• Regular Meeting, May 7, 2019
That the following be amended and referred to the Superintendent:
Whereas the School Committee worked to raise the level of instruction for all students through the Level Up initiative at CRLS; and
Whereas a recent Globe project on valedictorians documented a sobering and critically important question of whether high schools are preparing students for success: and
Whereas the recent report The Opportunity Myth by The New Teachers Project found that despite 71% of students in a national representative sample of audited classes met classroom expectations and succeeded on assignments, only 17% of those assignments were on grade level when evaluated; and Whereas both the Valedictorian Project and The New Teachers Project identified the need for high expectations and intentional focus on rigorous curriculum, instruction and assignments as key to delivering on the promise of success in college and life; and
Whereas there were gaps by racial subgroups in performance on common assessment; and
Whereas nearly 1 in 3 CRLS students indicated that teachers do not have very high expectations of them; Therefore, the School Committee directs the Administration to evaluate the Level Up ELA classes, to ensure that the initiative is as successful as possible. The School Committee requests the Superintendent submits a report no later than the August 6, 2019 Regular Summer Meeting.
That the School Committee review and approve the draft process for the Superintendent's evaluation for 2019, per attached document.
That Whereas Cambridge Public Schools strives for all students to attain grade level skills or higher, and
Whereas some Cambridge Public Schools have implemented co-teaching and had positive results, including at the elementary, middle, and high school level, and
Whereas recommendations from the Elementary Program Review included implementing co-teaching, That CPS will have a televised Roundtable on co-teaching, to be held before December 20, 2019, with an agenda to be determined by the Curriculum and Achievement Sub-Committee and Dr. Salim or his designee. One or more CPS educators will participate in the discussion.
Whereas the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) recently acknowledged that a racially insensitive question appeared on the 2019 10th grade English Language Arts MCAS exam that called for students to take on the perspective of a racist character after reading passage in Colson Whitehead's The Underground Railroad; and
Whereas this highlights the need for inquiry into MCAS test questions creation, review, and approval process as well as the developmental and cultural appropriateness of the MCAS as an effective and unbiased assessment measure; now therefore be it Resolved that the Cambridge School Committee invites representation from the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education to join them in a Roundtable discussion on the MCAS test including, but not limited to, question creation and approval process, the developmental appropriateness of tests, and the training of the sensitivity and bias committee, as well as additional action steps DESE is taking to safeguard against future errors of racism and bias, and, be it further Resolved, that with the goals of Engagement, Equity and Access in mind, the School Committee direct Administration to include assessment information on the CPS website including a basic overview of Statewide Standardized Tests requirements with a link to DESE that provides DESE's policies and positions.
Due to legislation passed by the State Legislature that requests early screenings of students to identify if they have dyslexia,
That the Superintendent take appropriate steps to ensure that students are screened and that students who are identified receive appropriate and timely supports and that training and support for teachers is in place. Superintendent will report back on how the district will comply with the present law by the Regular meeting in November. (C19-210)