Tuesday, January 26, 2021

January Board of Ed: opening comments

 The agenda is here; the video will be here.

updating as we go

coming in late as the initial broadcast had no sound...missed several rounds of public testimony...and again...and now?

public testimony on ACCESS testimony: 
requesting suspension of ACCESS and MCAS
"why are we worrying about a test when our children are struggling with isolation"
"poor allocation of our resources"
"I really have no sensible answer" for why you're doing this now
only widening gaps, measuring who has had access to the internet
"we ask was it worth it"
"you keep asking us to make it worth, but is it worth it?"
find a different way to make it work without high stakes testing

regional vocational schools admission
Cabral: superintendent of Taunton
our responsibility to advocate for our students and our families
advocate for our children
speaks of his own family history, parents directing to access to education
admission denies some students access to vocational schools
once denied admission, they have little chance to transfer later
"many at risk students lose interest in education, because the curriculum does not seem to have" real world application
urge those with a voice in authority to create systemic changes
"should not be a one-time opportunity or a decision made by a 13 year old in 8th grade"
should not forget those new to our country
create greater opportunity for students to access opportunities and to gain them if they were denied access
"leaves comprehensive schools at the mercy of regional vocational schools"
quotes student in Taunton High in their drafting program: hoping internship with lead to full time employment

NAACP: Juan Cofield
education has been a central concern of NAACP "almost from its inception"
"in support of a change in admission policy of the voke schools" for equal access of these schools to students in the Commonwealth
students of color represent a significantly smaller number of students enrolled
"dramatic underrepresentation" of students of color in regional voke schools
"there must be an open enrollment policy for voke schools"
Constitution of the Commonwealth; 14th amendment on equal access
"should be a function of capacity" rather than the chance of the students getting in 
"currently exclusionary admission policy practice is just simply illegal and it discrimates against protected classes...it is blatant race-based discrimination"
should require a lottery system for admission for 21-22 school year

Kevin Murray, Mass Advocates for Children
sound went out again
evolution of admission for programs
"has turned these schools into another form of selective admission schools"
Commissioner has attempted to encourage voluntary changes, with no results so far
and he's speaking of some proposed changes but I don't know what those are or what group he's talking about

teacher licensure proposal
speaker: have been a substitute, general curriculum MTEL is all that stands before her
Has taken the MTEL over 20 times and have spent over $1000 on books and prep material
have been to public schools with teachers who never took the exam
"make a necessary change in public education"
lack of diversity in teaching

Chair Katherine Craven: thank Board for participation in anti-racism training
will follow up with second round in spring
Amanda Fernández on teacher diversity: except she can't hear the meeting
committee met last month and will continue to meet quarterly
Updates on current work
new potential areas of work; financial support for college students, other opportunities
Matt Hills being added to the Commissioner's review committee
Evidence-based policymaking; adopted with Board of Higher Ed
West: at Feb. 1 meeting with discuss progress on student longitudual data system

Secretary Peyser: who I think is talking about finance but is fading in and out
"vast majority of" federal resources still available "has not been drawn down"
"suggests our schools and districts are going to be going into FY22 in pretty good shape"
references Globe article on reading: incumbent on schools to provide interventions
"the early years are critical for building reading skills"
"very hard to recover" if students don't build reading skills early

Riley: announcement of guidance counselor award
dyslexia guidance
STEM Advanced Placement access opportunity

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