Monday, October 24, 2011

State of the Schools address not-so-liveblog

valuable thing discovered this evening; there isn't QUITE enough signal strength for WiFi in the auditorium at North High. Call is in from admin on that one.
With apologies: I got there a bit late from another meeting...

“Banner at Jonas Clark hall “Challenge Convention”
WPS challenging convention, not simply complying with requirements

Implementation of comprehensive accountability system

chart showing enrollment approaching 2008-09, gaining students
38% Latino, 35% white, 18% African-American
percent low income increased (70%, up 7% since 2007)
33% ELL students

Worcester Compact “high expectations and outstanding results for all students”
80% proficiency for gr.3 and gr. 8 by 2013

MCAS proficiency: 68% proficient or advanced for 2011 for all district all levels
39% in third grade ELA, 45% in math third grade
“closed the achievement gap” for ELL, but only 27% meet proficiency or above
special education students, mathematics, gap with state level

chart comparing with other urban districts on MCAS scores
“almost highest proficiency rates in ELA and math” for urban districts
“but good is not good enough, and we can't just be compared to our urban counterparts”
“we have to up our game, also”

AP: increased number of students taking them; number of qualifying scores holding steady

presentation on AP tests at November 3 School Committee
number of SAT test takers up
performance on SATs, flat

dropout rate: better than many urban districts across the country

a bit over 80% of students plan to attend college (half and half, 2 year and 4 year)
“not enough just to have students accepted; we have to have them be successful” in college

Parents: vast majority of parents say their children are excited to go to school
majority of students saying that adult in building setting high expectations for them
most say parents give support to do well in school

In some areas, “only inching forward”

Worcester improvement strategy chart
theory that increased adult effort results in increased student achievement
“adult efficacy linked to student outcomes”

“along with a level of local funding”
“a clear return on investment in public education” (round of applause)

tiered instructional model (this is the triangle) “response to intervention”

to shift from a system of compliance to a system of results
“multiply effectiveness and ensure sustainability”
partnerships with “high levels of coherence with district priorities”
managed reduction of $8 million for the last two years without loss of programming
expanded AP w/o loss of scores
Latino Education Mayoral Commission

“leader in the Massachusetts Educational Reform Agenda”
$6m in maintenance and improvements in capital
Promise Neighborhood
auto program at Burncoat
computer gaming possibility
“year one of turnaround plans for Level 4 schools”
wraparound zone grants for innovation and Level 4 schools
“partnership with Houghton Mifflin” donation for Union Hill library
Race to Top

“for as much as we can celebrate, we have probably have three times more to accomplish”

employment trends in central MA: overall employment flat since 2001
(so how are we the third hottest job market in the country?I'm going to do some data checking on this; can both be true?)
need a third level degree: beyond high school diploma
61% of students nationwide enrolled in community college get any credits in five years
“significant science and math” skills needed
“preparing students for the 21st century global economy” from Are U.S. Students Ready to Compete?
Reville spoke of “inspiration gap” students not linked to jobs emerging
(that's the lack of inspiration?!)
“we lack the collaboration gene, or the ability to work together effectively”
“college and career readiness...the compelling break cycle of poverty we see” increasing in WPS
“align is time for us to come together to focus on what the whole system needs”
“what is good for one student is good for all”
“shared accountability for all..” lists School Committee, City Council, Legislative delegation, teachers, parents, community
“each and every students...goals and aspirations”
high school graduation requirements
rewrite curriculum to align with Common Core
“to develop with teachers an meaningful evaluation system”
“it is time to fund Worcester Public Schools beyond the required minimum” (To a round of applause)
“our fiscal track record for the past two years validates our track record” for effective funding
updated buildings
“come together and embrace change for the sake of all children in Worcester”
(round of applause)
“change the little yet, very significant, corner of our world”
“it is time; the clock is ticking”

Response panel: Allison Chisolm-Hansen, Caleb Rivera Encarnacion, Jenith Charpentier
“witness firsthand some of the effects of education reform, No Child Left Behind, budget challenges”
pleased to hear Worcester Compact and it's ambitious goals
“education as an economic issue”
“quality of our education system reflects the priority we give education”
“the report is mixed...bright spots across the district...we need to hear more about these successes...would encourage even more sharing”
parent responses concerned their children's successes
“no one talked about MCAS scores or MAP scores”
excellent report from parent whose children transferred from charter school
“it's what goes on in the classroom that matters, not what the building looks like...after 15 years, I'm getting tired of saying this”
“how the city really values its education”
“recognizes what they don't have...did (North) have to take so very long?”
accreditation process: asked what limitation the school faced due to the building: so resigned by the building will not change, cannot imagine otherwise
“expect that under Dr. Boone's continued leadership, more that will be recognized”

10th grader at UPCS
“one thing that I appreciate...administration's openness to partner with community organization”
“Worcester has some great performing schools”
“learned to appreciate my education...breaking statistics, being a male of color...all students can achieve, regardless”
AP before school, dual enrollment at Clark
“one thing my mother always says is that actions speak louder than words”
words put into action to make an already great school system better

CPPAC: communication such as this plays a vital role
“parents consistently expressed interest in more information” website has become a fantastic resource”
“we look forward to additions” on the online access
“help their children access the appropriate”
“a rigorous and well-rounded curriculum”
pleased to see increase in information sessions for parents
“please keep the information coming”
“we look forward to hearing more about” innovation schools
site council reviews of all school accountability plans
“would like to understand how schools will be supported that haven't achieved set benchmarks”
also how college and career readiness will be measured
“develop a plan for facility repair and improvement”
“to stretch the minimal dollars”
“at a mere 0.1% over foundation, Worcester falls far short of state average of 14% over foundation”
“would love to see the same level of fiscal commitment from the City Manager and other civic decision makers”
long list of things appreciated by parents, from school nutrition (much on that) to caring teachers to particular programs

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