Tuesday, October 25, 2016

The Board of Ed meets: public and Commissioner comment

The Board of Ed meets at 8:30 today. You can find the agenda here. Updating this post with public and Board comment once the meeting begins. 
Saga defers to Chester for opening comments; none from Peyser.
Chester: Almost $16M federal grant for new charter schools and "to share practices for school success"
Nov. 18 is the dissemination fair (? date) all kinds of schools that are "doing neat things" presenting to colleagues
all kinds of schools: district schools, innovation, Horace Mann, Commonwealth
state budget: supplemental budget includes new money for student assessment
allows closing books on using both MCAS and PARCC and continue development of new MCAS
in March received a grant: New Skills for Youth competition to development career readiness
competing for one of ten continuing grants; Peyser presenting in DC tomorrow
competing for a larger grant to be administered over three years
"very uplifting fall" as he's visited schools
including schools "that we've been concerned about"
visited Holyoke High, Revere High
Salem: Driscoll "not invested in what would be politically palatable"
Bentley school a Horace Mann
great visit to Southbridge High School Middle School "very uplifting, very positive visit"
update on works of advisory councils: openings on career and tech council
work on reviewing educator licensure process: hope to bring to Board by end of 2016 some proposals
update on New Heights Charter: "you'll be anxious to know the school is on the right track"
fully enrolled: 316 students (allowed for 315)
zoning board has to approve parking plan; procedural allowances that may play out further
watching construction as well

Public comment regarding accelerated learning for students who can learn more quickly
Sagan asks what the Board can do to prevent this from being "a ceiling rather than a floor"
"People respond to what's in the system"
computer adaptive assessment: different levels of achievement every year
"even standards are at grade level"
"artificial barriers in, year by year by year"
"arts are more the decoration than the foundation"
Chester: Issues are very important issues
"certainly nothing that we've stated...we have not disallowed having students experience a program of studies that's well beyond that particular grade level"
advocate for adaptive assessment
may inadvertently signal that being behind "is okay for them"
"often the kids from the other sides of the tracks" where it's okay to be behind
test results "are anything but a binary result"

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