Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Commissioner and DESE on vocational education

Commissioner vo-tech "victim of its own success"
started a work group: try to become pro-active rather than being reactive
called in by legislators and educators
always reacting to the concerns that are raised
made some recommendations
launch conversations with you: "would like to codify some of where we land"

"admission is a big issue, a major issue"
non-resident tuition
exploratory programs
how to expand opportunities
every state does it differently
anecdotally, hearing there are many students "who could really benefit from these programs and can no longer get into these programs"
coming back with regulations in May
"not intent to lower standards, but be sure those standards are clear and workable"
about 20% of high school students are in vocational programs (of various kinds)
look at finances: what jobs are going to give them the next level of career success
have to decide if a program is needed before spending money on it
"truly needed on our labor market and our labor needs"
had many conversations with MSBA around need for programs
"make sure there is an absolute compelling need" for a program before it's approved
this is Ruth Kaplan admissions and referral: school can choose to either first-come, first-serve or a lottery: does anyone?
Madison Park and Dean (something...?) inside city systems
thus the schools that are inside a city system (other than Worcester) don't have an admissions process
 concerns about that
"these are public schools...have an issue with any kind of selection criteria inside of public schools...standards applied to the process...clearly some subjectivity in ability to benefit from a program"
create obstacles to children who need access to the program and will never have access
comparison on ELL, special ed..impact on disparate populations
districts were there isn't enough effort or information or knowledge to recommend some of these options
"seems very similar to charters"
Harneen Chernow: all these criteria are option are available
"this is public education; everyone deserves a chance"
"we all need to share in educating every child in the system"
how does this all fit?
request that they spend an evening session on vocational ed
David Roach: some talk here about financing, with comments that there's not only the tuition issue, there's transportation and out-of-district tuition issues
"regret that some of the comment today was very dismissive of the input of the sending school" regarding students

regs coming back in April

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