Bill Text: NY A08435 | 2019-2020 | General Assembly | Introduced


Bill Title: Authorizes the chancellor of the city district to control and operate certain specialized high schools in the city of New York and establishes a commission on middle school achievement; and provides for the repeal of certain provisions upon the expiration thereof.

Spectrum: Partisan Bill (Democrat 2-0)

Status: (Introduced) 2019-07-03 - referred to education [A08435 Detail]

Download: New_York-2019-A08435-Introduced.html



                STATE OF NEW YORK
        ________________________________________________________________________

                                          8435

                               2019-2020 Regular Sessions

                   IN ASSEMBLY

                                      July 3, 2019
                                       ___________

        Introduced  by  M. of A. ABBATE, COLTON -- read once and referred to the
          Committee on Education

        AN ACT to amend the education law and the  administrative  code  of  the
          city  of  New  York,  in relation to authorizing the chancellor of the
          city district to control and operate certain specialized high  schools
          in the city of New York and to establish a commission on middle school
          achievement;  and  providing for the repeal of certain provisions upon
          the expiration thereof

          The People of the State of New York, represented in Senate and  Assem-
        bly, do enact as follows:

     1    Section  1. Section 2590-a of the education law is amended by adding a
     2  new subdivision 11 to read as follows:
     3    11. Specialized high school admissions test.   The  term  "specialized
     4  high  school  admissions test" shall mean the competitive, objective and
     5  scholastic achievement examination required for admission to specialized
     6  high schools pursuant to section twenty-five hundred  ninety-g  of  this
     7  article  in  effect prior to the thirty-first of March, nineteen hundred
     8  ninety-seven.
     9    § 2. Paragraph (b) of subdivision 1 of section 2590-h of the education
    10  law, as amended by chapter 345 of the laws of 2009, is amended  to  read
    11  as follows:
    12    (b) all specialized [senior] high schools.
    13    (i)  The  [special] specialized high schools shall include the present
    14  schools known as:
    15    (A) The Bronx High School of Science, Stuyvesant High School, Brooklyn
    16  Technical High School, Fiorello H. LaGuardia High School  of  Music  and
    17  the Arts in the borough of Manhattan, Brooklyn Latin School, High School
    18  for Math, Science and Engineering at City College, High School for Amer-
    19  ican  Studies at Lehman College, Queens High School for Sciences at York
    20  College, and Staten Island Technical High School; and

         EXPLANATION--Matter in italics (underscored) is new; matter in brackets
                              [ ] is old law to be omitted.
                                                                   LBD13382-01-9

        A. 8435                             2

     1    (B) such further schools which the city board may designate from  time
     2  to  time. The special schools shall be permitted to maintain a discovery
     3  program in accordance with the law in effect on the date  preceding  the
     4  effective  date of this section; admissions to the special schools shall
     5  be  conducted in accordance with the law in effect on the date preceding
     6  the effective date of this section;
     7    (ii)  The  chancellor  shall  establish  procedures  to  ensure  that,
     8  commencing  in the two thousand twenty--two thousand twenty-one academic
     9  year and for each academic year  thereafter,  all  eighth  grade  public
    10  school  students  take  the  specialized  high  school  admissions test,
    11  provided, however, that:
    12    (A) the specialized high school admissions  test  takes  place  during
    13  regular  school  hours and shall be given no later than the thirty-first
    14  of October of each academic year; and
    15    (B) the procedures shall permit the parent or guardian of an  eligible
    16  student  to  opt  such student out of the specialized high school admis-
    17  sions test, at the parent or guardian's discretion for any reason.
    18    (iii) Notwithstanding any other provision of law, the chancellor shall
    19  undertake a periodic study of the  specialized  high  school  admissions
    20  test.
    21    (A) The periodic study shall evaluate:
    22    (1)  the specialized high school admissions test's predictive validity
    23  concerning students' performance at specialized high schools; and
    24    (2) whether questions on the specialized high school  admissions  test
    25  evidence  bias  on  the  basis  of sex, gender, race, religion or creed,
    26  national origin or ancestry, or income.
    27    (B) Such study shall be conducted by a qualified third party and occur
    28  on a schedule to be determined by the chancellor, but no less than every
    29  four years. The first study  pursuant  to  this  subparagraph  shall  be
    30  completed  and  the  results  published  pursuant  to clause (C) of this
    31  subparagraph no later than the fifteenth of July, two  thousand  twenty-
    32  one.
    33    (C)  The  results  of  each  such study shall be published on the city
    34  board's official internet website no later than one month after they are
    35  received by the chancellor. A copy of the study shall be filed with  the
    36  city board and made available to parent groups, community boards, commu-
    37  nity  superintendents,  and  school-based  management  teams in a manner
    38  determined by the chancellor.
    39    (D) The score of any specialized high school admissions  test  subject
    40  shall  not  be  released  or disclosed by the test agency to any person,
    41  organization, corporation, association, college, university, or  govern-
    42  mental  agency  or  subdivision  unless  specifically  authorized by the
    43  specialized high school admissions test subject. The  test  agency  may,
    44  however, release all scores received by a specialized high school admis-
    45  sions  test  subject  on  a test to anyone designated by the specialized
    46  high school admissions test subject to receive the current  score.  This
    47  section  shall  not  be  construed to prohibit the release of scores and
    48  other information in the possession of a test  agency  for  purposes  of
    49  research leading to studies and reports concerning the tests themselves.
    50  Such  studies and reports shall contain no information identifiable with
    51  any individual specialized high school admissions test subject  or  user
    52  institution unless authorized by such individual or institution.
    53    (iv)  The  chancellor  shall  establish  procedures to provide for the
    54  public release of the results  of  any  bias  and  sensitivity  analyses
    55  conducted as part of the specialized high school admissions test.

        A. 8435                             3

     1    §  3. Subdivision 2 of section 2590-h of the education law, as amended
     2  by chapter 345 of the laws of 2009, is amended to read as follows:
     3    2. Establish, control and operate new schools or programs of the types
     4  specified in subdivision one of this section, or to discontinue any such
     5  schools and programs as he or she may determine; provided, however, that
     6  the chancellor shall:
     7    (a)  consult  with  the  affected community district education council
     8  before:
     9    [(a)] (i) substantially expanding or reducing such an existing  school
    10  or program within a community district;
    11    [(b)] (ii) initially utilizing a community district school or facility
    12  for such a school or program; and
    13    [(c)] (iii) instituting any new program within a community district.
    14    (b)  establish  by  the  two thousand twenty-two--two thousand twenty-
    15  three academic year at least ten specialized high schools, in accordance
    16  with the chancellor's regulations on specialized high schools, in  addi-
    17  tion  to  those  specialized  high  schools  identified in clause (A) of
    18  subparagraph (i) of paragraph (b) of subdivision one  of  this  section,
    19  provided,  however,  that  the  majority of the specialized high schools
    20  established pursuant to this paragraph are located in areas that are  at
    21  least  two  miles  away  from  any specialized high school identified in
    22  clause (A) of subparagraph (i) of paragraph (b) of  subdivision  one  of
    23  this section.
    24    (c)  establish  by  the  two  thousand twenty--two thousand twenty-one
    25  academic year a test preparation program available, at no cost,  to  all
    26  public-school  students  in  the  sixth and seventh grades in connection
    27  with the specialized high school admissions test. This program shall  be
    28  optional for sixth and seventh-grade students.
    29    (i) The test preparation program classes shall be scheduled outside of
    30  the regular operating hours of the school day and include class sessions
    31  meeting  on  Saturdays  during  the  school year and weekdays during the
    32  summer for students completing sixth and seventh grade.
    33    (ii) Transportation and meals shall be provided to all  public  school
    34  students who are eligible for this program at no cost.
    35    (iii)  The  chancellor shall establish procedures for notifying public
    36  school students and parents or guardians about the availability of  such
    37  test  preparation  program  at  least twice during each of the students'
    38  fifth and sixth grade years, at each parent-teacher conference occurring
    39  during those school years, and through other  methods  of  communication
    40  deemed appropriate by the chancellor.
    41    (d)  prepare  and  release  a  test  preparation guide, which shall be
    42  distributed at no cost to all public school seventh  grade  students  on
    43  the first day of each school year, that includes:
    44    (i)  a  breakdown of the topics covered by the specialized high school
    45  admissions test;
    46    (ii) actual questions used on the  previous  year's  specialized  high
    47  school admissions test; and
    48    (iii)  any other information the chancellor determines would be appro-
    49  priate to provide to assist students in preparing  for  the  specialized
    50  high school admissions test.
    51    (e)  establish  an  outreach  program  to  raise  awareness  about the
    52  specialized high school admissions test, the  test  preparation  program
    53  established  pursuant to paragraph (c) of this subdivision, and the test
    54  preparation guide developed pursuant to paragraph (d) of  this  subdivi-
    55  sion,  which  collectively shall be defined for purposes of this section
    56  as the specialized high school admissions test offerings. Such  outreach

        A. 8435                             4

     1  program  shall prioritize engagement with eligible students, parents and
     2  guardians in community districts with low rates of  public  high  school
     3  students  attending  specialized  high  schools  and include, but not be
     4  limited to:
     5    (i) a dedicated outreach staff that engages eligible students, parents
     6  and  guardians  at  middle  schools and appropriate community venues and
     7  events regarding the specialized high school admissions test offerings;
     8    (ii) advertisements, including within mass transit locations;
     9    (iii) a direct telephone  outreach  campaign  for  eligible  students,
    10  parents  and  guardians to receive and solicit information regarding the
    11  specialized high school admissions test offerings;
    12    (iv) dedicated middle school specialists on staff at the 311  customer
    13  service center, as defined in chapter three of title twenty-three of the
    14  administrative  code  of  the  city  of New York, for eligible students,
    15  parents and guardians who solicit information regarding the  specialized
    16  high school admissions test offerings; and
    17    (v) partnerships with community-based organizations, the New York city
    18  housing  authority, the mayor's office of immigrant affairs, and the New
    19  York city department of homeless  services  to  facilitate  outreach  to
    20  eligible  students, parents and guardians regarding the specialized high
    21  school admissions test offerings.
    22    § 4. The administrative code of the city of New  York  is  amended  by
    23  adding a new section 21-974.1 to read as follows:
    24    § 21-974.1 Gifted  and talented programs and classes.  Notwithstanding
    25  any other provision of law, rule, regulation or local law to the contra-
    26  ry, the department shall direct:
    27    a. Each school district to establish by the two  thousand  twenty--two
    28  thousand  twenty-one  academic  year  at  least  one district gifted and
    29  talented program for kindergarten  through  fifth  grade  public  school
    30  students  in  accordance  with  existing  gifted and talented admissions
    31  standards and processes.
    32    b. Each school district shall  register  all  eligible  public  school
    33  students  not currently enrolled in gifted and talented programs to take
    34  the gifted and talented admissions examination as of  the  two  thousand
    35  twenty--two  thousand twenty-one academic year. A parent or guardian may
    36  opt-out of the gifted and talented admissions examination on  behalf  of
    37  such student.
    38    § 5. 1. No later than thirty days following the effective date of this
    39  act,  there  shall be established a commission on middle school achieve-
    40  ment (hereinafter referred to as the "commission") to provide  guidance,
    41  advice,  and make recommendations to the chancellor of the city district
    42  on matters pertaining to education policy, performance and innovation in
    43  New York city middle schools.
    44    2. The members of the commission shall include, but not be limited to,
    45  representatives of  academic  institutions,  representatives  of  public
    46  employees,  and  stakeholders  with  experience in education policy. The
    47  commission, which shall include at least two residents of  each  borough
    48  of  New  York  city,  shall  be composed of fifteen members appointed as
    49  follows:
    50    (a) five members appointed by the governor;
    51    (b) five members appointed by the majority leader of the senate; and
    52    (c) five members appointed by the speaker of the assembly.
    53    3. No member of the commission shall be disqualified from holding  any
    54  public office or employment, nor shall he or she forfeit any such office
    55  or employment by virtue of his or her appointment hereunder. All members

        A. 8435                             5

     1  of  the  commission and its subcommittees shall serve at the pleasure of
     2  their respective appointing authority.
     3    4.  The  commission  shall select a chair, or co-chairs, by a majority
     4  vote of all members of the commission.
     5    5. A majority of the total members of the  commission  who  have  been
     6  appointed  shall  constitute  a  quorum,  and all recommendations of the
     7  commission shall require approval of a majority of  its  total  members.
     8  Any  subcommittee  shall  present  its  findings  to  the commission for
     9  approval.
    10    6. Every agency, department, office, division or public  authority  of
    11  the  state  and of New York city shall cooperate with the commission and
    12  furnish such information and assistance as the commission determines  is
    13  reasonably necessary to accomplish its purposes.
    14    7.  The  commission shall attempt to engage and solicit the additional
    15  input of a broad and diverse range of groups, organizations,  and  indi-
    16  viduals  who are not members of the commission, including, without limi-
    17  tation, members of school boards, superintendents, principals, teachers,
    18  parents and representatives of public sector employees, and may  request
    19  documents,  conduct public hearings, hear the testimony of witnesses and
    20  take any other actions it deems necessary to carry out its purposes.
    21    8. The commission shall comprehensively review  and  assess  New  York
    22  city's  middle schools, including their structure, operations, and proc-
    23  esses, to identify successful models and strategies that support student
    24  achievement and provide students with  a  high-quality  education.  Such
    25  review  shall  include, but not be limited to, evaluation of the follow-
    26  ing:
    27    (i) teacher recruitment  and  performance,  including  incentives  for
    28  teacher retention as well as the teacher preparation, certification, and
    29  evaluation systems utilized in city district middle schools;
    30    (ii)  factors  that  support student achievement from pre-kindergarten
    31  through middle school and prepare students for a  successful  transition
    32  to high school, including, but not limited to class size, student-teach-
    33  er  ratios,  and  availability  of supplemental individualized or small-
    34  group tutoring;
    35    (iii) parent and family engagement, including the impact of the school
    36  calendar,  school  schedule  and  district-level  policies  on  parental
    37  involvement in middle school;
    38    (iv)  unique issues faced by high-need urban middle schools, including
    39  identification of services that these  districts  might  require  to  be
    40  successful;
    41    (v)  past  failures  to improve performance at under-performing middle
    42  schools; and
    43    (vi) whether the overall structure of New York city's middle and  high
    44  school system meets students' needs.
    45    9.  In  carrying  out its responsibilities, the commission shall study
    46  national and international public education models  and  best  practices
    47  for the education of middle school-age children and make recommendations
    48  regarding ways to increase educational productivity and student perform-
    49  ance in New York city middle schools.
    50    10.  The  commission shall make final recommendations to the governor,
    51  the state legislature, and the chancellor no later than the thirty-first
    52  of December, two thousand nineteen.
    53    § 6. This act shall take effect immediately, provided, however, that:
    54    (a) the amendments to paragraph (b) of subdivision 1 and subdivision 2
    55  of section 2590-h of the education law made by sections two and three of

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     1  this act shall not affect the expiration of such section and subdivision
     2  and shall be deemed to expire therewith; and
     3    (b)  section  five  of  this  act  shall expire and be deemed repealed
     4  December 31, 2019.
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