Please join us at the Board of Education meeting on Sept. 11.
The DNC has departed, but there’s still much to do. Teacher morale and the new state tests will both be addressed at the school board meeting on Tuesday, Sept. 11, 6:30 p.m. at the Government Center. Please try to come join us. It would be great to have a large, supportive audience.
Barry Sherman and Bevelyn Sherrill, who wrote the “CMS has crisis of heart” piece in the Observer, will be presenting to the board during the Requests from the Public period. We will follow with further presentations on teacher morale and on the recently released teacher retention report produced by TNTP (an organization founded by Michelle Rhee).
New State Tests
There will also be a presentation on the new state tests. According to the PowerPoint posted with the board meeting agenda:
1. This year CMS will administer 22 new state-mandated high school tests, as well as new social studies tests in grades 4-8 and new science tests in grades 4, 6 and 7. The scores will be used in teacher evaluations.
2. In high school, these new state tests “will take the place of teacher-created final exams” and “will count as 25% of each high school student’s final grade.”
3. The state is apparently not providing funds for printing or scoring the exams, information that was not conveyed to CMS until after the CMS budget was approved. CMS will have to find funding for these expenses in its own budget.
Keep Your Eyes on the Legislature
We can expect more legislative action in the next session. Ruth Samuelson has already re-floated the idea of performance pay. We have heard that “parent trigger” legislation is likely to be introduced. At the DFER meeting, corporate reform guru Jonathan Alter asserted that “panelists promoting DFER’s reform vision in North Carolina and Indiana are ‘still in the wilderness,’” suggesting that DFER may move to help them. The group 50CAN, which promotes corporate reform in state legislatures, has already moved into our state, and there are indications that Michelle Rhee and Students First will not be far behind.