Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Mass Board of Ed meets at 8:30: opening remarks

The agenda is here.
I'll update this post with notes on opening remarks once we've started. Updating as we go!

Chair McKenna speaking about last night's presentations on inclusion
"here's a case where data really can tell a story"
"gave us some real insight into some of the things we here at DESE could do to improve the lives of children with specail needs"
"appreciate the Commissioner asking [them] to do this"
licensure: "some of the work that's going on in terms of teacher licensure and where we've come from in terms of teacher licensure"
"there are many other issues...all extremely committed...who's the teacher in the classroom is what's important"
"we support them in their work"
"important to have more full discussions on important issues"
Commissioner: "Very exciting things happening"
"holding 17 different regional sessions around the Commonwealth" on PARCC for teachers to try out the test
"how the test relates to the program of study...how it relates to the program of study, not about test preparation"
"very successful curriculum and instruction summit"
share best practices on relating educator evaluation to instructor
Board now has state email accounts
information for Board going into retreat next week
"committed to a basic framework agenda over the last twenty years" Chester calls this "very exciting"
"stay the course on the basic building blocks that have served us well"
"very exciting news out of Springfield"
3 schools new Level 4, 3 "stuck"
"They decided to move things aggressively on their own...rather than hoping state didn't exercise their receivership authority"
partnership for an empowerment zone to serve middle schools in Springfield
1330 hours of instruction for students
"performance based compensation system...expedited dispute resolution process"
ratified by union yesterday
state/city partnership..."very excited by that, pleased to report that to you this morning"
Commissioner cites Child Trends study on Latino students in math
report released in January that benchmarks state assessment standards agains NAEP
"when that report is released in January, we'll remain high, but we'll no longer be alone, and in some areas no longer be the highest in some areas"
Secretary Malone: "Happy Thanksgiving everybody, this is the greatest week in schools...I'm not in schools anymore, and I'm still taking tomorrow as a half day!"
transition in government
met with transition leaders, shared what they need to keep an eye on for first 100 days
"I will say that the transition team so far has been great"
Matt Wilder has been contact for education in Baker transition

Four things "I want to be sure this Board continues to lead on" and discuss:

  1. right sizing the number of summative assessments..."finding the right balance...right number of days and the right number of assessments" 
  2. DDMs "great idea, but it's been onerous at times"
  3. alternative education: "provide freedoms and flexibilities" "we need to do a better job on...stackable pathways"
  4. early childhood alignment: joint meeting with EEC board "we build good kids by letting them play and building core values"
Yesterday Massachusetts had its first school safety site visit
"blessed and honored to do this work"
"every single day our teachers are running to work...when they're allowed to teach and to focus on the intercracies of teaching, it builds excitement in students"
shoutout to Bernardston on arts, Hancock on outdoor education
"That's what excites people...and I don't want you guys to forget that"
"it's great because adults that we have support public education in this Commonwealth"
"We've got the greatest results in the world, but we're building the greatest people in the world, and that's what matters."
And he wants you to follow him on Twitter
McKenna sorting out that no one is anti-assessment and asks for update from Commissioner
Commissioner "rather than rely on anecdoal evidence"
have selected a company to contract with to study this

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