Monday, January 14, 2019

January Board of Ed special meeting: School and District report cards

Backup for this item is here, though there is a Powerpoint, which I'll see what I can do about. 
posting as we go once it starts...
Meeting being chaired by Vice-Chair Morton; Chair Sagan participating remotely. Secretary Peyser not present

Riley: a real significant effort went into this for families
Johnston: will give an overview on the current report card and why we have them
"important way of conveying school quality to parents"
"required by provide on an annual basis" with particular required components
"never once in my twenty years of being an educator in Massachusetts has any parent come to me and said, 'I was looking at that report card and...'"
showing current report card for Stoneham
"it's not entirely opaque, but I wouldn't say it's particularly family-friendly"
"almost an emotional reaction...what reaction do you get when you look at this information? are you getting a feeling about this school and its quality as you skim down?"
"a lot of work went into this without it really generating a lot of meaningful discussion"
Curtin: started this process over a year ago
"very quickly realised that we didn't necessarily have the capacity do this work well"
"we realized that we speak a foreign language in this building"
work with Learning Heroes on presenting information to parents
"one of the top two or three organizations I've worked with"
here to talk about how parents want to understand data, then work that they've done

over to Learning Heroes
Massachusetts-based data on parent mindsets
combined four different research projects for data about to see: national survey, Massachusetts parents
disconnect between what parents understand of how their child is progressing and how their child is doing on testing
given a little bit of data, Massachusetts parents are more likely to reconsider how their child is doing if given more data

Parents say they need to know:
school learning environment
teachers credentials
disciplinary data
school progress: growth

nice to know
comparison of data to national average
state test scores for all students
% of students enrolled in AP/IB
$ spent per student

don't need:
testing broken down by subgroup: important about framing and context; if subgroups are merged or listed, students of color aren't homeless, etc
attendance rates
# of students learning English no longer needing additional instruction

parents need context, parents need non-lingo
parents want to know that there is a plan
61% of parents, if their school got a bad report card, say they would get more involved and see how they could make a difference

parents found protype easy to use and navigate
"parents are very familiar with MCAS...and it is something they want to see. It may not be their favorite piece of information, but they do find it useful"
parents find it difficult to conclude on how their school is doing
when there are graphs, parents tend to go straight to them, but sometimes interpreted the data
flyer: five quick facts about the school report card

stakeholder input: what did they want to see
"and we actually listened to that" and ordered based on what they thought was most important "rather than what we thought was most important"
top indicators: student outcomes (graduation & college), course offerings, climate/environment, student demographics
preferences for detailed data, data over time, and viewed on a screen
going to be

"these report cards are not for us" (in this building)
explanation of what report cards are and why we're doing them
directory information on the school
And then a series of questions:

  • Who are the students and teachers?
  • What does the student engagement look like in our school? (attendance and discipline)
  • What academic opportunities are available to our students?
  • How prepared are our students for success after high school?
  • How do our students perform on state tests?
  • How much does our school spend per student?
  • How is our school doing in the state accountability system?

"did not try to put everything on every page"; if people want to dig deeper, they can click through for it
"we have typically led things with our MCAS results, but when we talked to parents, they told us that wasn't what they were looking for" first
will be able to click through to civil rights data as required by ESSA
school level spending: "we've never put the school level data out before"
"much more researched based and evidenced based"
"close to a release" still a few more fixes to do
will have a survey on it asking for feedback

McKenna: one concern about the word "engagement" but you mean "attendance and discipline"
we think these sections are going to evolve over time (Curtin)
"but we completely understand and one that we will certainly look at"
Stewart: nice to see a fresh face as you look at
great to see how much parents are problem-solvers to problems that come up
can imagine that different people want different data
A to Q: parents "see testing as a part of life, and they want both"
parents "think that their child is okay" so they don't see the value of the test scores
"some of this is getting things up to speed"
on financial data: curious on how net school spending show up
"does it show up in any particular way?"
Curtin: compliance side have to report school level, district level spending under ESSA
parents look at if their kid is getting short-changed
"I don't think that's necessarily something that's fitting for this"
new section, will grow over time, right now just looking at school and district level
Stewart: would encourage us to keep that open
Fern√°ndez: thank you, as a parent who has consumed that site for a few years
broader understanding of where their child should be relative to the data and why and the research behind it
going to agree with McKenna on term "engagement"
Curtin: have a responsibility to continue to provide guidance to see new data and context
West: many parents have a misconception of how their own child is performing is doing
mostly is about understanding how their school is doing
Mathews: any resources to incentivize parent engagement
with resources, each community is different
A: parents understand, then understand how they engage with it
McKenna: now that you've done this amount of work, expectation is that MCAS results will be better understood
"you've improved this; you've now set a standard for the next step"
what opportunities are available to students (because my student will not tell me), then know how many are
"those are two different things"
Moriarty: school and district profiles not going away
(they aren't)
"I've got to have my churn rates"
Peyser: spending data highlighting revenue sources: which isn't as relevant
"may not be as relevant as how much spending is going towards instruction, how much is going towards services"
"I'm more interested the dollars are spent rather than where they come from"
"related to which to dollars related to staff compensation..."as they may be the biggest difference among schools
comparing high schools to high schools etc
Curtin: the finance section is one I think we'll continue to grow over time
in terms of apples to apples, arts space is difference

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