Wednesday, November 7, 2018

Commissioner Riley takes questions

...who jokes that for the next three hours "we're going to review the rules and regulations of the department"

first question: Baker has pledged no new taxes; how are you going to pay for it?
Riley: last year, the state found a billion dollars in revenue they hadn't expected
"the economy is booming; if it keeps up, we'll have funding to apportion for education"
"the Governor is not a guy, as a Republican, who is in favor of new taxes, but I live in Boston, and I see the cranes going up all the time"
"if this continues, I have to advocate to advocate for funding to go towards education"

Q: what role does global education play in your thoughts?
Riley: when you look at the LOOK Act, the seal of biliteracy
"I think you're starting to see the realities of a more global perspective"
"I think MCAS has done a decent job...I welcomed the advent of that testing, but it only takes us so far"
" there are other skills...harder to assess"
on seal: trying to ensure that we have kids who are truly bilingual
Q: any openness to other "seals"?
Riley: like the Boy Scouts? Let me think on that for awhile
moving from class to class in 45 minutes "and it can be soul numbing"
"we're losing a generation of boys"

Q: "I know we're in a fist fight over Chapter 70..." what about early childhood?
not seeing this Governor raising taxes
"not always about the money, sometimes about how you use the money

Q: love what I hear about MCAS not bringing us all the way; anything new on collaboratives and vo-techs?
Riley: "playing nicely together in the sandbox"
"more kids get into the school"
working with the vocational school on kids that maybe were at risk "and we figured out the money"
versus this continued civil war

Q: assessment on civics education?
Riley: what could an alternative assessment look like that isn't necessarily a bubble test?
committee put together on that
"we've asked people to think outside the box on what an alternative assessment could look like"
testing taking too much time: have to figure how to take less
"adaptive testing"
"now there are item bank issues and other things we need to work on"
Note from group: unevenness in funding on technology
Riley (defers to Mary Bourque of Chelsea on where the funding came from...not the state)
Bourque notes ACCESS tests as well, and that students who are ELL take longer on MCAS tests

Q: teachers of color; MTEL doesn't show any indication of how good a teacher will be
Riley: I know some state people who would disagree with that
Q: pipeline of potential future teachers?
Riley: 40% of our students are children of color, only 7% of teachers are
(26% of adults are)
Lawrence did it by training paras; went after kids who had graduated from Lawrence High
morgage assistance for those working
"we have to have incentive programs for them"
"have to change the perception of teaching in this country"
MTEL: persistence rate issue
those of color who don't pass the test the first time are less likely to take the test again
"we're going to go look at that right now"
"working to recruit this spring"

Q: accountability on attendance
Riley: doing a survey on this accountability system
was in process when he came in
"one of the things I hear about is students with real medical issues"
"We're going to be looking at that"

Q: LOOK bill; unfunded mandate
Riley: more options
"just because you have the freedom, doesn't mean districts will necessarily take that freedom" and not all programs are good for kids

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