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Procedure for Evaluation and Approval of Assessments for Use as +1 Pathway Assessments

The New York State Board of Regents has approved regulations that provide all students multiple ways to meet assessments requirements for graduation. Under Section 100.2(mm) of the Regulations of the Commissioner of Education, students have the option to meet graduation requirements by passing four required Regents Examinations and a pathway assessment. In order to ensure that pathway assessments are of sufficient rigor, meet requirements for validity and reliability, and are available to all New York State students, the Department must review and approve assessments before they can be used as pathway assessments.

The New York State Education Department is currently accepting Applications for Consideration of pathway assessments. Pathway assessments (i.e., “+1 option”) in the Arts, Career Development and Occupational Studies (CDOS), and World Languages will be accepted.

Pathway Assessments

A “pathway assessment” (also known as the “+1 option” in the State) may consist of an assessment in the Arts, CDOS, or World Languages approved by the Commissioner pursuant to Section 100.2(mm) of the Regulations of the Commissioner of Education. Approved assessments allow students additional opportunities to meet graduation requirements through external, standardized assessments that provide evidence of student achievement on State learning standards.  Under this application process, the Department will consider pathway assessments in the Arts, CDOS as well as World Languages.

Criteria for Approval for Arts, CDOS, or World Languages Pathway Assessments

To be considered for approval, Arts, CDOS, and World Languages pathway assessments must meet all criteria set forth in Section 100.2(mm) of the Regulations of the Commissioner of Education:

  1. Pathway assessments shall measure student progress on the State learning standards for their respective content area(s). For CDOS and World Languages[1], the level of rigor should be equivalent to a Regents Examination or alternative assessment approved pursuant to Section 100.2(f) of the Regulations of the Commissioner of Education and the level of rigor for the Arts should meet the learning standards for the arts at the High School I Proficient Level or higher.
  2. Pathway assessments shall be recognized or accepted by postsecondary institutions, experts in the field, and/or employers in areas related to the assessment.
  3. Pathway assessments shall be aligned with existing knowledge and practice in the field(s) related to their respective content area(s) and shall be reviewed at least every five years and updated as necessary.
  4. Pathway assessments shall be consistent with technical criteria for validity, reliability, and fairness in testing.
  5. Pathway assessments shall be developed by an entity other than a local school or school district.
  6. Pathway assessments shall be available for use by any school or school district in New York State.
  7. Pathway assessments shall be administered under secure conditions approved by the Commissioner.

[1] For World Languages assessments to meet criteria #1, they must align with either the Checkpoint B or Checkpoint C standards in World Languages.

Procedure for Submitting Assessments for Approval
  1. Collection: There are three mechanisms under which the Department will consider assessments for approval (listed below).  Regardless of the form of data collection, the petitioning organization must submit information through an Application for Consideration.
    • District Collection: A district would collect the necessary information using publicly available information and submit it to the State, and/or
    • Vendor-Provided:  Vendor provides the information.
  2. Review: Each application for consideration will be reviewed by a combination of a content expert in the program area and a technical assessment expert.
  3. Follow-Up: Based on their review of the Application for Consideration, the reviewing experts may submit a list of specific follow-up questions and clarifications to the petitioning organization.
  4. Approval: Once all criteria are met, the expert reviewers will make a recommendation to the Commissioner of Education. The final decision to approve the alternative assessment will be made by the Commissioner. Once approved, the submitter will be notified and information about the assessment will be added to the list of approved Pathway assessments.