Tuesday, December 18, 2018

December Board of Ed: Teacher Leadership

The backup on this is here.
Riley: focused this year on teaching
bringing up panels...

Center for Instructional Support talking about three initiatives: revising the arts curriculum, STEM ambassadors, and curriculum ratings

Arts: update on the revision of the arts standards
preparation ran through May; writing and revising through January, refining with a presentation to Board in February (to open for public comment); hope for vote of Board on new standards in May
guiding principles: artistic intent, coherent progression, relevant to students, variety of gene and styles, variety of media and roles, diverse grouping, connected to disciplines, engages with the community, connected to social-emotional learning, supports all students
skills that are refined across their prek-12 education
four artistic practices: creating, presenting/performing, responding, connecting
all are further subdivided: all have vertical alignment, thus students will continue to grow over their arts education
Five disciplines: dance, media arts, music, theater, visual arts
standards put together in grade pairs until high school (which has three levels)
Sagan: how well were the last ones implemented?
how much arts education do children get across the state?
A: most are using them as the foundation for their district curriculum
Sagan: "how many teacher get art at all then?...are we fulfilling a basic understanding of what we do?"
A: most elementary school students are taking some sort of art class at some point, high school it drops to 50%
amount of time isn't collected as formal data; "it's widely varied"
BPS arts programs are in 96% of schools in Boston (have at least one art form; 67% have at least two)
Moriarty: "does this really require having a specialist, even at the lowest grades?"
A: really important that you have a specialist at the early grade levels, thinking of instrumental music, for example..."it needs to start in elementary"
A: one of the parts of the structure of the revised frameworks; there's a lot of consistency and parallelism across the different disciplines
Peyser: what role of study of art in its many forms, where that fits in the framework versus skill building in the different domains?
A: connecting arts and culture "how art relates to art...relates to history and culture"
interpreting a single piece of art is under connecting
pre-K-8 focused on exposure; high school deeper refinement and mastery of skills
Peyser: there's a huge breadth of art; limitation of faculty and staff "particularly at the elementary level"...is there some encouragment for students to develop their deeper skills?
A: high school is the chance to do that deeper dive; provide baseline exposure for kids, then allow for deeper opportunities
Peyser: "high school may be too late for students who may be exhibiting talents in some ways"
A: not only about the framework, but about implementation
West: will the frameworks in some way provide some guidance in some ways in which disciplines a certain set of disciplines will be conveyed in some ways? expressing concern over too much to do
A: think that integration is going to be essential
average elementary student getting 2 45-minute blocks a week, one visual art, one music
push people a bit into cross-discipline; think it's going to be key to lay a baseline expectation
McKenna: concern is that we are imposing standards that add to teachers' workload, we have to support them with professional development; have to implement them into courses that exist; have them working in teams, which they don't have time to do
concern that this may push to check the boxes; teachers lament the lack of time for free creativity
done in a way "that this is not a burden...I don't know how we create the time...it's one more thing they have to do, and we aren't taking anything away"
"I think they're exciting...to do all of these five ways is great...I think it's a way to keep kids in school"
"I just worry about the burden on teachers...we need to think through how we can make this happen"
Craven: some districts that are doing well, promoting an integrated mindset
"does come down to professional development...promote this mindset of integration...but how do we promote that across all the districts"
Moriarty: I think this is something that doesn't come from the top down; it's a decision, it's an allocation of resources
look into the distant past, reject specialization, want this to be a vehicle to support that
Sagan: "clearly the consensus is we need an MCAS for this" (to laughter)
asks for context about if this is just a time issue, if this is just a money issue, to have some hope of moving frameworks that schools will do great things with

Increasing access to high quality curriculum
new project called CURATE (CUrriculum RAtings by TEachers...which I am going to forget)
first teacher is from Lawrence--Riley applauds--second teacher is from North Middlesex--Riley applauds again
growing research and policy consensus on how much curriculum matters for student outcomes
tempting to see curriculum as an individual teacher's responsibility
really needs to be coherent and build on each other in ways
"a system level condition for success"
choosing better materials can be a really cost-effective way to improve outcomes in schools and districts
"can find great stuff without breaking your budget"
professional learning is most effective when it deals with materials that teachers use every day
"much of the impetius for this came from teachers themselves...a lot of demand for more guidance from us as an agency for more guidance on high quality materials"
asked by teachers and superintendents"to signal more clearly, 'here are curriculum that are well aligned to our standards'"
"only signaling" not taking over local authority
partnering with TeachPlus, Rennie Center
drawing on "several sources of data" on quality; look at independent reviews of quality, look at information submitted by published, look at survey and focus group data from teachers in Massachusetts
fellows are teachers from across Massachusetts
Lawrence teacher: had noticed need for phonics curriculum; most information online is publisher-produced
"really high-stakes decision to adopt a curriculum" only on money but on time
appreciate the opportunity, will bring back EdReports to school, a lot of materials reviewing are generated by teachers using the material
North Middlesex teacher "I basically begged to be on this panel"
teacher-led review process is very welcomed by teachers right now
"giving teachers voice in how these decisions get made"
"there's a real shroud of mystery on how these things get decided"
"if this works and is successful...bring this work back to more and more districts across the state...can bring resounding change to the students of this state"
West: I think this work sounds great, a lot of states have found success along this line
"make sure they actually inform decisions at the district and school level"
"actually trying to monitor and hopefully find ways to nudge decision makers in the right direction"
A: teacher going back to district to create demand
"doing a number of things to 'nudge folks'"
using "heat maps" collecting data from across Massachusetts just asking what materials they're using and making that information public
listening "what sort of direction would districts welcome in this space"
curricular directors sorting my MCAS results and calling them to find out what sort of curriculum is used
"heat maps will allow us to track changes over time"
"basing this process on an open procurement with the publishers"
Morton: remember "the grueling task of drafting lesson plans in isolation"
what's the strategy in terms of efficacy in student learning?
A: there is evidence on impact
holding everything else equal, using better aligned materials can make a big difference in student learning outcomes
Sagan: how much is enabled by digital technology?
A: materials reviewed have been traditionally published
needs to be more research on curricular efficacy
...the short answer is no, not so far...Sagan seems super focused on this right now
Fernández: wondering about representation of how is reviewing the materials; who are the panels for all of these? are the diverse, are the representative of our student voices in the communities?
would love to know how, when we have districts that have such variability in student outcomes, how we're differentiating
A: "working on and struggling with" having panels be diverse "in every dimension"
"it is something we are struggling with, because the educator workforce as we know is overwhelmingly white and female"
also reviewing materials themselves for how they represent diverse voices and backgrounds
has been a lot of work in showing that opportunity gaps coming from quality in experiences and expectations
"high quality curricular and lessons" leading to greater
students of low income, of color less exposed to lower quality curricular and expecations
McKenna: it sounds like "you're starting from scratch"
but there's been a lot of work on evaluating curriculum by experts in this field
Sagan: strikes me that one of the things we could do to be helpful is do some of the review of free online resources
"we would effectively be freeing up resources" if we could send people that way

STEM ambassador program
resources to help educators implement the standards
how to embed practices about how you think about math and science, how you do math and science as you access the content
"provide educators, school and districts with high quality, standards aligned tasks"
partners with WPI (which not only has that STEM focus, but is in Worcester)
rubrics only for not only our math tasks but our STE tasks (science, tech, engineering); going up online
asking ambassadors to work not only in district but beyond their own districts
will have a STEM institute for presentations
Teacher: time to be able to join a broad and diverse community "who are equally as excited about science, technology, and engineering as I am"
how teaching should be changing in the classroom
move beyond comfort zone to work with others in the building
science segregated between elementary and middle and high; "don't really have time to meet and talk"
need a grasp for skills students have and need refining
have tasks be thoughtful and purposeful and "nestle into" work being done
Oh! sequestering carbon in trees in an urban enviroment; worked with Groundwork Lawrence
Teacher: find costs associated with adopting a pet at a pet store
have to defend their reasoning, "it's a real world problem as well"
tasks were created to support and extend itself to the curriculum that already exists
West: how should we see this as fitting into the curricula
A: a lot of curricular materials lack in particular ways; math may lack authentic real world tasks
teachers may hone in on gaps in student learning
also created to fill perceived curricular materials
Peyser: connection between STEM ambassadors and regional STEM networks? also scalability?
A: not a formal connection, as yet
should think about next level scalability; ambassadors are in a variety of roles, have different needs, can support in different ways
Riley: time to refocus back in the classroom and on teaching

No comments: