Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Board of Ed today: public testimony on student growth (and the NCLB waiver)

...posting as we go...
As they're all commenting, it's a big agenda today. I'm hearing that the whole issue of growth is just going to be postponed entirely: waiver, charter, accountability status. We'll see. Right now, the Commissioner and Secretary are just giving their updates. 

Waiver testimony:
Charter School Association deputy director
"appreciate your request of the Board to delay action"
four years of achievement and growth data
she comments that there's no mention of growth in the law, and that growth is "less reliable" because it's more variable
remarkable what happens when you use most of a calculation that correlates with something as absolute as poverty
"fewer high need students will have access to...charter schools"
"students are overwhelming poor, students of color, and LEP" in districts that would be moving out of charter expansion
nice of them to notice that, since those, particularly in poverty and ELL, are populations they usually ignore
more from Charter School Association
what I can only describe here as "golly, how could you be thinking of leaving out the poor urban areas from our expansion?" testimony
"violate the letter of that law, the intent of that law, and the moral aspects of that law"
which is just plain ol' untrue
"to the kids that need them most"
sorry, having trouble taking this seriously...
"I'm asking you to go back to the way it is: 100% achievement"

Ann O'Halloran, president CPS
"a high performing teacher, school...is one that helps students make progress"
"to the extent that MCAS tells you anything about about student achievement, it is in the growth scores"
"this issue goes far beyond the charter school cap issue, as important as it is"
many Level 3,4,5 have excellent growth scores; some are making progress better than that of the state
"the stigma of the low performing label far outweights the resources that may come along with it"
"low income children learn best when they go to school with children with middle class opportunities"
"we ask you to resist this pressure and do what is right for the state's children"

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