Friday, June 22, 2018

June Board of Education meeting on Tuesday IS A LOT

There's a LOT on the Mass Board of Education meeting on Tuesday, for which you can find the agenda here. Livestream on Tuesday at 8:30 will be here.
Here come the votes on all of those things they've been talking about for months!

After opening comments from the Chair, Secretary, and Commissioner and public comment, there is the monthly update on Level 5 schools, with a particular focus this month on Parker Elementary in New Bedford, now under the receivership of School & Main Institute now that Superintendent Pia Durkin is moving on from New Bedford. Note that the annual reviews of all schools is attached to the link off the monthly update.
Then it is on to the social studies and history frameworks, which are now up for a vote. For those who had been concerned about the gap between the Civil Rights era and the election of President Obama, please note that the standard as proposed now reads:
Research and analyze issues related to race relations in the United States since the passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Voting Rights Act of 1965, including: the Fair Housing Act of 1968 and its impact on neighborhood integration; policies, court cases, and practices regarding affirmative action and their impact on diversity in the workforce and higher education; disparities and trends in educational achievement and attainment, health outcomes, wealth and income, and rates of incarceration; the election of the nation’s first African American president, Barack Obama, in 2008 and 2012.
There is also now a mention of the Mendez v. Westminster School District of Orange County, California case of 1946 when it comes to desegregration, as well as some more recent history around the movement for Native rights. There are a bunch of links off that memo; take a look if it is of interest.
The regulations that will govern implemenation of the LOOK Act are also up for a vote. For those who had been concerned about the requirements for the seal of biliteracy, note that there has been a change:
The proposed regulations retain grade 10 ELA MCAS performance as a criterion for demonstrating a high level of proficiency in English, but also add options for students who are required to complete an Educational Proficiency Plan to earn the Competency Determination. Those students will be able to demonstrate proficiency in English by achieving a minimum score or level determined by the Commissioner on a nationally recognized and readily available English proficiency assessment approved by the Department. The proposed regulations have been further changed to reflect that the minimum scores or levels on foreign language proficiency assessments must be aligned to higher education standards for awarding advanced credit by examination and ACTFL Proficiency Guidelines.
 Odd to me that of the parent meetings, there wasn't one in the city with the largest number of English Language learners. Weird.

And yes, accountability is ALSO up for its vote on Tuesday! There is a link to the regulations as well as to comments received as well as to DESE responses; and people HOW did we only have eight comments? Really? And no, my comments made no changes. It appears as though there are no changes being made of any impact in the regs, though language was made more specific, and there is a note that the school and district report cards are coming out in December of this year.

Also up for a vote are the Computer Science and expansion of MassCore, to wit, allowing Computer Science to sub in for a math course. There is a report linked (it's another download, which is most of what I'm also mentioning but not linking to above) on the disparities in access across the state, as well. The vote specificially is around the change to MassCore, though the Commissioner is also looking for some affirmations.

The Board is being asked to vote on removing Martin Luther King Jr. Charter School in Springfield from probation (which it's been in since 2017). The Commissioner says it has largely met its conditions.

Due to snow days, the Board is being asked to waive the week's notice for charter school lotteries for this past year.

There will be an update on the state budget, which is still in conference committee. 
There is a request that the Board for to delegate authority to the Commissioner between meetings (aka, over the summer).
There is a proposed schedule of meetings for next year on which the Board is being asked to vote.
Other items for information includes one of my favorite reports of the year, the annual non-operating districts report.

The meeting is at 8:30 am on Tuesday in Malden and yes, liveblog will plane lands at midnight the night before... 

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