The State Board of Education (SBE) held its monthly meeting yesterday. Among other agenda items, the board:
Received the State Superintendent’s monthly report, during which Dr. Wright shared that U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos has nominated her to serve on the National Assessment Governing Board (NAGB) which oversees the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP).
Reversed the Commission on Accreditation’s decision to uphold its denial of North Bolivar Consolidated School District’s appeal of final accountability results. The State Board’s original motion to affirm the Commission’s denial failed by a vote of 2-3. An alternative motion was then made to reverse the Commission’s decision and this motion passed 3-2.
Received a report on MAAP achievement gap results. Click here for that information.
Voted to have the Accountability Task Force review the impact of the elimination of the U.S. History end-of-course assessment on the accountability model at the Task Force’s December meeting. While MDE staff’s original recommendation was for the Board to deny the elimination of the assessment, alternative actions were discussed in the Accountability Subcommittee’s meeting prior to the full Board’s meeting. MDE received 108 comments during the public comment period on this matter: 27 opposed elimination of the assessment, 42 supported elimination of the assessment, and 39 were off-topic or unclear as to their position. During the Board’s discussion of the motion for the Accountability Task Force’s review, Karen Elam questioned whether it is that important that the assessment be eliminated, citing what she considered a low volume of public comments. Rosemary Aultman then questioned whether it is worth going through the Accountability Task Force and public comment period again simply due to the concern of too much testing, stating she wasn’t sure if all the gyrations and effort were worth it. John Kelly said he thinks it is important for the Board to make an informed decision and to be aware of all ramifications. Brittney Rye, the teacher representative on the Board, shared teachers will feel as if the Board listened to them if the Board considers all information. She also shared that is isn’t a matter of one subject being more or less important than another; rather, teachers are concerned with the amount of time required for testing. You will remember that MPE surveyed our members in September on this topic. We submitted a letter in support of the elimination of the U.S. History assessment based on the feedback of the 1,659 survey participants: 1,190 (72%) supported elimination, 393 (24%) opposed elimination, and 76 (4%) had no opinion or needed more information.
The Accountability Task Force is scheduled to meet December 5. MPE has received numerous requests this morning for a list of the 2019-2020 Accountability Task Force members. When we requested this information from MDE staff, we were notified that MDE is working to finalize the list today. Those practitioners selected by MDE to serve on the task force will then be notified and MDE will have to get superintendent approvals before the list can be published. MPE will share that list with our members as soon as it is available.