A few post-meeting thoughts (I usually do this on Twitter, but I drove today, so no train time):
- Chair Sagan seems to be developing a line in dad jokes.
- Even Board of Ed members want to know why the Red Sox parade can't be on a weekend.
- Meetings are better when students present (note: also true of school committee meetings).
- It is about dang time the Board of Ed is paying any attention to the foundation budget (thus this tweet); no, Holyoke is not leading at all on this, but they did manage to get it to the Board's attention, three years after the Foundation Budget Review Commission issued their report.
- What the heck is with the Governor needing his own report on this for "policy"? Are any of those reports going to be made public (let's assume 'no' and get our Public Records Requests ready)? Is there any aspect of this that hasn't already been exhaustively considered in the THREE FULL YEARS we've had a report and the SEVEN since we first got MassBudget's "Cutting Class"?
- It's extremely clear that the Secretary doesn't like the notion of not being able to move the levels and make districts dance for their money. What was that about Republicans and local control?
- Why is it that it seems to be escaping those who issue licenses that making it more expensive is not going to get you more teachers? And that the very areas in which we need growth--teachers of color, teachers of low income backgrounds, teachers of multiple languages--are those most impact by barriers like money and the MTEL? This is a real problem.
- There is a HUGE gap between the message that is being put out--and it's a united front on this one--from the state on the new accountability standards and the districts that are still running around, comparing scores with their neighbors and being sure that someone's going to show up next week and take them over and fire people (or charterize them). If, like me, you listen to both, it's a severe case of whiplash. It's been the message from the new Commissioner dating back to his interview--I mean, the Board knew what they were getting on this--that more support for teachers, less heavy hand of judgment was where he was coming from. He's also been very, very explicitly reserving judgment on the new accountability system. And the new accountability system itself was already explicitly less heavy hand: more variables, intentional emphasis on everyone having a lowest group to work with, intentional push towards school and district goals. It's about school and district targets rather than statewide comparison. I'm not sure how much more they can jump up and down about this to get it across, but it sure isn't landing in the field yet.
- It was an absolutely unified voice today about protecting the rights of our LGBTQ kids. That doesn't happen a lot at the Board. Vote Yes on Question 3.