Thursday, October 3, 2013

School Committee members on PARCC

I just made two motions: 

  • To ask that we petition the legislature, governor, and state board to waive our accountability system until the switch is live
  • Until such a time as an action is completed, the Worcester Public Schools will not field test the PARCC

Colorio: was at Board of Ed, Commissioner said "as good as" MCAS
concerns from NY who field tested this year
we value transparency
"we need to show up and we need to petition, we need to have a voice for our students here in Worceester"
How about the students that are computer illiterate?
"are we going to relinquish our control to the federal government? I say no"

Boone: there are and will be released items, to get an idea of what those will look like

O'Connell: "in light of the clear intent of the state to have the Common Core state standards across Massachusetts, it is inevitable that" we'll be changing our assessment as well
"a changed test matrix is almost inevitable"
field test does make sense as an assessment system change
what approach and what response do we make? What is in the best interest for our students?
we have fought for years to have as much continuous, uninterrupted instructional time
"we buy time"
this time does not assess
"the governing factor is the impact on time...up to ten hours"
"not simply for the test"
lost to academic time
"the usefulness for continuity of MCAS is about to end"
motions do make some sense
"a moratorium for us until there is a settled consensus" on what we are moving forward on
useful to have a legal opinion as to if the state can in fact impose field testing
MOTION: ask MASC legal counsel, our legal counsel, and DESE's legal counsel of the opinion
MOTION: request waiver for WPS as it interrupts instructional time
MOTION: request for waiver for participating classes from MCAS
Boone: consistent in what we are trying to accomplishment in teacher evaluation
comments that exempting all participating classes has the same impact of zero participating classes
because it is not every classroom in every school, there is some variability around that
"the exemption is from MCAS; the exemption is not from PARCC"
O'Connell: so you would not recommend we ask to exempt from MCAS? Boone agrees. O'Connell withdraws the motion

Monfredo comments that Common Core is a political football, that it is already raising graduation rates (since we just started, we don't actually have this information)
mostly, we're getting a defense of the PARCC here...
Allen says we've already leased 7500 computers
keyboard instruction will need to be looked at for elementary students
Boone: state has urged us to look long term on technology as infrastructure
conversations with federal government around e-Rate

Foley: we shouldn't be surprised that there's a new test; new standards mean we either revamp the MCAS or we get a new test
need good field testing
"in some ways it may be to our advantage to field test the PARCC"
a little bit of a leg up when it's implemented
surprised by the number of schools in our district: could we double check with other districts?
raise the question of a legal opinion on field testing
hammer of funding over us
"our accountability process is really going to be on a three to four year hiatus"
PARCC represents the new baseline
even a second year is not enough to know where you are
"the state has to grapple with how they're going to grapple with accountability systems in the districts"

Biancheria: when we field tested MCAS, there wasn't another test that you had to take to receive your diploma
can't make that comparison
MCAS implementation happened over several years; "suspect that we will see this with PARCC"
31 of our schools would be included: only leaves out 13 schools "we're in this pretty deep"
concerns with 13 other schools
paper versus online: 19 are doing paper, 24 are online
Boone: the state decided that; the idea is to test the paper version, the computer well as looking at the items themselves
will the students and teachers be able to give feedback on the day of the field test?
Boone: we'll ask
Perda: there was a report back for schools when we field tested Access (which is the new ELL test) last year
Biancheria: if there is one, could we get it?
what we opt into on testing...the preparation prior to is going to make a huge difference
concerned that we are not as prepared as we should be
will anything be any other language? No.
request that there be a comparison of accommodations: Boone notes that it's legally required, anyway
make sure that parents know that this is a field test

Petty: good to be part of the field test, get ahead of the curve
should see what other districts are doing, why there are 31 schools?
Perda: not uncommon that we are oversampled because of our demographics
Board going to make more decisions on this

Colorio: legal opinion including if it would affect grant 

Novick: hold "No" pending legal opinion
urging state to waive moves forward unanimously

ALSO NOTE: p. 18 of Student Handbook: Students whose parents opt them out of state or

district standardized assessments will not be academically penalized or face disciplinary action except as prohibited by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts or of the United States.
planning on using that one myself!

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