The New York Council of Administrators of Special Education (NYCASE) promotes high quality professional development, and advocates for responsive state/federal policies designed to advance best practices in special education.
We are currently engaged in several legislative and regulatory advocacy efforts.
We believe: There must be multiple pathways to a high school diploma in New York.
- The number of five exit exams required to graduate should be replaced by three.
- There should be expanded opportunities, beyond high stakes testing, for students with disabilities to demonstrate their college and career readiness. Students should be allowed to demonstrate their knowledge and skills through performance- based assessments in lieu of each required Regents exam.
- There should be expanded access to the appeals process for all students.
- There is a need to develop Career and Technical Education (CTE) programs that benefit all students. A career readiness curriculum leading to a diploma for all students should be established. Recognition of the Career Development of Occupational Studies (CDOS) credential should be promoted.
- The CDOS credential should be an approved option (+1) under the new “4+ 1” diploma option.
Special education services in NYS should conform to federal requirements.
- We have proposed elimination of the regulatory minimum service levels for Consultant Teacher, Special Education Itinerant Teacher (SEIT) and Resource Room services, thereby providing the Committee on Special Education with the flexibility required to develop individualized, rather than prescriptive services, tailored to the unique needs of each student. The current regulations arbitrarily inhibit the CSE’s ability to individualize services. This type of change in the Part 200 Regulations is not unprecedented, as the minimum service levels for speechtherapy were recently discontinued.
- NYCASE formally presented this proposal to NYSED’s Assistant Commissioner for Special Education in 2014. On 5/28/15, we gave public comment to the Commissioner’s Advisory Panel on Special Education. We will continue to advocate for this modest yet significant, common sense change.
There needs to be more flexibility and resultant efficiency in the structure of special education teacher certification.
- For example, new teachers with special education certification covering grades 1-6 are not eligible to provide services to kindergarten students in K-4 buildings, or to 7th-8th graders in 5th-8th grade middle schools. The certification distinctions seem arbitrary, unworkable and create inefficiency.
- We therefore propose certification designations for K-8 and 4-12 Students with Disabilities.
- The option of a waiver should be made available to small K-12 schools to allow flexible, efficient utilization of special education teachers.
- NYCASE has brought these certification concerns to the attention of the Assistant Commissioner and to the Commissioner’s Advisory Panel.
Finally, we support NYSED’s continued efforts to obtain a federal waiver to allow testing at a student’s instructional level.