Thursday, April 5, 2018

Leading the Nation at 25 years: State House event

Here at the State House for the 25 years of Ed Reform (as told by some) event. It's like a who's who of state education: Bill Weld is here, David Driscoll is here, Bob Antonucci is here...posting as we go. 
Rep. Peisch: "to celebrate the achievement of students over the past 25 years, ...and to acknowledge that more needs to be done"

acknowledges the myriad of people that are here, which I am not even going to try to follow 
in introducing Senator Chandler, notes that both were serving on their school committees, commenting that she viewed it somewhat skeptically
Senator Chandler:would be happy to tell you how I felt
"incredible growth of our educational resources"
"immense inequity across the Commonwealth schools, especially in urban districts like mine"
"will find a way to face the educational challenges that we face"
"cornerstone of life, social justice, and the pursuit of happiness"
former Governor Weld:
"was good to be in the middle of this twenty-five years ago and it feels good to be back in it again!"
"it was a grand bargain"
"I tried to cut an image as a rightwinger as I came into office"
"immense inequity across the Commonwealth schools, especially in urban districts like mine"
allowed to "have clawed out of me" that he would increase funding
"too often people didn't seem to care" if "kids in difficult, minority places were learning anything"
"we thought that that could be addressed by having high stakes tests...and then accountability"
John Adams "it shall be the public duty of government to foster all levels"
"what a run!"
"the only time I ever testified before the Legislature" when he was in office "was when I testified about charter schools" with no white people behind me because those parents knew they were being discriminated against; cites charters as solution to the inequities
Gov. Baker
was some cynicism about passing another law on education
passage of the law was an opportunity
"the number of people who had to step up and think differently about what they literally in the tens of thousands"
were right in the middle of the pack and had been in the middle of the pack for some time
"I don't think we should miss this chance" to celebrate "that that law got passed"
"stepped up and did a lot of the work on behalf of a whole generation of kids"
"how much people appreciate the quality of our schools, the quality of our people, the quality of our students" and how important that is "in a world where ideas become opportunities"

Secretary Peyser up to recognize commended schools of various kinds
Commendation: Abington High, Apponequet Regional (Freetown-Lakeville), Blackstone Valley Tech, Heights Elementary (Sharon), Lynnfield High, Minuteman Regional (Lexington), New Mission High (Boston), Old Post Road (Walpole), Shawsheen Valley Tech (Billerica), Swampscott High, Westwood High, White Street Elementary (Springfield)

Baker: first time I met Riley, had a dashboard in his office on how every kid was doing, "I really came to believe that this was a great story"
"one of the most fundamental challenges we coming up with approaches and policies and programming that will help us achieve the kind of success in many of urban districts that we see in so many others"
most admire that Riley create bridges and collaborative spaces
"can't think of someone more qualified based on his heart and his experience...and I am truly honored to have him"
Riley is sworn in by Governor Baker 

Former Senate President Birmingham: "I think I have a premonition of what it's going to feel like on resurrection day"
remember that stifling hot day when Weld signed the bill at the unairconditioned Holmes School in Malden
before 1993, "we recognized the grossest disparities in our public schools"
"fraudulent" to say that we were providing equality in education
prior to 1993, needed four years of gym and one year of American history to graduate
had 65 kids in a classroom in Wales
fairly complex and complicated piece of legislation
praise of charter schools as closing the achievement gap "and I believe they should be able to grow"
Weld proudly declared himself a "Communist" when it came to funding schools
grand bargain "was resources and standards"
adequate funding and academic standards
"a bit discomfited by what I see these days...seems to be vering away" from the grand bargain
funding is about what it was: "relative flat funding over a decade"
almost all low-income school districts do not have the resources they need
"heading back to pre-1993 spending disparities"
"have jettisoned our reliance" on standards and tests
unless we return to the principles, "afraid we have squandered our hard-won gains"
Former Commissioner Antonucci to Riley: "it's a great job: show up on time, work hard, and if you screw up, Dave Driscoll and I will be calling you"
"first time we passed a sustained educational intiative that would be lasting"
compromised, agreed on what the principals would be
after law passed, we"had to take it from the paper and make it work"
"let's make we continue to lead the nation"

Peisch: "it is unlikely the 1993 law would have been passed" were it not for the lawsuit
McDuffy Milnamow: remembers her father on the sidewalk saying "we won, we won!"
"expectations are so high...believe students can meet those"
different students need different resources

Reville will moderate a panel of Senator Chang-Diaz, former Commissioner Driscoll, Tom Scott (MASS), John Stuart (MBAE), Shannah Varon (Boston Collegiate Charter), Paul Toner (TeachPlus)
Most important achievement of the past 25 years and what do we need to do going forward?
Chang-Diaz: should not forget or understate the law "has bettered the lives of millions of children" over those years
"also shown a bright light on opportunity and achievement gap so we had to stop looking the other way"
"it's a problem that we all own together as a state"
"boosted our economy for a generation"
"what are the right goals and expectations we should set for ourselves as a state"
"all really means all"
three pillars of choice, accountability, and funding
"we don't have to start from scratch" 25 years later
Driscoll: "Bob Antonucci reminded me the first pitch is at 2:05, so I'll be brief"
"increased student achievement...making sure we close the gap in the future"
Scott: grand bargain
"have to acknowledge" that the resources haven't kept up; have to be updated
"needs of students today"
"review and go back to the basics around the formula itself"
instability of school and district leadership; much too much turnover
need to return to too many districts that need "significant and immediate interventions"
Stuart: "have to have alignment with what the Commonwealth is doing in educaton"
"high standards for thriving and failing and we believe the same standards can apply for education"
Toner: worked in Cambridge, all fifteen schools had different standards
Varon: deep commitment to rigor, standards, "high standards are set"
"means autonomy": "the school is the unit of change"
Reville: strategies most important to adopt going forward?
Driscoll: "number one: money...let me be clear: we need to raise taxes. We need to raise revenue."
"you cannot cut any more"
early childhood education: "when it comes time for the budget and funding it, it doesn't happen"
engaging and motivating kids: high school kids tell us they're bored
something we can do
finally "we came together...we all have to drink a little castor oil as we get in the boat"
Reville to Chang-Diaz: is there still a consensus? or what is most pressing?
Chang-Diaz: "honestly, I don't know if there is...something short of what I'd call a consensus...because it's almost all new people since 1993"
"a critical mass of understanding and investment and buy in there, still"
four years ago Legislature did establish the Foundation Budget Review Commission
38 of 39 Senators, 79 members of the House co-sponsors of FBRC bill; have thrice passed in the Senate
"base level of understanding is there...have to build on it"
Toner: teachers very proud of accomplishments
what kinds of supports needed: what the fatigue and challenges come from
many feel that they're not getting equitable resources
"certainly an issue that all teachers across the state would get behind"
student-centered learning
"equity issue we see is huge" "different strategies and supports needed"
many students need a career technical education; other platforms for kids and families to succeed
Scott: superintendents want to be accountable, they want to be responsible
"tight bind on the expectations around them"
politics of superintendency
"creating the right kinds of climate, the right kinds of culture"
"we really do need to acknowledge...we have such different dynamics going on" in different communities
not Hobson's choice between social-emotional development of kids and academic development of kids
Reville to Stuart: how to bring business community back?
Stuart: we got engaged in the political leadership
Varon: at school level, "we generate innovation by getting out of the way" of school leaders and teachers who have done great work
"such incredibly rich data of what works...we should simply expand what works"
"hold a high bar, but then be in service of"
Reville: we set out to achieve a very bold unprecented goal in education"
"all means all" as goal
"we adopted a host of very important common sense worthwhile strategies"
"iron law association between economic advantage and educational attainment"
"schools can't do it alone"
look at 360 degree fashion at the lives of children

Videos from several schools which I will link to, assuming they get posted later

Secretary Peyser: still more attention that needs to be paid to the past as well
"when all is said and done, the success...comes down to one thing, and that's people"
spontanious standing ovation at the mention of no-longer-acting-Commissioner Jeff Wulfson
"Massachusetts education is the best because our educators are the best in the country"
asks teachers to stand for applause
"redoubling our collective efforts that this anniversary marks the beginning" of improvement

Commissioner Riley: "recognized the potential of every child in the state"
"giants of education...the people that we owe an incredible debt to"
"blueprint put in place catapulted us" to the top in a lot of ways
"again harness the bipartisan spirit of 1993...we have to plan for what comes next"
can be done"bringing all voices back to the table"
"we have an ethical and moral responsibility to do better. And we must."

  1. meetings with all stakeholders
  2. focusing on and celebrating our best teachers
  3. reconnect early ed, early college "so our system is more than K-12"
 I took video of Priscila Haro, eighth grader at Susan B. Anthony Middle School in Revere, performing her spoken word piece, which I will post when I can. 
Here is Priscila Haro's spoken word piece, 'though I missed her initial "in 1996"

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