Erie 2-Chautauqua-Cattaraugus BOCES Receives $400,000 “Teaching is the Core” Grant

Aid to improve assessments, reduce testing not contributing to teaching and learning

Angola, NY, September 20, 2014 --( Erie 2-Chautauqua-Cattaraugus BOCES (E2CCB) has been awarded a $400,000 New York State Education Department Teaching is the Core grant to work with a consortium of 15 school districts to improve the quality of current assessments, while reducing the number of tests that do not contribute to teaching and learning.

E2CCB will use the grant to lead a systematic approach empowering 15 districts, including 34 schools and 16,752 students, to examine current assessment practices in light of changes to NY state regulations, time spent on assessment, and how data is used to revise instruction. Participating districts will gain a deeper understanding of the hallmarks of quality assessment, and use the power of assessment as a tool to support improvement to further both students’ and schools’ learning rather than just a way to measure learning at a fixed point in time.

The 15 districts forming the consortium, and served through this grant, include Brocton, Chautauqua Lake, East Aurora, Eden, Falconer, Forestville, Frewsburg, Holland, Iroquois, Lake Shore, North Collins, Silver Creek, Pine Valley and Ripley.

“This grant will benefit students throughout the region by improving how their progress is assessed and improve overall teaching and learning," said Dr. David O'Rourke, district superintendent and CEO for Erie 2-Chautauqua-Cattaraugus BOCES. "It bolsters the work already being done in the region to implement the Common Core Learning Standards and ensures that we are best preparing our students for college and career pathways."

E2CCB Integrated Education Services (IES) will lead this work with participating districts by reviewing the assessments they use in an effort to determine how tests are utilized and whether they are necessary. Principals will be supported in leading assessment audits to decide whether district assessments should be kept, revised or eliminated. Following the assessment audits, action plans will be developed in order to ensure that they are high quality and provide teachers with data that is useful to inform instruction. Additionally, this will ensure that the assessments used will yield important information regarding students, but minimize any negative impact on instructional time. Professional development and other support will be provided to principals and teachers to build assessment literacy - including quality assessment design and the development of performance assessments.

The E2CCB IES team serves as the Network Team for 25 of the 27 component districts throughout the Regents Reform Agenda, while also providing professional development support for Jamestown City and Dunkirk School Districts. Network team members hold administrative certification and have extensive classroom experience and training. The team members are fully engaged in CCSL implementation and improving instruction and learning for student success in college and career pathways.

Erie 2 BOCES supports more than 39,000 students across 27 component districts, as well as the instructional programs in Special Education, Alternative Education, and Career & Technical Education Divisions, in the implementation of the Common Core State Standards and the NYS Curriculum Modules. It works to build the capacity of both district administrators and teachers in these endeavors.

E2CCB is on the forefront of engaging school districts, educators and students in educational reforms related to the Regents Reform Agenda, Annual Professional Performance Review and Common Core State Learning Standards. The work of the IES Team assists component school districts in the implementation of effective academic strategies and instruction through the development of a successful instructional staff. This work is challenging, collaborative, active and on-going.

“I am proud of the work that the IES Team has done and the services we have provided to our component districts,” added O’Rourke. “This advances that work and will have a positive impact in our learning communities.”

For more information on the services offered by E2CCB, please visit:
Erie 2 Chatauqua-Cattaraugus BOCES
Joshua Gregory