Tuesday, May 24, 2016

May Board of Education meeting: opening comments

The agenda for today can be found here
We're at the Pioneer Charter School of Science 

Chester: Mass Teacher of the Year announced
"very celebratory, very energizing"
Chester speaks of poem at the session: "contrast between thinking that you're active and participating because you're on social media" versus real participation 
civics and literacy conference
early literacy conference
annual spring convening
discussion of educator preparation (as covered by WBUR this morning): "a kind of provoking discussion"
under new federal law (ESSA) each state must submit a plan to US DoE
in process of gathering feedback from a range of stakeholders
Sagan: that's due in a year? What's the process? What is the Board's role?
Chester: we will keep the Board updated, "give you a chance to react to emerging ideas"
will bring a report in the fall
Stewart: is the listening just through the link? or taking place across the state?
Chester: "this is an overview of the plan, we can get your more specifics"
I'm interupting the liveblog here to give a few notes on a handout that was only available at the meeting itself: The state sees this work around assessment in three phases, to wit:

  1. listening (April to June): asking questions of "our stakeholder community" about purpose and design of the state's accountability and assistance system
  2. modeling (June to September): developing specific proposals based on this feedback
  3. proposing (September to December): sharing draft proposals and further refining and improving
During this listening phase, the state has available the online feedback form, plus are "developing a master list of over 100 stakeholder groups that may which to be part of discussions; holding series of focus groups within those groups; participating in meetings and presentations with organizations that might like to provide more detailed feedback; and gathering formal input from those within the governance structure of the state.

Chester: I anticipate sometime in early to mid June, going to identify a cohort of schools in the Commonwealth that we will be working with "in a problem solving mode" who have high rates of suspension or outliers in who is suspended
this is based on first year of data
"work with the schools in a constructive, problem-solving way"
Sagan: presume there will be a lot of press focus on that when it comes out
Chester: we're anticipating the same thing
"my message will be...it's concerning to see a school that's using suspension/expulsion at disparate rates...need to better understand why that's happening..not jump to conclusions"
"very much a problem solving approach"
No comments from the Secretary, no public comments today

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