Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Questions/discussion on accountability and test results

Craven: data for the leveling of schools
data came out less than 24 hours ago; struggling to review online
"have been an advocate for assessment my whole life...staunch defender of exams"
personally disappointed by Latin School
interim headmaster at Latin: students took both MCAS and PARCC
school and district were under impression that MCAS was their assessment
"don't want to see an erosion"
that's a lot of testing "can see parents" making that choice
that's what caused Latin School to fall
"on precipice of a new test, a hybrid test"
"very concerned about the Latin School in particular...are there other districts, other schools seeing drops because of non-participation rates on exams"
"I wonder about this as a practical reality, as we roll out new tests and different tests"
if a district thought that MCAS mattered and it was PARCC, then what?

Chester: "I want to make sure we nail this, right?"

participation requirement has been around for 15 years, as part of NCLB
"when we look at school level results, we want those results to represent all students, not some students"
"to shine a light on achievement gaps"
results in aggregate not representative of all students in school (necessarily)
when he was in Ohio, could decide which students were tested and which got reported, masking achievement gaps
Peyser: think BLS took 7th and 8th grade took PARCC, 10th graders took MCAS
Chester agrees
7th and 8th graders were not taking two tests
Sagan: sounds like no, not confusion about kids taking two tests
Chester: tried to be very clear to schools about whether they were taking PARCC or MCAS
superintendents asked for letters to send to parents so that parents understood that there would be consequences
"in regards to Latin, not getting whole story"
district raised concerns about 13 students to me
"there were in fact 40 students in this group who for whatever reason did not take the test"
"there were a total of 40,41 schools in the state that were dropped a level because of participation rate"
every year there are schools that fall short of the participation rate
comparison was made of just 2015-16 year participation and two year aggregate with year before; higher one taken (for districts, schools, subgroups)
Johnston: district appealing 15 students, some may be refusing, some may have medical issues
there is a question as to why so many students from this subgroup
McKenna; are we talking about the whole school?
Chester: correct, we aggregated across the whole school
McKenna: across both tests?
Johnston: this issue is around 7th and 8th grade
"and that's consistent across the state. Our high school students take the test because they need it to graduate."
Sagan: "you can still be high standards, but we can't verify it unless you take the test"
"I don't see any basis on which we as a Board want to overrule this judgment"
McKenna: heard some say that participation was optional
response: "no reason to think that students were not motivated to take the test questions"
McKenna: trying to figure out"was there any responsibility on our part for miscommunication"
I heard last night that the additional PARCC was optional
"we ought to review our communication"
Craven: Latin "is challenged"
McKenna: "We got this data while we were sitting here last night; I suggest we get it ahead of time."
Districts had it ahead of time.
"I would think that as Board members we could be relied upon to keep the materials confidential."
Sagan: procedurally, released to us "it's a public matter"
(side note: DESE could request that they observe the embargo)
McKenna: spent a lot of time on Burke
"spent 10% of the time on Dever last night that we spent on Burke; we are the school committee for Dever. We are not the school committee for Burke"
"I think we shortchange our responsibility for Dever"
Chester: appreciate comments on Boston Latin School
all of test result data at Latin "shows a very high performing school

ten minute break; picking up with ESSA 

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