Tuesday, February 24, 2015

PARCC update

This is an update on the timetable, per the meeting notes. I've dug back through and I cannot find it online.
Chester: provide Board with sufficient background, that you feel like you've gotten sufficient understanding on which to make a decision
proposed timeline of presentations to the Board

have discussed the Secretary studies that are necessary
"I don't think we have the luxury of delaying a decision this fall."
"we are the only state that is participating in PARCC...that is in fact not making a decision based on the field test of the test"
this spring, the state is about half and half
Wulfson: states are already testing; Mass starts in March
had planned to do a live demonstration of PARCC, but got delayed due to weather
if Board finds that of interest, can try to schedule later in the spring
McKenna: asks for update on states that are still in
Chester: "this is a very volitile answer...answer is subject to intense politicking...twelve states plus DC are using PARCC..about five million students"
Chester: roughly 25 states in each consortium to begin with
Bickerton: "get to benefit with economies of scale"
interesting: PowerPoint hasn't been updated. Still has 14 states
Board adopted Common Core in July 2010; MA frameworks in Dec 2010; started testing of PARCC in November 2013 with vote on adoptiong in fall of 2015
DESE vetting PARCC based on quality, rigor, and efficacy
doe they test students fully, are they equitable and comparable, "smooth disribution of student performance from lowest to highest performing" benchmarking with other states; authentic opportunities for all students to demonstrate what they know and can do,
citation of MBAE and "ceiling effect" on MCAS
"if these are intentions of PARCC...what are intentions to meet them..."
Peyser: don't seem to have seem ceiling effect in lower grades
Bickerton: demanding standards have evolved in lower grades
Peyser: blueprint?
Bickerton: balance of items when you see how students perform on items...shift on items as students show that they can handle them
to rephrase: MCAS has been getting harder in 3-8; it hasn't been getting harder in 10th
field test, operational test, independent studies, PARCC scoring, standard setting in early fall, student results not til October but compiled results in August and September
"many of the studies, though they were launched by PARCC, are conducted by researchers who are very well known"
Wulfson: continuing to offer a paper version of PARCC and will continue to do so as we get this up
trying to proceed to get all of our classrooms up to technological standards
current MCAS averages $43 per student; PARCC averages $32 per student
DESE will need level funding for FY16 for to prepare for either option for PARCC
MCAS contract is up next year, so decision must be made
start the process on contract for a new MCAS: continuation of 10th grade test for 2019, MCAS-alt and science, at the least
McKenna: wanting ongoing update on cost "if this number goes to five..."
Willyard: more states dropping out would bump up the costs; when would MCAS be more affordable?
Bickerton: "not a crystal ball for this"
states own all the information, though, so could keep best parts
Wulfson: even if we wanted to upgrade MCAS, would look for online test, could move along
Morton: going to be interested in how students are doing district by district and even school by school
"how the test works for some kids and not for others"
Wulfson: at the time you make your decision, will not have released individual student scores, but will have district and school results for you
Bickerton: standards won't be set until later in fall
Chester: standards are set consortium wide; what gets determined locally is what do you do with those performance levels: how does that translate into accountability system, graduation system, reports
standard to graduate high school is not the same as college ready
Peyser: are people involved in standard setting experts or state school officers, or is there a deliberative policy making body that makes final determination?
Chester: a lot of input from experts, include K-12 people, business people; 12 governing states will have state school officer and higher ed officer set benchmark for college readiness and then would scale back through grades
Peyser: only college level benchmark set by policy?
Chester: that's the anchor decision
Noyce: are we committing ourselves to the same standard as other states? will our colleges follow?
Chester: public colleges have committed that benchmark for college readiness "unless we feel its undefensable" will be honored for credit bearing courses
Stewart: legal changes?
Wulfson: don't anticipate any changes to MGL
Chester: no such thing as passing/failing
notion of college readiness certification is not a requisite for admission to college; it's a certification that you're ready for credit bearing courses
April meeting will be joint with Higher Ed just on this topic
Chester: this is about giving an accurate signal to parents, students, teachers as to if student is ready for performance at this level
McKenna: fascinating to think of these states all in a room, "and what happens if the majority rules, who drops out"
Roach: it seems to me that there's the potential to make smaller the footprint of testing on schools
"is it fair to say that this has the possibility to put a lighter footprint in?"
Wulfon: "at it's best, testing is constant feedback to the teacher on how students have learned this week's lesson"
Roach: so that is a possibility?  Yes.
Roach: much more difficult to teach to? Wulfson agrees
"so this has the potential to be the solution to some of the criticisms of it?"
Peyser: time compare to MCAS?
Wulfson: designed to be a bit less, "of course MCAS is an untimed test"
Noyce: items of MCAS are released every year: will PARCC items be released every year?
Wulfson: believe plan is to release some, not all, items

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