Bill Text: NY A08437 | 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 directs each school district in the city of New York to provide at least one district gifted and talented program for kindergarten through fifth grade public school students.

Spectrum: Partisan Bill (Democrat 1-0)

Status: (Introduced) 2019-07-08 - referred to education [A08437 Detail]

Download: New_York-2019-A08437-Introduced.html



                STATE OF NEW YORK
        ________________________________________________________________________

                                          8437

                               2019-2020 Regular Sessions

                   IN ASSEMBLY

                                      July 8, 2019
                                       ___________

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

        AN  ACT to amend the education law, in relation to authorizing the chan-
          cellor of the city district to control and operate certain specialized
          high schools in the city of New York; and to amend the  administrative
          code  of  the  city  of New York, in relation to directing each school
          district in the city of New York to  provide  at  least  one  district
          gifted  and  talented  program  for  kindergarten  through fifth grade
          public school students

          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 as in effect prior to March thirty-first, nineteen hundred nine-
     8  ty-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:
    14    (A) the present schools known as[:] The Bronx High School of  Science,
    15  Stuyvesant  High  School,  Brooklyn  Technical  High School, Fiorello H.
    16  LaGuardia High School of Music and the Arts in the borough of Manhattan,
    17  Brooklyn Latin School, High School for Math, Science and Engineering  at
    18  City College, High School for American Studies at Lehman College, Queens
    19  High  School  for  Sciences at York College, and Staten Island Technical
    20  High School;

         EXPLANATION--Matter in italics (underscored) is new; matter in brackets
                              [ ] is old law to be omitted.
                                                                   LBD13214-01-9

        A. 8437                             2

     1    (B) the specialized high schools established pursuant to paragraph (b)
     2  of subdivision two of this section; and
     3    (C)  and  such further schools which the city board may designate from
     4  time to time. The special schools  shall  be  permitted  to  maintain  a
     5  discovery  program  in  accordance  with  the  law in effect on the date
     6  preceding the effective date of this section; admissions to the  special
     7  schools  shall  be conducted in accordance with the law in effect on the
     8  date preceding the effective date of this section;
     9    (ii)  The  chancellor  shall  establish  procedures  to  ensure  that,
    10  commencing  in the two thousand twenty--two thousand twenty-one academic
    11  year and for each academic year  thereafter,  all  eighth  grade  public
    12  school  students  take  the  specialized  high  school  admissions test,
    13  provided, however, that:
    14    (A) the specialized high school admissions  test  takes  place  during
    15  regular  school hours and be given no later than October thirty-first of
    16  each academic year; and
    17    (B) the procedures shall permit the parent or guardian of an  eligible
    18  student  to  opt  that student out of the specialized high school admis-
    19  sions test, at the parent or guardian's discretion for any reason.
    20    § 3. Paragraph (b) of subdivision 1 of section 2590-h of the education
    21  law, as amended by chapter 720 of the laws of 1996, is amended  to  read
    22  as follows:
    23    (b) all specialized [senior] high schools.
    24    (i) The [special] specialized high schools shall include:
    25    (A)  the present schools known as[:] The Bronx High School of Science,
    26  Stuyvesant High School, Brooklyn  Technical  High  School,  Fiorello  H.
    27  LaGuardia High School of Music and the Arts in the borough of Manhattan,
    28  Brooklyn  Latin School, High School for Math, Science and Engineering at
    29  City College, High School for American Studies at Lehman College, Queens
    30  High School for Sciences at York College, and  Staten  Island  Technical
    31  High School;
    32    (B) the specialized high schools established pursuant to paragraph (b)
    33  of subdivision two of this section; and
    34    (C)  and  such further schools which the city board may designate from
    35  time to time.
    36    The special schools shall be permitted to maintain a discovery program
    37  in accordance with the law in effect on the date preceding the effective
    38  date of this  section;  admissions  to  the  special  schools  shall  be
    39  conducted in accordance with the law in effect on the date preceding the
    40  effective date of this section;
    41    (ii)  The  chancellor  shall  establish  procedures  to  ensure  that,
    42  commencing in the two thousand twenty--two thousand twenty-one  academic
    43  year  and  for  each  academic  year thereafter, all eighth grade public
    44  school students  take  the  specialized  high  school  admissions  test,
    45  provided, however, that:
    46    (A)  the  specialized  high  school admissions test takes place during
    47  regular school hours and be given no later than October thirty-first  of
    48  each academic year; and
    49    (B)  the procedures shall permit the parent or guardian of an eligible
    50  student to opt that student out of the specialized  high  school  admis-
    51  sions test, at the parent or guardian's discretion for any reason.
    52    §  4. Subdivision 2 of section 2590-h of the education law, as amended
    53  by chapter 345 of the laws of 2009, is amended to read as follows:
    54    2. Establish, control and operate new schools or programs of the types
    55  specified in subdivision one of this section, or to discontinue any such

        A. 8437                             3

     1  schools and programs as he or she may determine; provided, however, that
     2  the chancellor shall [consult]:
     3    (a)  Consult  with  the  affected community district education council
     4  before:
     5    [(a)] (i) substantially expanding or reducing such an existing  school
     6  or program within a community district;
     7    [(b)] (ii) initially utilizing a community district school or facility
     8  for such a school or program;
     9    [(c)] (iii) instituting any new program within a community district.
    10    (b)  Establish  by  the  two thousand twenty-two--two thousand twenty-
    11  three academic year at least ten specialized high schools, in accordance
    12  with New York City Chancellor Regulations on specialized  high  schools,
    13  in  addition  to those specialized high schools identified in clause (A)
    14  of subparagraph (i) of paragraph (b) of subdivision one of this section,
    15  provided however that the  majority  of  the  specialized  high  schools
    16  established  pursuant to this paragraph are located in areas that are at
    17  least two miles away from any  specialized  high  school  identified  in
    18  clause  (A)  of  subparagraph (i) of paragraph (b) of subdivision one of
    19  this section.
    20    (c) Establish by the  two  thousand  twenty--two  thousand  twenty-one
    21  academic  year  a test preparation program available, at no cost, to all
    22  public school students in the sixth and  seventh  grades  in  connection
    23  with  the specialized high school admissions test. This program shall be
    24  optional for sixth and seventh grade students.
    25    (i) The test preparation program classes shall be scheduled outside of
    26  the regular operating hours of the school day and include class sessions
    27  meeting on Saturdays during the school  year  and  weekdays  during  the
    28  summer for students completing sixth and seventh grade.
    29    (ii)  Transportation  and meals shall be provided to all public school
    30  students who are eligible for this program at no cost.
    31    (iii) The chancellor shall establish procedures for  notifying  public
    32  school  students and parents or guardians about the availability of such
    33  test preparation program at least twice during  each  of  the  students'
    34  fifth  grade  and  sixth  grade years, at each parent-teacher conference
    35  occurring during those school years, and through other methods of commu-
    36  nication deemed appropriate by the chancellor.
    37    (d) Prepare and release a  test  preparation  guide,  which  shall  be
    38  distributed  at  no  cost to all public school seventh grade students on
    39  the first day of each school year, that includes:
    40    (i) a breakdown of the topics covered by the specialized  high  school
    41  admissions test;
    42    (ii)  actual  questions  used  on the previous year's specialized high
    43  school admissions test; and
    44    (iii) any other information the chancellor determines would be  appro-
    45  priate  to  provide  to assist students in preparing for the specialized
    46  high school admissions test.
    47    (e) Establish  an  outreach  program  to  raise  awareness  about  the
    48  specialized  high  school  admissions test, the test preparation program
    49  established pursuant to paragraph (c) of this subdivision, and the  test
    50  preparation  guide  developed pursuant to paragraph (d) of this subdivi-
    51  sion, which collectively shall be defined for purposes of  this  section
    52  as  the specialized high school admissions test offerings. Such outreach
    53  program shall prioritize engagement with eligible students, parents  and
    54  guardians  in  community  districts with low rates of public high school
    55  students attending specialized high schools  and  include,  but  not  be
    56  limited to:

        A. 8437                             4

     1    (i) a dedicated outreach staff that engages eligible students, parents
     2  and  guardians  at  middle  schools and appropriate community venues and
     3  events regarding the specialized high school admissions test offerings;
     4    (ii) advertisements, including within mass transit locations;
     5    (iii)  a  direct  telephone  outreach  campaign for eligible students,
     6  parents and guardians to receive and solicit information  regarding  the
     7  specialized high school admissions test offerings;
     8    (iv)  dedicated middle school specialists on staff at the 311 customer
     9  service center, as defined in chapter three of title twenty-three of the
    10  administrative code of the city of  New  York,  for  eligible  students,
    11  parents  and guardians who solicit information regarding the specialized
    12  high school admissions test offerings; and
    13    (v) partnerships with community-based organizations, the New York City
    14  Housing Authority, the Mayor's Office of Immigrant Affairs, and the  New
    15  York  City  Department  of  Homeless  Services to facilitate outreach to
    16  eligible students, parents and guardians regarding the specialized  high
    17  school admissions test offerings.
    18    §  5. Subdivision 2 of section 2590-h of the education law, as amended
    19  by chapter 720 of the laws of 1996, is amended to read as follows:
    20    2. Establish, control and operate new schools or programs of the types
    21  specified in subdivision one of this section, or to discontinue any such
    22  schools and programs as he or she may determine; provided, however, that
    23  [he] the chancellor shall [consult]:
    24    (a) Consult with the affected community board before:
    25    [(a)] (i) substantially expanding or reducing such an existing  school
    26  or program within a community district;
    27    [(b)] (ii) initially utilizing a community district school or facility
    28  for such a school or program;
    29    [(c)] (iii) instituting any new program within a community district.
    30    (b)  Establish  by  the  two thousand twenty-two--two thousand twenty-
    31  three academic year at least ten specialized high schools, in accordance
    32  with New York City Chancellor Regulations on specialized  high  schools,
    33  in  addition  to those specialized high schools identified in clause (A)
    34  of subparagraph (i) of paragraph (b) of subdivision one of this section,
    35  provided however that the  majority  of  the  specialized  high  schools
    36  established  pursuant to this paragraph are located in areas that are at
    37  least two miles away from any  specialized  high  school  identified  in
    38  clause  (A)  of  subparagraph (i) of paragraph (b) of subdivision one of
    39  this section.
    40    (c) Establish by the  two  thousand  twenty--two  thousand  twenty-one
    41  academic  year  a test preparation program available, at no cost, to all
    42  public school students in the sixth and  seventh  grades  in  connection
    43  with  the specialized high school admissions test. This program shall be
    44  optional for sixth and seventh grade students.
    45    (i) The test preparation program classes shall be scheduled outside of
    46  the regular operating hours of the school day and include class sessions
    47  meeting on Saturdays during the school  year  and  weekdays  during  the
    48  summer for students completing sixth and seventh grade.
    49    (ii)  Transportation  and meals shall be provided to all public school
    50  students who are eligible for this program at no cost.
    51    (iii) The chancellor shall establish procedures for  notifying  public
    52  school  students and parents or guardians about the availability of such
    53  test preparation program at least twice during  each  of  the  students'
    54  fifth  grade  and  sixth  grade years, at each parent-teacher conference
    55  occurring during those school years, and through other methods of commu-
    56  nication deemed appropriate by the chancellor.

        A. 8437                             5

     1    (d) Prepare and release a  test  preparation  guide,  which  shall  be
     2  distributed  at  no  cost to all public school seventh grade students on
     3  the first day of each school year, that includes:
     4    (i)  a  breakdown of the topics covered by the specialized high school
     5  admissions test;
     6    (ii) actual questions used on the  previous  year's  specialized  high
     7  school admissions test; and
     8    (iii)  any other information the chancellor determines would be appro-
     9  priate to provide to assist students in preparing  for  the  specialized
    10  high school admissions test.
    11    (e)  Establish  an  outreach  program  to  raise  awareness  about the
    12  specialized high school admissions test, the  test  preparation  program
    13  established  pursuant to paragraph (c) of this subdivision, and the test
    14  preparation guide developed pursuant to paragraph (d) of  this  subdivi-
    15  sion,  which  collectively shall be defined for purposes of this section
    16  as the specialized high school admissions test offerings. Such  outreach
    17  program  shall prioritize engagement with eligible students, parents and
    18  guardians in community districts with low rates of  public  high  school
    19  students  attending  specialized  high  schools  and include, but not be
    20  limited to:
    21    (i) a dedicated outreach staff that engages eligible students, parents
    22  and guardians at middle schools and  appropriate  community  venues  and
    23  events regarding the specialized high school admissions test offerings;
    24    (ii) advertisements, including within mass transit locations;
    25    (iii)  a  direct  telephone  outreach  campaign for eligible students,
    26  parents and guardians to receive and solicit information  regarding  the
    27  specialized high school admissions test offerings;
    28    (iv)  dedicated middle school specialists on staff at the 311 customer
    29  service center, as defined in chapter three of title twenty-three of the
    30  administrative code of the city of  New  York,  for  eligible  students,
    31  parents  and guardians who solicit information regarding the specialized
    32  high school admissions test offerings; and
    33    (v) partnerships with community-based organizations, the New York City
    34  Housing Authority, the Mayor's Office of Immigrant Affairs, and the  New
    35  York  City  Department  of  Homeless  Services to facilitate outreach to
    36  eligible students, parents and guardians regarding the specialized  high
    37  school admissions test offerings.
    38    §  6.  The  administrative  code of the city of New York is amended by
    39  adding a new section 21-974.1 to read as follows:
    40    § 21-974.1 Gifted and talented programs and classes.   Notwithstanding
    41  any other provision of law, rule, regulation or local law to the contra-
    42  ry, the department shall direct:
    43    a.  Each  school district to establish by the two thousand twenty--two
    44  thousand twenty-one academic year  at  least  one  district  gifted  and
    45  talented  program  for  kindergarten  through  fifth grade public school
    46  students in accordance with  existing  gifted  and  talented  admissions
    47  standards and processes.
    48    b.  Each  school  district  shall  register all eligible public school
    49  students not currently enrolled in gifted and talented programs to  take
    50  the  gifted  and  talented admissions examination as of the two thousand
    51  twenty--two thousand twenty-one academic year. A parent or guardian  may
    52  opt-out  of  the gifted and talented admissions examination on behalf of
    53  that student.
    54    § 7. The education law is amended by adding a new section 2590-b-1  to
    55  read as follows:

        A. 8437                             6

     1    §  2590-b-1. Commission on middle school achievement. 1. No later than
     2  thirty days following the effective date of a chapter of the laws of two
     3  thousand nineteen that added this section, there shall be established  a
     4  commission  on middle school achievement ("the commission"). The commis-
     5  sion  shall  provide  guidance,  advice, and make recommendations to the
     6  chancellor on matters pertaining to education  policy,  performance  and
     7  innovation in middle schools located in the city district.
     8    2. The members of the commission shall include, but not be limited to,
     9  representatives  of  academic  institutions,  representatives  of public
    10  employees, and stakeholders with experience  in  education  policy.  The
    11  commission, which shall include at least one resident of each borough of
    12  the  city  of  New York, shall be composed of eight members appointed as
    13  follows:
    14    (a) two members appointed by the speaker of the assembly;
    15    (b) two members appointed by the majority leader of the senate; and
    16    (c) four members appointed by the governor.
    17    3. No member of the commission shall be disqualified from holding  any
    18  public office or employment, nor shall he or she forfeit any such office
    19  or employment by virtue of his or her appointment hereunder. All members
    20  of  the  commission and its subcommittees shall serve at the pleasure of
    21  his or her respective appointing authority.
    22    4. The commission shall vote for a chair, or co-chairs, from among the
    23  members of the commission.
    24    5. A majority of the total members of the  commission  who  have  been
    25  appointed  shall  constitute  a  quorum,  and all recommendations of the
    26  commission shall require approval of a majority of  its  total  members.
    27  Any  subcommittee  shall  present  its  findings  to  the commission for
    28  approval.
    29    6. Every agency, department, office, division or public  authority  of
    30  this  state and of the city of New York shall cooperate with the commis-
    31  sion and furnish such  information  and  assistance  as  the  commission
    32  determines is reasonably necessary to accomplish its purposes.
    33    7.  The  commission shall attempt to engage and solicit the additional
    34  input of a broad and diverse range of groups, organizations,  and  indi-
    35  viduals  who are not members of the commission, including, without limi-
    36  tation, members of school boards, superintendents, principals, teachers,
    37  parents and representatives of public sector employees, and may  request
    38  documents,  conduct public hearings, hear the testimony of witnesses and
    39  take any other actions it deems necessary to carry out its purposes.
    40    8. The commission shall comprehensively review  and  assess  the  city
    41  district's  middle  schools,  including their structure, operations, and
    42  processes, to identify successful models  and  strategies  that  support
    43  student  achievement and provide students with a high-quality education.
    44  Such review shall include, but not be  limited  to,  evaluation  of  the
    45  following:
    46    (a)  teacher  recruitment  and  performance,  including incentives for
    47  teacher retention as well as the teacher preparation, certification, and
    48  evaluation systems utilized in city district middle schools;
    49    (b) factors that support  student  achievement  from  pre-kindergarten
    50  through  middle  school and prepare students for a successful transition
    51  to high school, including, but not limited to class size, student-teach-
    52  er ratios, and availability of  supplemental  individualized  or  small-
    53  group tutoring;
    54    (c)  parent  and family engagement, including the impact of the school
    55  calendar,  school  schedule  and  district-level  policies  on  parental
    56  involvement in middle school;

        A. 8437                             7

     1    (d)  unique  issues faced by high-need urban middle schools, including
     2  identification of services that these  districts  might  require  to  be
     3  successful;
     4    (e)  past  failures  to improve performance at under-performing middle
     5  schools; and
     6    (f) whether the overall structure of the city  district's  middle  and
     7  high school system meets students' needs.
     8    9.  In  carrying  out its responsibilities, the commission shall study
     9  national and international public education models  and  best  practices
    10  for the education of middle school-age children and make recommendations
    11  regarding ways to increase educational productivity and student perform-
    12  ance in city district's middle schools.
    13    10.  The  commission shall make final recommendations to the governor,
    14  the state legislature, and the chancellor no later than  December  thir-
    15  ty-first,  two  thousand  nineteen  at which time it shall terminate its
    16  work and be relieved of all responsibilities and duties hereunder.
    17    § 8. This act shall take effect immediately; provided,  however,  that
    18  the  amendments  to  paragraph (b) of subdivision 1 of section 2590-h of
    19  the education law made by section two of this act shall  be  subject  to
    20  the  expiration  and reversion of such section pursuant to section 17 of
    21  chapter 345 of the laws of 2009, as amended, when upon such date section
    22  three of this act shall take effect; provided further, that  the  amend-
    23  ments  to  subdivision  2 of section 2590-h of the education law made by
    24  section four of this act shall be subject to the expiration  and  rever-
    25  sion  of  such  subdivision  pursuant to section 34 of chapter 91 of the
    26  laws of 2002, when upon such date section five of this  act  shall  take
    27  effect.
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