Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Mass Board of Ed April meeting: opening remarks

You can find the agenda here.
I'm posting remotely today via the livestream, so please excuse any hiccups. 
Chair Sagan announces that Roland Fryer has resigned from the Board of Ed.

The Board is currently considering remote participation, with limited video participation. It cannot count towards the quorum. One person at a time. Restrictions on reasons for such participation
"We could do this. I think it would be helpful to some people, as I think everyone has had to miss a meeting or two."
Noyce suggests those who aren't here are those who most should be heard from
McKenna clarifies that remote participation does not count towards a quorum
Sagan "if at all possible, I think you should be apparent to the audience"
"don't know what the participate remotely will see"
will clear up technology and bring back for a vote
Moriarty comments that just having finished at two and a half hour drive, "it's music to my ears"
Sagan asks about early college high school, which McKenna clarifies that they updated about at the last meeting
Sagan: first joint committee meeting (on early college), talked about a two step proposal, "sort of like a chartering proposal"
"many issues still unresolved"
labor issues, who certifies, who teachers, who pays for it
"with the very ambitious goal of having one up and running in about a year"

Chester: on May 8, second annual civics literacy conference
anticipated a report from the office of the child advocate on private special education services, but it is not out yet
forum at Nipmuck Regional "effort to provide access to state officials"
submitted ESSA plan on April 3
questions back so far on long term goals and on interim progress
expect peer review in late May
MCAS: students have completed over 150,000 test to date on computers
have received no indication of major hiccups or concerns; some specific issues in specific districts
"we're in discussion with Rhode Island on the possibility of Rhode Island purchasing the MCAS program"
"not modifying our test"
"very much in process"
RI would have to pay a licensing fee; would have to develop protocols for test security
would have to have a contract with Measured Progress for the test itself
Chester comments that it's a good sign
Notes that both MA and RI were PARCC states
State teacher of the year celebration is Friday; national teacher of the year is scheduled to be announced Thursday morning
Board has been given information around financial literacy (this is in response to the presentation from students from Lexington last month)
Chester notes alignment with state frameworks
Sagan: "but alignment doesn't mean replacement" students brought specific things that students should know
"doesn't really answer" what students brought forward

Peyser passes

Public comments:
On civics: 8th grade civics and social studies teachers
"I'm going to leave you with a couple highlights from my civics classroom"
students are much more likely to become voters
mock election: optional activity, not during class, rate of 64%
"we beat record voter turnout"
civics teachers are deeply invested
legislative process on school policies
people participate, people in authority listen, leads to greater ownership
"happening in a more authentic way...would help make students feel more invested"

Gifted students panel: lacking in requirements on teaching gifted students
does not measure students above grade level
recommendations consistent for years
parents need to know what to expect if their children are gifted beyond grade level
"one of the top three states where a student's educational outcome is correlated with their economic status"
"closing the gaps on one side" would do so on the other side
essentially his argument is that gifted student learning gaps need the same identification as students who might be behind
"there is no demand for gifted education in Massachusetts" (that is, those trained in gifted education) yet UConn has some of the top research in the nation on gifted education
"it's time to develop this issue with some measure of confidence"
now a presentation, students on a bell curve, not a lot of money, 
"acceleration doesn't have to cost a lot of money"
"need curriculum and instruction at their learning level"
"the only state that is 'no' on all the dimensions [of measuring giftedness] is Massachusetts"
ask is for "off-level testing" and training for teachers and"that it be about bright kids"

No comments: