Make sure you contact your State Senator and tell him or her that you support SB 2404.
Here are some links to help clarify the issue:
Wednesday, May 1, 2013
Tuesday, February 26, 2013
This was going to be distributed at Rep Council today. Mike will be out of town until Monday. Please contact Stefan or Greg with questions.
Fellow MTA Members,
Thank you for your patience and your input over the issue of proposed changes to the school schedule frequently referred to as a block schedule. The MTA Executive Board met last Wednesday morning with the Administrative Team (Dr. Wallace, Mr. Dietz, Dr. Thiele, and Dr. Dill-Varga) to discuss this issue for the first time.
We have been assured personally by Dr. Wallace that it is not a foregone conclusion that the school schedule will be changed for 2014-2015. Instead, the committee will study various configurations of schedules and discuss their impact.
The topic of removing all 1.5-period classes from the schedule was also discussed at this meeting. We have been assured that until a new schedule is put into place, the administration will not advocate for the elimination of 1.5-period classes. However, the elimination of these classes is an important component of the administration’s goals for schedule planning.
We would like to form an independent MTA committee to prepare our own report about our schedule and its strengths as well as shortcomings. If you are interested in being a member of such a committee, contact a member of the MTA Executive Board (Mike Poehler, Greg Serrano, Stefan Panzilius, Chris Deger, or Phil Sumida). We would like to begin working towards preparation of such a report within the next month.
None of these changes has been negotiated by the MTA. These are administrative initiatives, and although they seek the opinion and labor of our members, they were neither suggested nor approved by your union representatives.
A few members of the current BOE have been contacted, and this issue is not currently on their radar. With Board Elections coming up, this will be a topic discussed by the MTA with candidates running for the open seats, along with other topics and issues of concern to the MTA and our membership. Jean Miller, past MTA President and Greg Serrano, current MTA Vice-President, are organizing interviews of the candidates within the coming weeks.
Friday, January 18, 2013
From a member, a unique way to be involved in the crafting of policy:
PARCC Releases Draft Accommodations Policies for Public Comment
WASHINGTON - January 16, 2013 - The Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC) released two draft accommodations policies for public comment, the reading access accommodation and the calculator use accommodation.
In addition to allowing a full array of testing accommodations on summative tests, PARCC is proposing two accommodations that will expand access to its tests to an even wider range of students with disabilities.
First, the reading access accommodation will allow the passages, test items and answer choices on the English language arts/literacy assessment to be read to students who have a disability that prevents them from accessing printed text or has not yet learned braille. Also, the calculator policy will allow students who do not have the ability to calculate single digit numbers the use of a calculator for all items on the math assessment except those that measure fluency, as fluency is a skill required by the standards in some early grades. Both accommodations will have specific eligibility criteria and will be limited to students who meet these criteria.
Once feedback is provided on these policies, they will be included in a larger policy that details all accommodations provided to students with disabilities and English language learners.
"These policies were developed based on wide-spread input from states and experts," said Tamara Reavis, Senior Adviser for Assessment Accessibility and Equity. "Common accommodations will increase equitable access, fidelity of implementation, and comparability across PARCC states."
The public review period allows for feedback from a wide group of stakeholders, including K-12 educators, curriculum and assessment experts, and national groups or organizations.
Trinell Bowman, who chairs the PARCC working group on Accessibility, Accommodation and Fairness, said the policies were driven by what is expected of students in the Common Core State Standards and the claims of the PARCC summative assessments.
"These eligibility criteria will require all schools to address a student's need through research based interventions and IEP goals, and these accommodations will give students a greater opportunity to show what they know and able to do on these assessments," said Bowman, Program Manager with the Maryland State Department of Education.
From January 16, 2013 until February 4, 2013, the draft accommodations policies are posted on the PARCC website. Interested parties can provide feedback through a survey posted on the PARCC website, answering questions specific to each policy.
All feedback will be reviewed by Achieve and the working group for Accessibility, Accommodation and Fairness and revisions will be made accordingly. Also, a determination to allow these accommodations and include them in the overall policy or not allow these accommodations will be made based on feedback collected.
This is the first set of accommodation policies PARCC will release for public comment. An additional policy for the writing access policy will be released for public comment in early February, 2013, and the entire PARCC accommodation policy manual will be made available for public comment in April, 2013.
For more information or to view the policies, visit http://www.parcconline.org.
Media Contact: Chad Colby (202) 419-1570, firstname.lastname@example.org