Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Posting from the Board of Ed: opening remarks

I'm at the monthly  Board of Ed meeting in Malden this morning. You can find the meeting agenda here. At this point, we're still waiting on a quorum, but I'll be updating as we go.

Sagan starts by thanking the two members who have ended their terms
welcomes Moriarty and Fryer
Sagan: major decisions about assessment coming up in November
balance major business of education as well

Chester: joins welcomes
has followed Fryer's work "for years" and "what works" in school turnaround
summary given to Board of ESEA reauthorization
state ballot initiatives: one on Common Core, one on charter schools, one for amendment to provide resources for education and transportation
charter schools that show most promise will be invited to send full applications
also expansions of enrollment: 19 with 8 that are asking for 100 or more seats
chair will create charter school subcommittee
will brief Board in October: will communication with superintendents and have public hearings in districts
meeting standards for special ed
equitable access to excellent educators federal project
program assessment for teacher candidates (Chester concedes that he "can't keep up with the acronyms himself")
performance assessment new approach; started on a voluntary basis, required 2016-17
pursuing an organizational review: funded by Boston Foundation done by Parthnon group; already started, will be completed in several weeks
references history of learning standards, distributed today
Common Core: "narrative that this was done by federal government...certainly was incentivized by federal government"
arguement was why should 50 different states have 50 different standards of literacy and math
some states set high bar, some set low bar
heavy emphasis on Mass educators involvement in MA review  I'll try to type some of this up later
review process of January of 2010 of Common Core, which essentially took a year, though they were adopted in July 2010; final adoption December 2010, with additions from MA
MA included early ed, wide genre study, cursive, longer math standards, literature author standards
Chester asked for a review of the latest Pioneer Institute missive on Common Core: not accurate
Agatha Christie was never part of our author list: "And we've continued to carry forward our authority list"
Chester not going to respond to all, but wants Board to have accurate information
also Mary Ann Stewart is a candidate Northeast rep for the national state school boards association!

Sagan "will avoid having a special hearing on mystery writers" but if the information is really wrong, correct it

Peyser: a number of events lauching preschool expansion initiative around state
expanding access to preschool for hundreds of low income students
partnership between public K-12 and private pre-K
local school departments contract with early ed providers, work collaboratively to move children seamlessly
"achieving literarcy proficiency by the end of third grade"
"recommit ourselves" to standards
open doors to students
close achievement gaps, work
"build on and not abandon the reforms that have brought us this far"

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