Wednesday, September 21, 2016

The Board of Ed meets next week

The Massachusetts Board of Education meets next week on Monday night and Tuesday morning. You can find the agenda here.
On Monday night, the state plans to release preliminary results of last spring's testing. Important note about that:
This year's assessment choices, however, were distributed in such a way that makes it difficult to create a valid representative sample. Approximately 72% of students took PARCC tests in 2016; the remaining 28% took MCAS tests. As a result, ESE will not report aggregate results at the state level for grades 3-8 ELA and mathematics in 2016.
That should make it tricky for headline writers.
Likewise the new school and district accountability levels will be released at that meeting.

On Monday, after the usual round of comments, the Board will elect a new vice-chair and recap Monday night's meeting.
The Board then is getting an update on the state's plans regarding ESSA. Note the following from the updated for September stakeholder outreach plan:
We will work through similar mechanisms in the fall listening phase. We also plan to add several regional listening forums where stakeholders can gather to share input publicly on our plans, as well as to hear from one another about their priorities and concerns.
So, keep an eye out for more to come on that! 
Note also the attachment of suggested indicators of student success or school quality. At first glance, if DESE is really thinking about adding some of this, that would be a very different accountability system. 
They'll also be discussing educator evaluation, specifically the student impact rating. There is significant citation of stakeholder testimony, summed up in:
These stakeholder comments all point to a solution to the concerns of implementation: eliminate the separate student impact rating from the Framework while continuing to use evidence from common assessments in order to provide educators with feedback on the extent to which they are promoting student learning and achievement as well as to incorporate this evidence into each educator's rating.
It looks as though there will be more work to come on that, as the laws will have to be revised if that is to go.

There are updates on the review of the ELA and math standards, as well as the history/social studies standards.

There is an update on the MCAS, including notice that the Commissioner will be recommending that the current test be extended as a graduation requirement through the class of 2020. That backup also includes to-be-explored questions moving forwarding, including those around competency determination (that is, readiness for graduation).
And there's an initial bit on the FY18 (yes 18!) budget.

I will be there to liveblog the Tuesday morning meeting. 

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