Regents to vote on funding request for student tests

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The Board of Regents will vote on a resolution tomorrow that would ask for $10 million in the 2012-13 state budget to administer assessments, including Regents exams, next year. A year ago, the board asked for $15 million and received $7 million, leading to the elimination of Italian, French and Spanish Regents tests, grades 5 and 8 social studies exams and the postponing of English assessments for grades 9 and 10.

The board also canceled Regents exams scheduled for January, but the state received $1.5 million in charitable donations to reinstate them this coming January.

The state Education Department has used cost reductions and other savings — workforce actions, work and contract elimination and other measures — for most of the remaining $3.9 million of the $8 million shortfall, according to a memo provided to Regents today. The agency has yet to close a $400,000 gap, however.

The breakdown of the $10 million request is $8.5 million to continue existing tests and the January round of Regents exams. The remaining $1.5 million would be used to develop English/language arts exams for grades 9 and 10. The assessments are needed for the new teacher- and principal-evaluation system that took effect for some teachers and principals this year and will be in full effect beginning in the 2012-13 school year. The new system ties student growth and performance to annual evaluations.

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  1. A Modest Proposal on

    We have 10,000 education PhDs on the payroll wandering around the State carrying filled coffee cups looking for something to do. Assign them to each spend a dozen hours on these tasks. Then rent a copy machine if you don’t have one. Presto! Ten million $ saved.