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Legislative Agenda

Censorship: The ELA Exposed

Legal Action: Consortium vs. the SED

In April 2001, NY State Commissioner of Education Richard Mills revoked the Consortium's variance. The New York Performance Standards Consortium filed a lawsuit against the State Education Department challenging its revocation of the Consortium's variance from the New York State Regents exams. This variance, originally granted by then-Commissioner of Education Thomas Sobol in 1995, permitted Consortium schools to use performance assessments (e.g., portfolios, exhibitions, research papers, original science experiments) in place of the state's standardized Regents tests for graduation.

The papers in this case contain a significant body of evidence regarding the success of performance-based assessment. Noted scholars and educators Deborah Meier, Linda Darling-Hammond, Ted Sizer, Richard Ryan, Robert Stake, Linda Mabry, Walt Haney, and Robert Hauser all submitted affidavits.

The following PDFs are available for you to download:

Abbreviations:
SED: State Education Department
NYPSC: New York Performance Standards Consortium

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Drop-out rates in New York City have increased by 31% overall since the first Regents test was mandated for graduation in 1998-1999
(NYC Board of Education, Division of Assessment and Accountability, April 24, 2002).

Drop-out rates in some NYC high schools, especially those in neighborhoods with high poverty rates, exceed 50%
(New York State Education Department, 2001).