Tuesday, April 29, 2014

No Child Left Behind waiver extension

...which also includes the pressing question on how the state will determine where charter schools are allowed to go. Posting as we go.
Commissioner: pretty substantial discussion on this last night
"recommending that you vote to give us the authority to submit a ESEA waiver extension application"
ESEA last reauthorized in 2001
"we'd be identifying well over 80% of our schools...and 90% of our districts as failing to measure up" if we did not have the waiver
a number enhancements
in second year of two year waiver
"in terms of our application to the federal government, we will say nothing about that weighting" on charter school location
"recommending that we take no action on the weighting piece until we've had more of an opportunity to look at that"
"any attention to growth would be a change in the way we've been operating"
"I am concerned about concerns that have been raised in the last couple of weeks of unintended consequences of the growth going to 70/30"
"sensitive that we have had
"folks have strong feelings that I'm reversing course or backing off of that"
"I see it as being prudent"
"The following is intended to be humorous..."sorry...I don't think he followed it with the joke?
"no bearing on the proposal to the federal government"

Q: "are we going to get a waiver and a waiver? How's it ever going to change?"
"no clear answer on that...a lot of speculation"
Motion to move the question
Q: memo mentions 70/30, are we not actually voting that?
Chester: good catch
Q: voted to align charter regs with DESE accountability system: what are we aligned to?
A: if nothing else were to change, current weighting is 80/20 (accountability) so charter would move to that, as well
motion being amended to leave out the weighting system: moved and voted

comments from Noyes: which districts have a higher or lower cap: for which students and which districts will have the greater chance of improvement
if districts have quite high growth, we do them no favors in disruption by adding more charter schools
should not be a question if this district or that district "deserves it more"

Q: where do we stand on meeting that goal (for 2017) in terms of the "closing the gap" goals of waiver
about 50% of schools on track
concerned that we continue to move the goal lines because we can't meet it
districts were told what their baseline was and where their targets are, and aren't changing those at all over six years
Board member wants data

Secretary Malone: philosophical point of equity
"I'm really not concerned with who is and is not on the list"
"systems that work really hard with kids who statistically traditionally don't do well on any of these assessments are getting results..therefore those systems should be rewarded for those achievements"
"when we say that we aren't going to reward the people working hard in systems like Brockton, it's INSULTING to people working really hard!"
"this Board would be wise to look really hard at blending model"
The Secretary was very VIGOROUS in this statement (and was commenting fast enough that I didn't get it all!). 

Commissioner says he won't commit to which meeting the decision will be made at when asked if it will be May or June

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