Tuesday, June 22, 2021

June Board of Ed: vocational school admissions

 really long intro here by Riley which doesn't tell you anything you didn't already know

intro document here; strikethrough regs; summary of public comment and responses

asking for authority to intervene if necessary
don't want to see this dragged out into the future and miss another vocational admission cycle

recess while the room was cleared? I think?

Peyser: support in regulations as amended
were some changes made
there was a thing here about the "authority of school committees" which I only partly caught
affirmative obligations on the part of school committees on admissions policies not having disparaty impact
affirmative obligation on the part of the Department
Strict parameters around discipline
"fair...access to this valuable resource"
diversification of student bodies in vocational schools has exceeded diversification of state
presence of admissions policy doesn't itself create disparity impact
as long as school committees are clear on their responsibilities (they aren't, I think)
more information to students and families about opportunities

Lombos: sit in labor seat, and represent labor movement beyond teachers
bottom up policy making on this issue: people most affected work to make policy
coalition has reached out to Board
"important first step" but important to continue to work with these groups

Moriarty: going to support this
think innovation of outreach to eighth graders is most important
"not being able to access your first choice when you move from eighth grade to ninth grade"
and then there's a long thing here about third grade reading

Hills: coming up with what you think the right policy is "not what you think the right political solution is"

those removed are now banging on the windows

Fern√°ndez: appreciate focus on equity piece
alignment with equity groups; is it far enough?
assurances of Board, specific timeframes on how vocational schools are doing relative to the policies
"long term, if we don't see the changes we're looking for, lottery should be on the table"
she's nearly being drowned out from by the banging 

Rouhanifard: longstanding policy matter
questions and concerns largely have been addressed in the proposal
old enough to remember when vocational education was disportionally skewed towards students of color
would love to know if schools in high demand are actually connecting students with fields 
(they aren't)
"would like to know if schools are fulfilling their mission"

Coughlin: glad to see access for students of color is something the Board is taking seriously

Stewart: Massachusetts following other states; have not been in compliance of federal civil rights mandates for last twenty years
"bring up a good policy--I don't think we're there yet, honestly"
use of grades already excluding disportionate numbers of protected classes
if more students are applying, would we expect to see more of those students at the school?
A: looking at the vocational school and those protected classes (under both state and federal law)
do they look like the sending districts?
there may be places with protected classes might apply in greater numbers; would Department intervene?
Department "will be looking at all the data...and will be very involved" 
(so, not a yes)
Stewart: I need to see that be more explicit in the regulations
"I don't feel we are there yet" on the strongest regulations possible
"We are past first steps; this is a major next step that it is important to get right"
It would be great to have that clarity; strikes me as divergent on the part of the policy
support work to date
A; this is a big next step; we're not going to be leaving schools and families out in the cold
working actively on guidance of this
Stewart: unhappy that we aren't showing a stronger support
Craven: level of compliance?
A: what the guidelines are in Title VI
legal weight: these are very helpful and illustrative in greater detail
two part test if you use criteria: depended on schools to do that going forward
districts have had to attest when receiving grants (do they?)
in tandem with MOA reviews, civil rights review
gotten more comprehensive between what is in federal guidelines and in Perkins
state has set updated plan to US DoE on how they're going to be doing that (which is on the website and I should go find that)

Morton appreciates years of work


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