Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Third Way at the ICA

You can follow the Twitter action here. posting as we go once we start
Note that we are sitting in the dark. Panels are not being introduced as "all bios are in the program," which we can't read because we're in the dark...
oh, look! A video! "It isn't us or them...it's us and them"
"about synergy and progress"
"bold steps, away from what always has been done..."
"it's here, and we are living it"
Brett Alessi, Managing Partner, Empower Schools, opening today
"It's not a destination, it's a mindset"
"this work is really hard"
"intersection of policy and politics"
"regulatory entrepreneurship"
Ben Forman, Mass Inc
thanks Chris Gabrieli, at "leading edge of education"
"have always understood that education held the key"
"much higher level of innovation" needed
refers to "one of the most innovative guys out there--Secretary Peyser"
Peyser: compliments Forman on the turnout today
thrilled to be here, important event
"introduction to the public policy dialogue"
"those of you who know me probably think of me as a charter guy...and it's true"
belief that schools not districts are the unit of change
districts, etc "establishing the conditions within which great schools can emerge and thrive"
world class standards and assessments, accessible timely and meaningful data
transparent, predictable and sustainable finance systems
"authority to act with accountability for results"
"it's that last one that proved the most problematic"
"if you can't give me the authority to manage my schools and manage these variables"
command and control leading to compliance
"so far it sounds like I'm making the argument for more charter schools--and I am"
but they are not the only solution
four schools a year "I think we can do better if and when the cap gets lifted in November" and calls for applause
believe that system change has to happen one school at a time
"supplement, not replace charter growth"
replicate the conditions that allow charters to succeed
"need to break out of our present dialectic of districts versus charters"
Gabrieli: let me talk about our sense of urgency
names first way as district schools, second way as charter schools
"now sadly seen in opposition"
"third way emerges as a solution"
"additive and complimentary even synergistic"
Universal service, democratic voice, and...no idea. Orange was hard to read
"convergencing on powerful practices, district-charter alignment, empowerment zone"
"particularly promising scaleable" practice: Springfield, Denver

note that Springfield just happened; there are no results on Springfield
contract specific to zone
"depends on win-win structures"
collaborative and voluntary, builds on best, locally and beyond
promises the results and scale
"we have a lot in common, but we take our own path"

three charter school leaders:
Komel Bhasin from Up Academy in Lawrence: importance of parents, push kids higher up the ladder
"aiming for the same goal, starting in a difference place"
working with newcomers to this country...working with a different population
can't just scale things up
<>could handle five or six on a case-by-case basis, when you have fifty or sixty, need systems
parents don't get to vote with their feet; need to allow them to vote with their mouth
need to have a role in shaping policy
demographics don't necessarily mirror the communities in which we work
"really not speculating about what the needs of our communities are" but ensuring they're actually heard
Anna Breen from KIPP now at Rise Academy in Springfield
sometimes at charter school feel like impact is really limited within the four walls of the building
now need to think about impact on stakeholders throughout the system
great not to have to do it all on her own
resources the system can provide
Nate Higgins, now Bronx Prep Charter, heading to Impact Prep in Springfield: inspired to give back
"it's a lot of work"

Lawrence panel:
"while public policy can make people do things, it cannot make people do things well"
Jeff Riley, receiver : problem is too big for a civil war
"I can assure you that parents don't care; they just want a good school for their kids."
"I hate to break it to you: test scores aren't everything."
"other parts matter"
mirror the suburban experience for our kids; "best way for our children"
Shalimar Quiles "this is personal for me"
product of Lawrence schools, have nieces, nephews, cousins
"how we actually got here
"great teaching, high quality enrichment, school-based decision-making"
subtract the titles and the types
"let's get them ready based on what those models look like"
"adults least connected to our communities have created" have made decisions about schools
student, Lawrence Public Schools:
pretty exciting
I can not only change myself to be a leader, I can change other students to not be a follower and be a leader, and that's what I'm proud of today"
and then she sang, which was lovely
Riley: put the focus on the district schools
put the authority on the schools, parents, students
"I believe in the teachers' union...I think we have to do this together with people"

Denver panel:
David Osborne: closed "over fifty failing schools, opened seventy schools, expanded charters rapidly"
wrote innovation school law
"produced results"
"most of the academic growth has come from charter sector"
I should perhaps point out that he's asserting all of this as good things
"desperation" is why they made the changes
Michael Bennett was district superintendent "embraced charters, began to expand charters"
4/3 school board, "bitter battles and stay with it"
then "raised lots of money" and converted board to 7-0
autonomy and what they had that:
former board member Mary Seawell joined the Gates Foundation
unified enrollment; transportation in zone
"charters as district opportunities"
charters with district boundaries, taking kids in special edthis may be the first mention of special ed today
"take away these false dicotomies...gives opportunities"
Ross Osborne (BPS) speaks of portfolio of options in Boston Public Schools
schools hiring earlier in year now
working closely with the Boston Teachers Union on that
Osborne: thinks we're in the midst of a sixty year transformation of public policy

Springfield panel: moderated by James Morton, Board of Ed
Springfield superintendent Warwick: "okay to steal really good ideas"
invited Gabrieli in to talk about some middle schools
"as a long-time principal, I loved autonomy"
Tim Collins "embraced the idea as well"
Collins: empowering the schools, powering the principals, teachers, and the students
"nothing new" we've been doing this for years
I "have been at this in Springfield for 43 years"
unlike the past years, where the locus of decision making has shifted to DC, Malden
"not a matter of replacing a dictator with a junta"
teacher leadership elected by staff
people doing work should have a voice in leadership
"civil rights issue of our time": foundation budget needs fundamental reconsideration
arts, shop, kids need that spark "that's what we should be all about"
"when we face that poverty, face the opioid epidemic" kids need those experiences and options
"we can accomplish what we want for all the children, not just the charter school children, all the children"
Russell Johnston, DESE: turnaround hasn't been successful in many places
I feel honor-bound to point out that some of those places have been DESE-run turnarounds 

done research at what has been successful
"have discovered a lot of the what"
Springfield zone is "the how"
Warwick was really pleased when Collins came to table
cites Gabrieli brought to table
Collins gave schools serious school improvement grants and then turnaround
"hope we will put resources into Gateway schools" principals
Mike Calvanese, principal in Springfield "full budget and "a plan
when other people are making the decisions for you, easy to push off responsibility
working with teachers, need to have two way system of communication
Zachary Rahn: working to become innovation school
"have to flip the script of what the center service center is"
went department by department" and asked if that's something really needed (that's called zero based budgeting and is best practice for districts; aka, it isn't uncommon or a charter innovation)
Lori Butterfield: principal in Lawrence
primary role as a school leader is help teachers grow and develop
working with their strengths, their weaknesses, and targeting their PD
have expanded their day
more than 100 additional hours of PD; go deep within priorities
"no longer a one-sized fits all model"

Tripp Jones: from Empower Schools asking questions of state leaders in the audience
calls on Commissioner Chester to talk about "how you see this Third Way fitting into your toolbox"who takes this opportunity to comment that he is "not going to comment" on "the unions" not wanting student test data in evaluations
"have every conviction that we can do better by these students"
three districts, four schools under state receivership
goal is to improve education

"enlisted proven providers" included charters
critical elements: time, staffing, collective bargaining
Bentley School in Salem, Dearborn School in Boston "where districts have taken the initiative"
"as the charter debate plays forward this fall...hope we can recruit our high-performing charters want to embrace turnaround assignments"
Senator Chang-Diaz: answer to question is in this room
"here very little about the third way...we hear very little about it on Beacon Hill"
"we just don't have the time and luxury of this civil war"
parents really don't care...just want quality option for their kids
"please do right by both of my children"
"I know it can be done..." Rise Act
Peisch: top priority is to close the achievement gap
"don't think (current climate) has been helpful"
more access to autonomies in Level 4 stage
"bring the discussion back to..what is in the best interest of the students"
Paul Grogan: would guess from press coverage that only thing Boston Foundation cares about is charter schools; lion share of funding goes to district
pilot school chapter in Boston: allowing other options within district
John King, Secretary of Ed he's being interviewed by Gabrieli
principles that drove start of Roxbury Prep drive work this day
having great teachers, making sure they're well supported, well rounded curriculum, strong school culture
everyone in school community feels responsible for school achievement
King: a lot of truth to that thesis
making sure autonomy is real and accountability is real
and democracy is real
King: for kids it doesn't matter if it's a charter school and a district school
showing things are possible
"home was this very unpredictable place...school a place where I could be a kid, when I couldn't be outside of school"
autonomy in curriculum?
King: know that kids who get a well-rounded education are better leaders as a result
reading not just about decoding
also worthy pursuits on their own: how the world works, where they came from, appreciation for beauty..."a well-rounded education is a right, and we have a responsibility to provide that"
reading and math as "essential but not sufficient"
King: broaden definition of educational excellence
what about absenteeism? access to advanced coursework?
build beyond that to other indicators of college and career readiness
how states respond to chronic underperformance: states could be more innovative
create a dual language school
King: lots of reasons to be optimistic; high school graduation rate; reduction in drop out of black and Latino students, more in college investment in early childhood ed
bipartisan education law
MA still has 30-40 point achievement gap...that's a gap we have to close
And that was it!

1 comment:

laMissy said...

You get the hero award for today for sitting through this without tossing your breakfast. Fitting it's at the ICA as most of what was said was composed of artistic license with the facts.