I attended the AFWG Meeting Number 16 yesterday. There were 10 committee members present and 3 members of the public in attendance. Secretary Godowsky popped in and sat in the meeting for a while and thanked everyone for participating. It was really nice seeing the Secretary of Education at this meeting, this was the second time I have seen the Secretary popping into a meeting.
The next steps: share the recommendations with DESS Advisory Committee (stakeholder group), which happened today, State Board will review and hopefully accept recommendations as presented (State Board representative indicated the board may not accept the recommendations as presented), and then the approved recommendations from the State Board are sent to US DOE.
The members stated again to DOE, what supports are going to be provided to the schools once a school is labeled? We label the schools but there are really no supports in place.
A school can become a Focus, Focus Plus, Priority, Action, Watch, Reward, Recognition, or a Blue Ribbon School.
- DOE reported they must add a consequence for not meeting participation rate. The group decided on the following:
- School must write a plan for how they will address low participation rates.
- Cannot be a reward school if the participation rates is less than 95% using NEAP.
- DOE did state the Governor recommended and would prefer the multiplier for schools that are below 95% only, as the consequence the participation rate, but members stated they did not agree with that choice.
- The group decided on using a 0 to 500 point system.
The group was made up of district and charter administrators, a PTA, a DSEA, and a State Board representative. Most of them really did not like labeling the schools especially with no permanent supports in place. I really appreciated the conversation of the group. The group made it clear over and over that they did not like the system but knew most of it was being driven by the feds.
During the conversation, I got the impression that the Governor wanted certain things to come out of this group and I got the same impression from the State Board representative. Why do you put these committees/groups in place and waste their valuable time away from their schools if we are not going to listen to them, they are the experts. I hope the Governor and the State Board will respect the opinion of the experts and keep the final recommendations from the Accountability Framework Working Group as is. It will be interesting to see what the State Board does at their October 15th meeting.