Wednesday, May 10, 2017

"Conditions of Education in the Commonwealth: Putting Students at the Center of Reform"

The event posting is here. Hashtag is #COE2017

d'Entremont (Rennie Executive Director): focus on student-centered learning
"any instructional approach that begins with the needs and interests of the individual learner and engages young people as drivers of their own learning experience"

Peyser: data dashboard; information that doesn't get nearly enough attention
% of students in Pre-K, who complete MassCore, students in MA public colleges in remedial courses, students with STEM credentials
"deserve a closer look"
"helping to influence the state in its reassessment of its accountability system"
interactive website; can look at all students, look at some students
was looking at low income
looking at gaps between low income students and state averages
10% gap on chronic absenteeism between low income and state average
completing MassCore...and so forth
"even though Massachusetts is a high performing state...and we've all known that for many years, there's a trap in there that we become complacent"
"equally important that the achievement gaps...are as large as any other state in the country"
and now we've hit the talking point on the difference being in schools, not in zip codes, which is from PISA, which was Commissioner Chester's talking point as well
"tremendous promise in this work, but it's really hard"
"ensuring students are getting what they need when they need it"
from administration's view "this would fall under multiple pathways"
"thinking of schools as the unit of change"
"to build off the lessons of the Empowerment Zone in Springfield" references Senator Lesser
"to take control over their schools and to be held accountable"
Career pathways grant
early college: to prepare them for success in college
empower principals as team leaders
"to have students feel like they own their own path, that they're invested in their own path...because they understand its relevance to them as individuals"
"not only in closing the gap, but in raising the bar for all students"
"can't afford to be complacent...that bar is going up all the time"

Senator Lesser: hope that as MCAS 2.0 and the Foundation Budget comes up, pay attention to one of the founding principles "in educating the citizen"
"we've been missing a vital component to have students be active community leaders"
to civilly debate, to critically examine information
deep mistrust in civic governance
"statistics really are staggering"
almost half of high school seniors can't explain how a citizen could go about changing a law
only 2/3rds of adults can name the three branches of government
"emphasizes how we need to make our education system dynamic" and responsive to the needs of students
"a big project in the Legislature on the Foundation Budget Review Commission" in thinking through the unmet needs in schools
"to grapple with tough questions, to be a life-long learner, to learn and grow"
"experiential learning, direct service" are "absolutely critical to lock in those values to carry into adulthood"
"civic deserts"(citing data from here)
think critically about civic education and community service, to carry it forward
and he closes without mentioning anything about the Empowerment Zone bill...really interesting

now Jennifer Poulos running through information from data dashboard: students completing MassCore, students in remedial courses in public colleges in MA, students graduating in four years, college completion
strategies for differentiate, individualize, complete rigorous coursework and prepare for college completion

The panel is as follows:
Lisa Bakowski, Principal, Boland Elementary School, Springfield Public Schools
Richard Malinoski, Math Teacher, Springfield Empowerment Zone
Kate Phelon, Executive Director, Greater Westfield Chamber of Commerce
Stephen Zrike, Superintendent, Holyoke Public Schools

Bakowski: preK-5 800 student school
"We learn" initiative
have become a 1 to 1 community: all students in grade 3-12 have a device
"has really changed the landscape of education"
"we're putting technology into their hands, very interactive"
"tons of professional development for staff"
"great way to see kids engaged"
"definitely a learning curve"
"have a teach the teacher model...those experts" available to the rest of the staff for professional development
also tapping into those who are not as comfortable
Malinoski: middle school math teacher
"Teach to One Math"
changed how we teach math to our kids
"technology based...but not just that we gave the kids computers"
7 different models (everything from on their own learning, to learning in groups, to learning with a peer, to learning in full class)
kids learn at their pace; those ahead can keep going, those behind can come up to speed
whole team works together
"can't take the teacher out of this model at all, but the students really are responsible for their own learning"

Phelon (Westfield Chamber of Commerce) Westfield Schools are a member of the Chamber of Commerce
events at tech school: business owners speaking to needs
have been meeting with schools since the fall
"we're working together"
career events Pre-K through grade 12
both for students and for teachers: "how they can adapt their teaching and their curriculum because of the workforce and skills gap issue"
d'Entremont: unique model

Zrike: "our vision as a district is a pathway for every student"
How to best prepare our students for what's next
"we really have to hear from kids"
less than 20% of kids in secondary schools tell us that they're "excited or very excited" about their learning
to what extend do our staff feel they're empowered to lead change in the school
"kids will be excited and engaged if they feel that it's connected to their interest and there's relevancy"
high school redesign work now focused on pathways across our high schools that tap into student interests and their motivations and link to workforce and higher education
based on Summit model out of California, students can see where they are in comparison to where they need to be by year end
"grades really critical data point for kids" because they send a message
"signals to them" on why they're going to stick around
giving students multiple opportunities to demonstrate what they know

Phelon: businesses kept talking about soft skills, are talking about how they can incorporate this early
"how do you meet somebody, do you shake a hand"
mentors to students from business community
Bakowski: "not wanting to add one more thing to their plate"
"an easier way to deliver the content in a more effective way"

Tim Collins: talk about preschool?
need for Foundation Budget Review Commission implementation: one billion short each year, "that's unconscionable"
Bakowski: partner with Americorps on preschool
do Response to Intervention
caught students early, "because you cannot intervene too soon"

Zrike: establish program first, then ability to spread
"I don't want to force things on schools"
"have to get people excited about it and own it"
Malinoski: Teach to One "can't work everywhere"
need teacher buy in, students who are excited and interested

Tricia Canavan, President, United Personnel (which is a placement firm)
"achievement gap is real"
"there is a huge social justice issue to these efforts"
don't have the workers we need for for skilled and unskilled positions today
economic opportunities that exist are ours to lose

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