Thursday, June 23, 2016

June meeting of the Board of Ed

The Massachusetts Board of Education has their regular monthly meeting on Monday and Tuesday of next week; you can find the agenda here.
On Monday night, they'll be continuing their discussion of teacher evaluation, particularly the section having to do with "impact on student learning," one which is particularly relevant given the Senate's passage of a budget item that would eliminate that as a state requirement (as it no longer is a federal one).  The panel that will address this is:

  • Henry Braun, Director of the Center for the Study of Testing, Evaluation and Education Policy, Lynch School of Education, Boston College
  • Thomas Gosnell, President, American Federation of Teachers Massachusetts
  • Barbara Madeloni, President, Massachusetts Teachers Association
  • Martin West, Associate Professor, Harvard Graduate School of Education

DESE is including as backup on this item a joint white paper from the teachers' unions addressing it, with their own remarks embedded in it. 
Also on Monday night, the Board will be discussing digital learning, regarding which the state says "Our goal is not to determine which model is the best, but rather to support schools and districts in providing options and models best suited to students' learning needs and preferences." On Tuesday, the Board will have a new member joining them: Nathan Moore, a rising junior at Scituate High School, is the new student member of the Board. The briefing gives an overview of the Commissioner's intent on his opening comments, including what DESE has done around outreach for the state's new ESSA plan. These are the Rennie Center's "Shaping the Future of Accountability" breakfast and the Board's Accountability and Assistance Advisory Council meetings with DESE. 
The Board will hear updates from the Level 5 districts (Lawrence, Holyoke, and Southbridge) and the Level 5 schools. The Board will discuss and be asked to vote in new Digital Literacy and Computer Science standards. Upon this vote, DESE will distribute the frameworks that accompany the standards. The Board will receive an update on MCAS 2.0. Note that DESE announced today that they have awarded the contract to Measured Progress, which will subcontract with Pearson. The Board will conduct the annual review of the Commissioner; there is no attachment for that, but Mary Ann Stewart has posted an update about it. UP Academy-Springfield (part of the Springfield Empowerment Zone) is looking for an extension on their opening date. They were to open this fall; they now wish to defer that by one year.Pioneer Valley Chinese Immersion Charter School wants the Board to overrule the Commissioner's denial of their expansion from a June 2014 request. The Board is being asked to vote to end some outdated regulations regarding an expired teacher quality grant, school construction (now covered by MSBA), and independent and agricultural institutes (which was part of a now-repealed law). The Board will get an update on the FY17 budget (they haven't met since the Senate passed their version).  They are also being asked (as per usual) to vote to delegate authority to the Commissioner to act over the summer break, and they're voting on next year's meeting schedule.
I will not be at next week's meeting, due to its late date in the June calendar. 

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