Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Joint Boards meeting: PARCC

Presentation is not online
Chester: cites 70% of MA students entering MA colleges that are in state colleges
2 of 3 students in community colleges are in at least one remedial course

more likely to be first generation college, low income, first generation college, students of color
"MCAS has served us tremendously well, has been a tremendous driver"
not designed to be a signal or a certification that someone is ready for college or for working
"some who look at the test would argue it at best is looking at 8th grade competency"
periodic refinement of standards and assessment: incorporated Common Core standards into MA standards in 2010
"new set of expectations"
a lot of expectations that go into college readiness over and above academic
revised set of expecations for learning; assessment not aligned for that
tried to revise MCAS to align; 2008-09 rebid contract
"expected a lot of what is in PARCC assessment to be in new MCAS"
online, critical thinking, "less of selecting responses"
awarded a contract that would have allowed us to do that, but economic downturn allowed us "to only hold onto core MCAS"
worked with PARCC states
Freeland: not graduating students that are needed for the workforce
"such a large percentage of our students when they graduate from high school come into our colleges and enter 'developmental' courses" is a demonstration of the need for alignment
Chart Board has (click to make them bigger):

Chester points out that if PARCC is adopted, Higher Ed board would need to adopt a standard for level of performance needed to ensure college readiness
Chester: a major policy decision of these two boards, and "pretty consequential"
"outstanding track record under our current program...deciding to go to a next generation needs to be done with incredible deliberation"
Chester: students "will have a signal early enough in their education that they're not on track" for graduation/college readiness
"if they're not hitting those benchmarks, they'd have the opportunity to address them"
Wulfson: two year test drive of PARCC
full operational administration of PARCC is this spring; 5 million students taking PARCC
spring section just done: "surprisingly smooth" testing
135,000 students taking online; 115,000 taking paper version
handful of glitches both on the technology side and the paper form
pleased about participation: opting out "not a problem here in Massachusetts"
students not taking it a little bit higher than MCAS, about 2%
if Board votes to adopt PARCC: 3-8 in 2016; high school test MCAS through 2019
state will use quality, rigor, and efficacy (a useful test for teachers)
"many groups are looking at this from many different perspectives" and all will be brought to the Board
Higher Ed faculty judgment study: faculty took test; so far have judged it "a very rigorous test" and probably more so than the MCAS
Peyser: series of hearings around the state to solicit feedback from educators, parents, students, others with regard to actual experience of PARCC relative to MCAS
to ensure transparent perspective of process
also an independent panel of experts to synthesize it
looking at both how PARCC compares to MCAS but also how they work as broader overall academic test
MCAS evaluating learning "leading up to tenth grade, but not really at the 10th grade level"
('though wouldn't that be true of anything?)
Toner: "what's the simple explanation for not just putting the MCAS online and raise the cut score?"
shouldn't high school graduation naturally mean ready for college?
Chester: "not a lot of stretch" in the 10th grade
"a very high performance that are already performing in the advanced range"
which apparently is a problem
Chester: agree with readiness, but to do so now is to keep students from getting a high school diploma
Sagan wants to know later the costs of one or the other
McKenna: "continue to be concerned about our achievement gap" what PARCC will do to achievement gap
particularly what about kids doing online version without same degree of facility of technology
think pedagogical experts are in K-12; "hope that we are taking their input" just as seriously as higher ed
"not a lot of K-12 involved in the PARCC development
Freeland: more K-12 faculty involvment than higher ed
Willyard: students concerned with results that will be released so late
Roach: intent is to do online entirely; how does split break down now? Is it lower income districts not doing online?
Wulfson: districts of all sorts doing online
Roach: balanced? More suburban, says Wulfson, but some urban as well
Roach: going to be something of impact of way of taking test
Wulfson: major issue, looking closely at impact of paper versus online version
Roach: still an open question in the fall?
Wulfson: will have some information for you
Roach: critical issue for us
wrapping up this portion

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