NYSED Resources

  • Accreditation

    The Substantial Equivalency Accreditor Application should be completed by those entities seeking to become an approved accrediting agency for religious and independent schools looking to utilize pathway 3 to be deemed substantially equivalent.  

    New York State Education Department's Currently Approved Accreditors for Substantial Equivalency (SE) Pathway 3

    The COGNIA certificates only have an expiration date, but if you go on their website and search for the school, it provides the initial accreditation date:  https://home.cognia.org/registry

    Assessments

    Standardized assessments are those that employ a systematic method of gathering information for objectively scored items that allow the test taker to select one or more of the given options or choices as their response.

    The  Substantial Equivalence New Assessment Consideration Application should be completed by those seeking to utilize assessment Pathaway 6 to be deemed substantially equivalent. 

    New York State Education Department Currently Approved State Assessments for Substantial Equivalency (SE) Pathway 6

    Participation Rate: The current public school three-year statewide average State assessment.

    Religious and independent schools need to demonstrate an overall student participation rate on any approved assessments, regardless of grade level or subject, which is equal or greater to the three-year statewide average most recently available public school participation rate for the State Grade 3-8 Math and ELA assessments.

    Religious and Independent Schools Assessments Administered 2022-2023

    Felder Amendment

    In April 2018, the Legislature amended the Education Law §3204(2)(ii) to create an exception for certain schools (commonly known as the Felder Amendment). For those particular schools:

    • Ultimate responsibility for making final substantial equivalence determination is shifted from local school districts to the Commissioner; and
    • The Commissioner must consider certain enumerated factors in making the substantial equivalence determination.

    The Felder Amendment applies to:

    1. Not-profit corporations
    2. That have a “bi-lingual program”
    3. That operate during certain hours (9-4 for elementary, 9-6 for secondary).
    4. (ii) For purposes of considering substantial equivalence pursuant to this subdivision for nonpublic elementary and middle schools that are: (1) non-profit corporations, (2) have a bi-lingual program, and (3) have an educational program that extends from no later than nine a.m. until no earlier than four p.m. for grades one through three, and no earlier than five thirty p.m. for grades four through eight, on the majority of weekdays, the department shall consider the following, but not limited to: if the curriculum provides academically rigorous instruction that develops critical thinking skills in the school's students, taking into account the entirety of the curriculum, over the course of elementary and middle school, including instruction in English that will prepare pupils to read fiction and nonfiction text for information and to use that information to construct written essays that state a point of view or support an argument; instruction in mathematics that will prepare pupils to solve real world problems using both number sense and fluency with mathematical functions and operations; instruction in history by being able to interpret and analyze primary text to identify and explore important events in history, to construct written arguments using the supporting information they get from primary source material, demonstrate an understating of the role of geography and economics in the actions of world civilizations, and an understanding of civics and the responsibilities of citizens in world communities; and instruction in science by learning how to gather, analyze and interpret observable data to make informed decisions and solve problems mathematically, using deductive and inductive reasoning to support a hypothesis, and how to differentiate between correlational and causal relationships.
    5. (iii) For purposes of considering substantial equivalence pursuant to this subdivision for nonpublic high schools that: (1) are established for pupils in high school who have graduated from an elementary school that provides instruction as described in this section, (2) are a non-profit corporation, (3) have a bi-lingual program, and (4) have an educational program that extends from no later than nine a.m. until no earlier than six p.m. on the majority of weekdays the department shall consider the following but not limited to: if the curriculum provides academically rigorous instruction that develops critical thinking skills in the school's students, the outcomes of which, taking into account the entirety of the curriculum, result in a sound basic education.

    Local School Authority

    The regulation requires that "by September 1, 2023(each September thereafter): LSA will report (1) all the nonpublic schools that serve compulsory age children (from age 6 to 16 in most jurisdictions, age 17 in others) within their geographical boundaries and (2) the date of the last substantial equivalency determination made for each nonpublic school to the Department via the NYSED Business Portal or anotehr electronic portal as determined by the Department. Such report must include all nonpublic schools within the LSA geographic boundaries, even nonpublic schools without basic educational data system (BEDS) codes"

    *The initial date was extended to October 9, 2023.

    For directions on how to fulfill this reporting requirement, please see LSA Religious & Independent School Survey Instructions

    The School Districts: Active School District Superintendent Contact Info and Institution URL report is updated daily and can be found on the SED Public Reports Portal.

    Information on the process by which LSAs will conduct reviews will be coming soon.  

    Substantial Equivalency Template Letter to Non-Public Schools from Districts 

    SEDREF - NYSED's Reference File

    Proposed Rulemaking

    March 2022 Drafted Substantial Equivalence Regulation Presentation

    July 2023 Substantial Equivalency Guidance