Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Public comment (beginning with superintendents on PARCC)

Opening with comments from superintendents from Boston, New Bedford and I missed the last one
New Bedford: talk to you about PARCC
approach with two lenses: data and instruction
in ELA recently used Star assessment, very robust turnaround in New Bedford
saw only 42% scoring at benchmark at 9th grade
but failure rate was only 7%
"having a false and almost cruel sense of hope" as they hang onto their diploma (having passed MCAS)
instruction: demanded through rigorous standards
"knowing that there is more than one right answer"
careful close reading looking at evidence: "becoming critical thinkers and readers"
"all this shows what rigorous instruction is"
your choice will drive instruction in these schools, "particularly for urban kids, particularly for kids in New Bedford"

Boston: "must be more thoughtful about high stakes test and its impact on learning"
"do a better job of measuring specific standards"
would like to share three thoughts
oh, don't...quoting the Teach Plus survey...
we need assessments that are tied to particular cores of learning
relationship between teacher, student, and subject: best evaluated by what's going on in the classroom
misalignment between what is going on in classrooms and what is in the standards (in Boston)
when there's a shift "you see a huge shift in students demonstrating mastery"
"need assessments that match the rigor required in the Common Core"
PARCC improves access and accessbility
should be proud of our leadership in the state and should continue
"should not absolve ourselves" of responsibility to rest of consortium
hmm..interesting point: what do we owe the rest of the country?
Cant lost the progress we've made

"going to comment on why I think PARCC is the right choice"
standards "comprehensive and rigorous"
realigning instruction to standards, integrated use of technology
"seems one group lost in the shuffle" is students
engaged students in groups afterwards: "our kids overwhelming prefered the use of PARCC" particularly in terms of using technology and time
"who among us has written more than a paragraph by hand and then had to copy it over by hand?"recently
"can you imagine not having spell check on the work you do daily?"
test split into portions: "the most was 90 minutes"
reduction of 40% to 70% of time spent on testing, depending
should not be receiving results that are four months old
rather than spending hundreds of millions of dollars for a new assessment, use that money to upgrade technology across the state, and not just for PARCC, but for education
"the fact that the technology upgrades our assessment system is a bonus"
MCAS does not give us the data we need to address the needs of our kids "a hybrid won't either"

Willyard Q: justifying responses is not new
fairness of the assessment: is there a gap of technology for students who have access at home versus those who don't?
Chang: think that's a separate debate
Moriaty Q: thoughts about technology are well placed: 388 schools not capable of using online version
Revere is up to date, New Bedford needs to do a lot of work
"what is the commitment to reversing this at the district level"
New Bedford: need to move kids to 21st century level
leverage needs to pushed as to why kids need technology "separate and apart from PARCC"
"not a whole day saga"
parents saying "that's what I want my kid to learn"
Sagan "technology issue might be a tie breaker for some"
"are you telling us to wait on PARCC or not" based on technology?
Revere: "let's not give anybody the better one because some aren't ready to receive it yet"
PARCC is a better test than MCAS and transforms how instruction is done in classrooms
shouldn't wait, "because it gives us a gap in our data"
"sense of urgency will be lost in terms of getting kids where they need"
New Bedford: urgency is critical, "time is moving on"
"can't wait for technology to catch up"
"even though we were totally paper in New Bedford" we'd still push forward with PARCC
Boston: aligns with instruction daily
Stewart: how many licensed teachers in the state? 80,000
Fryer: right set of signals to guide teaching and learning in the classroom
"how do we know that assessment is PARCC?" versus another assessment
Revere: "there's always room for improvement"
"leaps and bounds" above MCAS
"from what I've seen of tests, it's a really good test"
calls for not letting perfect be the enemy of the good
Boston "more power in working across school districts, across states"
"Do we continue working with other states or do we go off on our own?"
"there is some collective responsibility that Massachusetts has in leading this work"
Fryer: if we did away with the labels, but we had a bucket of high-quality assessments, but we completely controlled the testing that we used, could you get excited about it?
Chang (Boston): "think it absolutely should be part of the conversation"
Sagan: agnostic among several new tests
Boston "power" in being able to call superintendents in other states
Chester: thanks superintendents for their leadership

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