to be an interesting journey as it is messy and uncharted but full of potential for all of us! 

If you are interested in hearing about our progress, feel free to contact Theresa Gray, Coordinator, Integrated Education Services at Erie 2-Chautauqua-Cattaraugus BOCES at

Upcoming Events
3rd Annual SYMPOSIUM
November 3, 2015
Strategies for Engaging ALL Learners

November 16, 2015

Feedback, Requests, and Newsing
Use this link  to contact us with your thoughts and requests and with news you'd like us to consider for publishing about successes in your district.

The DiRT Directory is a valuable resource.  It is a registry of digital research tools for scholarly use.

P.O. Box 477
Greenfield Center, NY 12833