Tuesday, January 28, 2020

January meeting of the Board of Ed: Brown University and MCAS competency assignments

..who apparently were supposed to be a the joint meeting in December that got cancelled
Commissioner: research showing that MCAS results tracks closely to life outcomes
"should lay to rest the claim by some advocacy groups of its irrelevance"
"there are some Luddites in this world that would rather see no change ever, or they would rather throw sand in the gears of progress, or would rather have no" accountability ever

to the word that the Boston Schools state review is coming mid-February (for internal review; public thereafter), Vice Chair Morton pitches the Springfield Empowerment Zone
Fernández "we're at a plateau; it matters what the atmosphere and climate it is in schools"
She's citing here the "very different stakeholders" that have testified today, which were virtually all from charter school (and not all Boston at all)
Hills says remarkable number of people have reached out from Boston, from very different groups
"what we as a Board expects from you"
"I wouldn't spend a lot of time waiting for rose pedals to be thrown in your way"
"it's complicated...it's only with the pure benefit of hindsight" that it's clear
"without regard for politics"
"everything from receivership to doing nothing and everything in between should be on the table"
Moriarty: looking for strategic plan of Boston superintendent
"the only people I'd be willing to see embarrassed in any policy decision are the guardians of the status quo"
which is always an odd position to take when you're on the state Board of Education

Craven: intro's presentation
Wulfson yearlong discussion on the competency determination
regulation that would extend the interim standard on the next generation test to one more year to class of 2023 (current 9th graders)
happy to answer any questions about the amendment
amendment passes
findings of research will inform advisory committee's recommendations
"we think it's important that DESE remains an organization that learns"
in possession of vast amounts of data, in some cases as much as two decades of data
now can answer some questions of long-term outcomes
partnership with Higher Ed: did students persist and did they graduate
information about wages
"what happened to those students...what happens to students who don't attain it?"
five year partnership
motivation: how can evidence of 18 years of high school assessments inform next steps for Massachusetts education policy?
are scores predictors of long-term success?
are students scoring at different cutoffs have success in labor market?
what is the impact on competency determination on students at-risk?
can now track a student who took the test in 2003 did through the rest of high school, through college, and now
"when we talk about MCAS test takers, we're talking about first time tenth grade test takers"
now 2003-05, now in mid-thirties
attainments have increased substantially since the early 2000's
today, 92% of 10th grade test takers graduate from high school, 74% enroll in college, and 48% graduate from college
MCAS: "do reflect underlying skills that pay off in the labor market"
evidence is mixed if "meets expectations" is score that is college and career ready
MCAS scores predict earnings even if we compare students with the same educational attainment, demographics, and high school attended
students with similar 8th grade scores are compared; those with higher 10th grade scores go on to earn more 15 years later
evidence is mixed on if meets expectations level of next-gen MCAS are college or career ready
the meets expectations equivalent is 35 percentile  which is the cuttoff for 2019
the current competency determination is somewhere around 8%
students scoring at meets expectations cutoffs earn just under $50K in 2019; while those in the 25th percentile are not making a two-parent living wage

next questions: how have competency determinations over time impacted the academic success of the groups of historically at risk students?
what is the relationship between 10th grade MCAS and other critical outcomes, like involvement with the criminal justice system?
DESE has acquired voter registration and participation data to answer questions around civic engagement; DESE is seeking criminal justice outcomes

Fernández asks about selectivity of colleges attended
A; what are the differences in colleges and what are the differences in outcomes
Morton: how does knowing what we know help us inform greater success for students with MCAS?
A: I don't know that it informs it yet, but there are pieces of it that would
Moriarty: students with non-credit earning courses; I assume that has not have some sort of long-term impacts
last year's 10th grade MCAS declined; does this mean in 15 years these students will make less money?
don't think correlation is that strong, but "is there something we should worry about when we see a decline in attainment?"
A: there is clear relationship between students needing remediation and MCAS scores
"What we've been trying to show is MCAS reflects change in academic skills that pay off in long-term" for students

Hills: there is a policy decision that is implicated in all of this
Riley: let working group work to get information to make an informed decision

Tibbitts: anything other than income on career?
A: not as yet
Rouhanifard notes importance of the change of grade 8 to grade 10 scores and long term earnings

Craven asks what the sharing process is on this information with superintendents and school committees
Riley: meets with superintendent, plan communication rollout "with stakeholders"
Craven: baseline information is so important to share

Need: continued cooperation among state agencies; preserving and improving data quality; fostering solid relationships between government the research community; keep asking good question

Motion by Board which closes: "the BESE commitment reflects that data about learners and best practices will be securely held, readily available, and user-friendly, with an explicit emphasis on responsible and accountable data sharing with stakeholders, including end-users in our schools and institutions, research partners, and more broadly, with the students, families, and communities that we serve"

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