This is entirely thanks to Dr. Friel, who went to the Open Meeting Law training here in Worcester last month, asked lots of questions, and brought back the changes needed to keep us in line with the law.
Good news for public transparency!
...he found it "fascinating" that opponents include "white suburban moms who -- all of a sudden -- (discovered that) their child isn't as bright as they thought they were, and their school isn't quite as good as they thought they were."You can read more on this here, and Teacher Sabrina has the best response I've read:
Think about that. Rather than listening to what parents want for their children, or considering what the evidence says kids do or don’t need, they’ve decided that they want to pursue a certain course no matter what. And rather than ask themselves whether the backlash they’ve encountered is an indication that they should rethink their position, they have decided to artificially raise the bar for proficiency and hope the score drop changes people’s minds. (That this will require people to doubt the evidence of their own eyes, as well as other tests and indicators they’ve been told to believe in for years, doesn’t seem to trouble them at all.)...which brings me to the tiff closer to home, where Commissioner Chester commented to the Boston Globe:
This brought in this letter from a principal in Acton, as well as this blog post from the superintendent of Hopkinton:What worries Chester most, however, is that he is starting to hear counterproductive grumbling from school superintendents. They are telling him that requirements to implement new teacher evaluations and incorporate the new Common Core standards are “too much, too soon.”
Perhaps, instead, it is time for the Commonwealth to begin to question if the Emperor is wearing any clothes, and if the policies of data-worship and accountability are just another doomed quick fix that will soon be relegated to the scrap heap of history, joining other failed educational policies such as New Math and open classrooms. While I do welcome many aspects of Massachusetts’ new educator evaluation system including its increased emphasis on accountability, Massachusetts has embraced these notions as the solution to all our ills and has ignored the real issues that contribute to our performance gap –including poverty, hunger, school readiness, and the burdensome weight of hopelessness that these children feel when entering our classrooms. Holding a teacher from Lawrence individually accountable for their student’s achievement is like holding the little Dutch boy accountable for the flood after the dyke failed....which brings me back to my test that first year teaching. As it happens, I was right--my students did know the material, as I had found from class discussion and more informal assessment. When I went back to the test I'd given them, I found that the way I had put the questions had thrown nearly all of them off.
"There are skills and experiences our kids should have that will never show up on a test score." That's from Lawrence. #edchatma #MassEd
— Tracy Novick (@cascadingwaters) November 19, 2013
Effective tomorrow, November 7, 2013, Patricia Murphy Brown will begin serving as interim principal at City View Discovery School. Ms. Brown is currently assistant principal at Worcester Arts Magnet School.
As of this afternoon, at least 65 families have enrolled their children into one of the WPS.It seems that the enrollment process has gone fairly smoothly...We continue to work very closely with DESE on various operational matters for transition, including how to count new students since they are enrolling beyond the October 1 enrollment reporting date.We will provide a full report to the school committee on the financial changes as a result of the school’s closure once we’ve finalized all details with DESE.As the second quarter begins on Monday for Worcester, there is a natural beginning place for students who are entering. Parents began enrolling their children (some parents had more than one student in the school) in WPS as soon as they retrieved their records from Spirit of Knowledge, and, thus far, students seem to be distributed throughout the district (keep in mind that Spirit of Knowledge was grades 7-12, thus middle and high school). District personnel have reviewed all courses being taken by students coming in to best place them in courses in WPS, with special regard for seniors.