Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Update from the Board of Ed on PARCC

Chester: state board of ed under MGL 69 sets standards for academic performance and school and district performance
and he runs here through NAEP and MCAS scores
Chester is quite excited that he has moving slides here that have lines that go up...
Graduation rates up, groups with largest gaps making largest gains
"many of our graduates, most of whom do well on the MCAS, end up being placed in non-credit bearing courses"

Common Core being implemented
"balance" between literary and informational text
"how many, in particular boys, are choosing non-fiction books"
"writing for multiple audiences and all grades"
each grade focusing on fewer standards at each grade level, addressing more deeply; conceptual understanding key
We are now (and next year) will be using the new standards in what they're assessing on the MCAS...shifting over time
"MCAS is not standing still..." based on standards that are now in front of our students and in front of our teachers.
Not making change in writing in grade 10 yet, nor in adding new standards to those assessed in grade 10
science still assessed through MCAS
"continued to anticipate an MCAS history/social studies test" suspended in 2009 due to fiscal restraints
...Developing statewide performance-based assessments in core subjects"
"can we really bring to life the lessons learned from history? That's what these assessments are to do"
PARCC: 22 states of which 19 governing states which will administer test in 2014-15
RTTT grant ends in August of 2014...but funding can be spent into following school year
Chester chairs governing board
"as good or better than MCAS when it's finally delivered"
"to get the best out of what we've learned in assessment"
currently assessments are "anchored in the curriculum"...PARCC looks at what will be demanded of them when they go to higher ed, when they go to careers
"will be administered online, including technology enhanced items"
computer to do more of the work
Diagnostic assessment then a mid-year assessment then a performance-based AND end-of-year assessment in grades 3-11
diagnostic will go from grades 2-8 plus a K-1 formative assessment (for PARCC. As well as the kindergarten one)
mid-year intended to be "informational"
speaking and listening as part of this assessment
Chester: "this design is very purposeful...to answer current criticism of tests...can't be ambitious about research...disconnected from instruction..have to stop my curriculum to prepare for the test...to be linked to the year-long curriculum...very different than the kind of assessment that our schools are used to"
Model curriculum units...partnering with WGBH...curriculum embedded performance assessment
teachers "taking these for a test drive"
attention to this sort of assessment goes up when this is "what gets counted"
"We are not going to give students two sets of assessments, MCAS and PARCC...but we are going to " see if it's giving us everything it is intended to before we go forward
stating up front what the test is going to answer:

On English

  • students read and comprehend a range of complex texts independent
  • write effectively when using or analyzing sources
  • build and present knowledge through research
And Mathematics
  • solve problem involving major content for each grade
  • solve problems involving additional and supporting content
  • express mathematical reasoning
  • engage in modeling practices
"PARCC is more than an assessment"
back to Chester: why are we engaged in this?
fall of 2008, rebid our assessment contract, anticipated doing new development as part of that
Measured Progress holds the bid, but no new development, due to economic downturn
thus insisted that PARCC have certain features..about literacy and math competence for success at the next level
"MCAS was never designed to be a certification of readiness...that's where we're going with PARCC"
part of this is about whether schools eliminate the assessment they do
public higher institutions will honor for placement
"currently colleges pay no attention to 10th grade MCAS" but they will with PARCC
Five levels, with 4 out of 5 being college ready
each state will continue to set their own graduation requirements
"being college ready is not the same as being a high school graduate"

MCAS scores not included on high school transcripts; Commissioner comments that he foresees including them once we shift to PARCC
P-20 data system is shifting large volume of data being moved And there we go again...I believe this makes us three for three on how much we need this! 
Does this mean we'll have two kinds of diplomas? A high school diploma and a "college-ready" diploma?
Also question on alignment between PARCC and MCAS: drop off in high school graduation rates?
"would be a nightmare...being very different" 
being asperational, but graduation requirement will be somewhat lower

And that's going to do it for me. I will try to post what I hear of all other conversations

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