Tuesday, March 22, 2016

ESSA update

Chester: starts with photo of LBJ with his teacher "Miss Kate" signing the first ESEA into law on Palm Sunday (and gives a pop quiz to the Board on who it is; I had not known previously that he'd done this on Palm Sunday)
aside: LBJ even mentioned it in his remarks on signing:
My Attorney General tells me that it is legal and constitutional to sign this act on Sunday, even on Palm Sunday. My minister assured me that the Lord's day will not be violated by making into law a measure which will bring mental and moral benefits to millions of our young people.
Congress in nearly every session since the Civil War took up education in some way

his first job was in the migratory program funded out of federal grants
law gets reauthorized every six or seven years
Peyser's father was part of '74 reauthorization
in '94 shift from inputs to outcomes
"most would argue the 'ends and means' focus was quite loose"
when you weren't measuring up, specifics on what you had to do
Race to the Top (not a reauthorization) seen as a sort of contribution
tight ends/tight means, perhaps
"feeling the reaction" to RTTT
"the focus on Common Core, on common assessments"
"and the jury's out"
more discretion to states; to what extent with US DoE monitor states?
requires reporting, targeting, intervention
shifted focus on teachers from "highly qualified" to "effective"
people on all sides: some who want fed out, some who want it more in
initial discussion of ESSA
Johnston: high level overview of what's in ESSA, particularly in budgetary impact
ESEA is nine "Title" areas: majority of which provide funding to districts
for funding, states have to implement certain requirements

estimates: Flat funding when all accounts are looked at (some are up and some are down)
Update: here's a photo of the chart with estimates:

biggest amount of funding (far and away) goes to Title I
in overall funding for Massachusetts education: local contribution is 60%, state is 35%, fed is 5%

Title I: more flexibility in school and district accountability
shifts funding for SIG (turnaround) to within Title I (it's a percentage of MA Title I)
grade-level annual assessments required still, but flexibility on type administered
Title II: adds requirements on "effective" teachers
chages to more heavily weight pverty
Title III: moves ELL accountability to Title I
Title IV: block grant for courses access, safe & drug free schools, digital learning

State transition: planning and transition now through to '17
stakeholder engagement plans now: moving into gathering input this summer; internal planning discussions
fall 2016: continued communication with finalization of proposed plan
fall 2017: changes made

Stewart: negotiated rule making?
Yes, meeting now on a few issues
supplement not supplant discussion
"outcome-wise, we have to wait and see what they come up with"
Stewart encourages discussion with Audrey Jackson, MA teacher of the year, who is on that committee
Peyser: set aside in funding in low performing schools: what are parameters?
no longer have to apply separately for SIG funding: take a greater portion of your statewise Title I funding and use it for SIG
raises cap up to 7% of state Title I money
will have an impact on the overall amount that will flow out to districts
how much will appropriate depends on overall
Peyser: what's the process?
in transition, law does stipulate: use same amount as in year before law
in following years, we'll be asked to take 7% of award
7% would be less than 4% and turnaround funding, though long term funding could be more
Peyser: so we're seeing a reduction in overall amount of money
Moriarty: migrant programs?
outsourced to EdCo's
Doherty: transition to ESSA
RTTT required test scores to be used in teacher evaluation; ESSA no longer requires
getting a lot of feedback on DDMs; "very much resented in the field"
"harmful, inaccurate"
can't separate out all the factors in a child's life and attribute it to classroom
requesting that we revisit the issue of DDM's; ask that it be put on May agenda
Sagan: can't speak to if May works or not
Chester: welcome discussion with the Board
under RTTT, was a requirement to have a "robust educator evaluator system"
ESSA: federal government cannot demand teacher evaluation system
makes clear that that state plans have to identify and report on schools where students do not have access to effective teachers
how to define effective teachers
part of what the law does and does not require, also what we in Massachusetts require of districts
Doherty: recognize that it may require changes in the regs

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