Monday, May 12, 2014

Accountability and Student Achievement

...meets at 5:30, and the agenda is here.
posting as we go...

Data walls: "a visual representation related to specific question or problem"
usually numbers, charts or diagrams: summarizes what the school feels is important to their success
District has put together a committee to look at current practices
"many districts have been found to be in violation" of FERPA
"to ensure protected student information isn't posted"
process of reviewing our policies of FERPA in the district
updating policy handbook as well
policy memos going out to staff, as well, for next year to ensure compliance with FERPA
Novick: hold the item, pending policy being finished
setting of priorities of schools, of district by what information that is presented
over the summer discussion as committee wraps up
O'Connell: present data in a generic way
Perda: highlight areas they're really focused on
attendance initiative, for example

accountability plans:
Perda: product of the instructional leadership teams, prepared in fall of each year
"developing a plan for school improvement" in alignment with district plans and goals
plans submitted in September, feedback from other principals and administration
presented to the public through school site councils
final administrative review to be sure it's set, then posted to web
Biancheria: have attended some school meetings where these are available
"generally they're pretty intense"
O'Connell: develop a schedule to discuss four and five at at time
right to review
"choose to exercise that"
Novick: review a representative sample of high, middle, elementary as related to district goals
take some over summer at next meeting
then tackle next year's once they come in
Perda: aggregation of plans
Biancheria: asks for three elementary for next time (which would be over the summer)
"we look at data and test results as did this school succeed...don't look at a particular plan to see if that school has succeeded"
review information prior
innovation school at Claremont: change from accountability plan to innovation plan?
Perda: need both, high amount of alignment between the two
Biancheria: interesting to see how those plans will be same or different
Perda: illuminate the "how" the school expects to get to their goals

charter schools: (data here)
Perda: state provides list of students who live in Worcester who attend charter schools
analysis then able to be done
Biancheria: Spirit of Knowledge closed in October, 166 students, nearly all went to WPS when the school closed
"they pick and choose when it's a charter school"
O'Connell: telling analysis
AKF: higher percentage of black students, as does Seven Hills
"looking at that, seeing if that's a reaching out from the schools...or are many students (from Africa) attending there"
"if the population hasn't been here that long...intriguing...we need to get our information to the same base"
"unreacted to by us"
Perda: these data illuminate not the who, but begs the question of the why
student exit surveys done every other year to get at some of the why
"can weigh that information"
O'Connell: worth outreach to community: are people really looking at the public schools?
invite representatives of Worcester black community to ask whether we can do more to present our range of programs to schools
Novick: not representative of sending community, regardless of language in Board of Ed or Joint Committee; important to share with them
Biancheria: middle school decision made during fifth grade...really concerns me
"already made the determination in fourth or fifth grade"
ensure that we are looking to elementary years, when presenting what our schools have to offer

Talking about the October report on enrollment
Perda: based on October 1 enrollment data reported to the state
Novick: concerning to see numbers as out of line as some of our ethnic/racial numbers are, but also our poverty numbers
out of line with our first page of the handbook: voluntary controlled transfer policy
not in line with Supreme Court decisions on school assignment and admission, either
eight schools that are 90% or above low income in a district that is 73%
request for trend data on enrollment, for copy of deisolation agreement, and for report back on
O'Connell: looking at proposed handbook, changes that we couldn't approve as it wouldn't be in line with DESE and DoJ agreement
at some point we have to address it, as what it provides is "daunting"
some of the schools that parents have supported strongly have lost population
quadrant that has shrunk is Doherty, down by 600 students over time
Burncoat has gone up by 400 students (in both cases over 15 or 16 years)
could be any one of a number of things
"something sociological behind that"
request for report on change in quadrants
maybe our best deisolation plan is to look at income
Perda: you can tell by the font that the deisolation plan was done before the electronic age
"maybe we can learn something from other districts"

Next meeting probably June 23 at 5:30

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