New York to Restart Federal School Accountability Standards

New York to Restart Federal School Accountability Standards

New York State is finalizing its federal school accountability system standards, which will apply to its more than 700 school districts in the 2022-2023 school year.

Started as part of the Every Student Succeeds Act in 2015, schools were held accountable for collecting and reporting data that showed students’ progress in reading, math, and science, as well as college and civic readiness. States use this data to measure and hold schools/districts responsible for raising student achievement; recognize high-performing schools/districts; and provide interventions for struggling schools/districts.

When COVID hit, these federal requirements were put on pause so as not to adversely impact schools. After being denied the ability to forego compliance for another school year, the New York State Education Department (NYSED) recently completed the public comment period on its proposed plans,  to be submitted to the U.S. Department of Education for approval and the Board of Regents to update regulations for implementation effective for the 2022-2023 school year.

The NYSED modified its plans for the 2022-2023 school year to account for COVID disruptions and to support the state’s schools going forward. Proposed amendments for New York’s accountability system in the 2022-2023 school year include using data from the 2021-2022 school year; modifying accountability indicators (i.e., some tests that haven’t been administered since 2020), revising the methodology for determining accounting identifications, plus modifying exit criteria for certain schools. (Details are available on the NYSED website.) The intent is to use this system for one year, while continuing to have discussions about future plans.

Earlier this month, New York Commissioner of Education Betty Rosa stated in a message to New York Parents and Families: “Accountability is a two-way street and for the process to be effective, there must be a system that focuses on continuous improvement through a sustainable partnership between our Department and schools and districts. New York’s proposed plan to restart the accountability system accounts for the realities of the past three school years during the pandemic and how it affected the state’s ability to collect data on student learning. The accountability restart plan is required by federal law, and we will use it as a basis to continue to provide supports and resources to those schools and districts that most need them.”

To get things started, the NYSED will make available to schools, teachers, parents, and the public state assessment data, including Regents exams results, this month so everyone is equipped with student information earlier than in the past.

School districts may want to set the stage for the reinstatement of the accountability system and to help parents understand this is a transitional year for New York State to reflect the impacts COVID had on our educational system, and that more is to come. The NYSED has developed fact sheets to help schools and districts inform parents and teachers about the accountability system in 2022-2023.

To help free you up to focus on the accountability standards, as well as all the other post-COVID school year activities, you can count on RBT CPAs to partner with you on all your accounting, audit, and tax needs. We have been part of the Hudson Valley for over 50 years and are known for our professionalism, ethics, and commitment to getting things right the first time.