Saturday, December 12, 2009

What you might be signing up for

The Memorandum of Understanding for Massachusetts' Race to the Top application is out.

What does the district sign up for in return for its $102 or so per student?
  • a different evaluation system for teachers and principals, yet to be designed, using "multiple measures of effectiveness including significant attention to student growth." (Yes, the student growth is on MCAS.) They further have to use those evaluations to inform professional development, then measure that professional development, then report the date from all of that.
  • use timely data to improve instruction...this would mostly seem to mean getting MCAS scores out to teachers sooner, and also includes the above on teachers and principals.
  • turn around the lowest-achieving schools. This is the one that makes the biggest change. The MA MOU requires that lowest-achieving districts that take this RTTT money use the Duncan four choice turnaround model. These would be the same models we saw in Chicago--replacing 50% of the staff OR turning charter OR closing the school OR replacing the principal with other interventions.

Districts need to sign--or not--by January 13. That means all districts are going to be looking at this over the next few weeks. If you have an opinion, you'll want to express it NOW.

This will be on the Worcester School Committee agenda on this coming Thursday, December 17.

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