Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Chester, then Board of Ed on PARCC

In her review of last night, Board Chair commented that "it's no longer multiple choice; it's selective response."
"it's time to upgrade...learning more and more on learning progression and what people expect of learning opportunities"

had hoped to build "a next generation assessment on our own"...had to abandon due to budget issue
"along came the opportunity from the federal government"
designed with Florida and Louisiana
heading into a field test this spring
"to give us a two year period to get to know PARCC"
"should not be abandoning MCAS if PARCC provides no value added for us...take it for a test drive"
second year give districts the choice of PARCC or MCAS
"to better understand the technology implication of our schools"
Better feedback from schools, "here's what we've learned"
choose to go with PARCC, to go back to MCAS, OR "it's possible, to even try another year"
Higher ed commissioner: state schools will honor "college readiness" from PARCC
students had no idea that they were headed for higher education
"give students much better and more accurate signals...if they are in fact on track for what colleges and employers expect"
"very aware of concerns about the pace of reforms...I believe that this two year period is a way of getting to know this assessment"
different pace (reference to NY and KY)
"most of the PARCC states are planning in spring of 2015, they'll be done with whatever their legacy tests are"
plan to form a working group with the superintendents: "how do we prepare superintendents for their success in this role?"
teacher evaluation as part of the implementation of the course of studies
"committed to work with folks"
mentions principal committees, MTA (yeah, no school committee, or parents)
two major initiatives on technology: speaks about Erate (which you will recall is not enough)
bonding committee in the Legislature has approved a bill that would put capital expenses for upgrading elementary and secondary schools; full House to vote today
Board's responsible (MGL 69.11): to provide ways of compare students among school systems
You'll note that this doesn't answer the question about field testing; I can't find anything in that giving authority to require field tests.
doubt from Commissioner that any students will take ten hours of field testing
response that some will take both halves of tests: "could come to eight or nine hours"

Q from member: could districts choose to do both tests in the spring? Chester hadn't anticipated that
Board member Penny Noyce comments that her kids never had issues with taking MCAS "we live in a world where people are evaluated"
"remarkable that...these initiatives converge"
"a lot of messages from this Board and this department...to move the dial to get kids ready for college or their careers"
"there's a general agreement that we're going in the right direction and we're doing the right thing"
"that doesn't break people's back, but comes pretty close" (yes, really)
Student member : in favor of PARCC, very concerned about technology piece, need another year
Board member Vanessa Calderon-Rosado "embrace the change...use this as a way to fight for more technology infrastructure in our schools in the Legislature"
concerned about sampling --schools excluded from the random sample--those are the schools that usually have the neediest students; how do we test these items with these groups of students
learn from RETELL
Board engaged in the rollout and how it will go and how it can be improved
David Roach: doesn't see this as foregone, another vote in 2015 if this is the successor to the MCAS
"doing this for our purposes in Massachusetts...going to make a determination of what is in our best interests two years from now"
"technology...very significant...progressing for two or three years...to close opportunity gaps...surely can't vote on an assessement system that advantages resource rich districts" or this is going to be a non-starter
Sec'ty Malone: reallocation of resources "to leverage that...limited period of time to get there...to really push the ball on that over the next 13 months...if we're not going to engage the field, we might as well all go home...our job is to support the field"
"for it as a superintendent, for it now"
 Harneen Chernow: "overlaying a high stakes test over an underlying inequity"
"there was not an agreement that we were going to have a whole new" assessment
"MCAS aligned with Common Core"
not an agreement that we had a testing system that was going to require technology
"I wish I were more comfortable about where we are...appreciate that the change in the resolution is on a two year field test of PARCC"
"the train has left the station...with districts with two years of PARCC under their belts, I don't think we're going back to MCAS"
"I wish I could feel more comfortable about the inequities in this system"
Q: reporting back after first year? teachers having accounts to access data directly with their own account
"path to go directly back to the teacher to inform"
Level 4 schools: sampling designed to look at schools by quintile...very close to having good representation at all levels
Ruth Kaplan: "very rich discussion"
"don't take this decision lightly...even though we're voting on the test drive for two years, I do think is a really weighty decision...in a way the train has left the station"
"we own the authority to determine this, yet so much of this train has already left the station even in terms of the communications plan" (schools selected, etc)
"merits of test program...don't see a real difference between much of the test questions"
some third grade questions "seemed very hard to me"
"I do think that there are going to be districts that are going to be doing both...test fatigue in terms of one of them"
"started out trying to be very open minded about this program...a more comprehensive portofolio based...I just don't see that this next generation accomplishes the next generation testing system to really evaluate the skills needed"
"I think there's too much going on right now...test drive is premature"
"I will not be able to support this motion today"
urges future board members to use the authority granted
Member Karen Daniels: "i have no problem with raising the level of rigor so our kids can persist in college"
"to stay where we are just to go along get along, is really not acceptable"
in favor
Back to Chester: "it is the Board's decision, it will be the Board's decision two years from now"
"piece that should be compelling about technology is that our children deserve 21st century classrooms"
"about providing our schools with 21st century classrooms" not the testing
field test is to see if "kids can get their arms around" the test

with three no's, the measure passes

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