Tuesday, March 26, 2019

March Board of Education: charter funding

I was running low on battery today, so I only tweeted out my notes on this charter school funding presentation by Deputy Commissioner Jeff Wulfson, which you can watch here. As I said on Twitter tonight, it's rare that you can watch the Department actively grappling with policy quite like this, with the exception recently of accountability.
Tweets are as follows: 

March Board of Ed: accountability system potentional changes

back up is here; more usefully, the presentation is here.
any changes to overall changes require public comment and a Board vote
(balance is in) making changes that we think may be beneficial versus gaining consistency in results
recommendation is for minimal changes for 2019 for this reason
2nd year of data, 2nd year of consistency for greater understanding, plus adding grade 10  this year
would like to see a year of 10th grade before "major changes"
(including things like the weighting of achievement versus growth)

Proposed changes
  • Calculation of participation rate: change to combined subgroup level (rather than separately by each subgroup by each test); "increases n size" ...much fairer way to do it; will cut down schools identified by at least a third; participation data still reported; this is about "applying a consequence" or not; science, as it's only take twice, is over represented
  • progress towards targets: "meeting targets" "partially meeting targets" move to three "meeting targets" "partially meeting targets" "not meeting targets" plus call out improvement in "partially meeting targets"; should be a name change if progress is made but target not met
  • use of two years of data: build up using multiple years of data; weighting to come
  • add to advanced coursework "needs to be a living document" adding Project lead the Way among others 
DEPARTMENT to seek public comment April or May; vote in June 

March Board of Ed: MCAS scoring for 10th grade

Vote here is on setting of descriptors of 10th grade ELA and math MCAS
plan, as with other grades, is to tie scores statistically to like scores of prior years

 Only such levels will be set this summer NOT NEW GRADUATION STANDARD

March Board of Ed: opening remarks

The agenda is here.
Word has it that we have a "breaking news" morning, so stay tuned. 
Usually there are copies of the presentations and there are not today; I don't know if that means anything.
Missing Michael Moriarty, Maya Mathews as we start

Monday, March 25, 2019

The Board of Ed meets tomorrow

You can find the agenda here.
After the opening remarks and public comment, there will be a presentation on family engagement initiatives (which so far sound like a lot of planning?).
There will be an update on the receivership districts of Lawrence, Holyoke, and Southbridge. In the case of Lawrence, John Connolly, who serves as chair of the receivership panel, is part of the presentation.
There is a report on Greenfield Virtual Charter which has its charter up for renewal; Commissioner Riley is recommending a three year renewal and removal of its probationary status, though:
As summarized below, GCVS met most of these conditions with one notable exception: Greenfield Commonwealth Virtual School has failed to show significant academic improvement in mathematics and English language arts.

There is an update on MCAS, specifically around grade 10 standard setting, and the competency determination both now and moving forward.

There will also be an initial discussion around proposed changes in the accountability system (which are not described in the backing memo, so I guess we'll find out tomorrow).

The agenda also has an update on grants and one on other charter actions.

Saturday, March 23, 2019

The district's role in creating and expanding dual language programming: MABE Conference

I'm attending--as a parent!--the Multi-state Association of Bilingual Educators conference in Rhode Island today. This morning's session I'm attending is on the district's role in creating and sustaining dual language programming, being put on by Framingham Public Schools.

Friday, March 22, 2019

Joint Committee on Education hears the funding bills:

This is bound to be a long one! I'll be updating this all day as we go.
The hearing begins at 10 am, but the auditorum is filling fast: the MTA is here with red "Fund our Future" shirts, I've seen a few superintendents come in, Mass Parents United is here with black tee shirts, and staffers from the Senators and Reps are in and out. My view is from the top back: