Tuesday, February 28, 2017

The February Board of Education meeting: starting with opening remarks and "about last night"

The Board of Education meets today at 8:30; the agenda is here. 
Last night, after a significant amount of public comment, the Board voted to approve the Plymouth charter,  Old Sturbridge Village charter, and the Westfield charter, despite concerns around its Gulen ties.  It approved all expansion plans except the plans for the Pioneer Valley Chinese Immersion Charter, around which there was significant testimony around their lack of serving all students.
posting as we go

Sagan opens the meeting
"had a very long and robust meeting around charter matters" last night
Commissioner: last night "one of the most interesting discussions I've seen in my tenure as Commissioner of Education"
honored 51 MA schools for their high achievement, making strong progress, closing gaps : Commendation Schools, Blue Ribbon Schools, National Title I Distinguished schools
Dever School: Blueprint will "step aside at the end of this school year"
"haven't seen the kind of progress I had hoped for at the Dever School, at the other Level 5 schools"
will remain under state receivership under Boston Superintendent Chang
"will not fold back into the portfolio of schools that the Boston School Committee oversees"
two days of spring convening
ESSA state plan is in draft form on the website; up for public comment (summary here)
will discuss at March meeting prior to submission on April 3
great news on progress we're making on school breakfast; 142 schools in 47 districts as "Massachusetts School Breakfast Challenge" winners
ranked second in growth in school breakfast participation
Office of Civil Rights investigating both Braintree and Lawrence around translation
not new news; take very seriously
Sagan asks him to talk about Advanced Placement
Chester for first time has highest percentage of students in graduating class achieved at least at 3 on at least one exam
nearly 1 in 3 students in Massachusetts
looking at five and ten years, no state has a better improvement record

Public comment
teacher licensure comments: on IT teacher licensure
notes no educator technology administrator license
survey comments on need for it
expansion of autism endorsement: general ed teachers receiving will grow inclusion

Educator evaluation
Fairhaven superintendent: MASS executive committee has endorsed change to drop student impact rating as separate item
embed student growth in standard two
"time to make a final revision and move on"
"can evolve in a system in growth and accountability"
Sagan: appreciate members on working together on this
MESPA director: praises changes to evaluation
student impact as a separate item is not in keeping
including as one of five, integrates into standard two
does not believe it will result in teachers being unfairly evaluated
"appropriate weight to student learning"
Secondary principals: "unembedded from the comprehensive" instructional environment"
all student learning
"sound and experienced professional judgment"
"professional judgment" on student impact
can include "student population and specific learning context" in that
Sagan: "we've also heard that we've gone too far and watered it down"
would like to hear if we've gone too far?
A: "I think that balance in critical in most things in education...allows for a balanced consideration of student learning"
"provides that balance"
A: growth "and making better educators across the board"
student growth "still a part"
"allows original intent of the growth of the educator...culture of trust to improve educators across the board"

comment that this is a political compromise
"essentially relegates it to a million students in the Commonwealth aren't represented"
"need accountability, need a separate accountability"

Update on chapter 70
Superintendent Kelly of Revere: "though well-intentioned, has had a disproportionate impact" on some districts
students have to be enrolled in state programs
immigrants, homeless students, refugees
change in metric and increasing amount of money intended to balance out
"creates systemic bias"
DESE suggests only a partial fix
"a three year lookback does not begin to capture all kids"
including all kids in 133% of poverty
"using free lunch count will work" for districts still counting; those on CEP can "prorate based" on previous years
Director for finance in Chelsea: impacts on foundation budget
looked at DESE website last week on Chelsea's profile
While those in the room would "know enough to put an asterisk next to it" not everyone would
concerned about possible Title I impacts and such

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