Tuesday, December 20, 2016

December Board of Ed: MCAS

memo is here
Chester: discussion on where are we going on high school assessment
provide students, families, educators with more accurate assessment of if they're prepared as they move up the grades
a number of questions being tackled
leaving it at grade 10; when can we certify 'readiness' for college
adding history and social science to competency determinations

posting from my notes earlier:
  1. Provide clear and accurate signals to students about whether they are on track for the expectations of colleges, employers, and civic engagement.
  2. Keep the high school competency determination for English language arts and mathematics at grade 10 for the near future
  3. Add history and social science to the competency determination.
  4. Eliminate the high school chemistry and technology/engineering tests (as most choose bio or physics).
  5. Add an introductory physics re-testing opportunity in February (in addition to the retest of bio already offered).
  6. Convene a stakeholder workgroup to identify and recommend options for a grade 11/grade 12 assessment program to gauge students' readiness for success after high school.
Wulfson: preliminary discussion; on agenda in January
looking at a potentially new history test and 11th and 12th grade options
"Looking at all of our options: not tying ourselves to a pencil and paper or a computer based options"
competency options, existing options, classroom options
"want to continue our discussion with the field about getting students and families the information they need without wanting to be intrusive" in the classroom
back and forth here about science options
Doherty: do you still have to take US History?
law doesn't say you have to pass it
Sagan: revisiting standards?
Yes, that's K-12
Peyser: think regulations currently include history/social science
Wulfson: Board has voted to delay
Sagan: why haven't we done it? Money? (to general agreement)
Chester: for me one of the concerns were...bad time to increase requirements if you can't also increase supports for those students
which would seem to imply that increasing this requirement would mean increased support 
Peyser: I would be concerned about setting an expectation that if anything untoward happens on funding, that we'd drop the test
wondering about an alternative option for proposed dropped science tests, like AP tests
McKenna; only probably is you probably aren't going to be able to pass an AP chemistry test in 10th grade
but other options to consider

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