• Special Meeting, March 19, 2019 Budget Workshop
• Special Meeting, March 26, 2019 Budget Workshop
• Regular Meeting, April 2, 2019
That: Whereas the Cambridge School Committee is committed to honoring the will of the people and creating a working environment where all Committee Members have the ability to honor their civic duty;
Therefore be it resolved, that School Committee Sub-Committee meetings be scheduled during times when Members of a Sub-Committee have the ability to participate and perform their civic duty.
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.
District Plan Framework Strategic Initiative 2.2:
Rigorous, Joyful, Culturally Response Learning
Dr. Anda Adams, Assistant Superintendent of Curriculum & Instruction
Robin Harris, Principal, Fletcher/Maynard Academy
Kenneth Salim, Superintendent of Schools
That Whereas Cambridge Public Schools (CPS) strives to provide equitable learning environments across the district; and
Whereas the twelve Cambridge Public Schools elementary school buildings differ in age, quality, and condition of maintenance; and
Whereas the City of Cambridge shares responsibility with CPS for school buildings; and
Whereas the Cambridge Public Schools administration has estimated that CPS buildings will require $132 million in maintenance upgrades over the next five years, which is an average of $26 million per year; Therefore, the School Committee requests that the CPS Administration invite members of the Cambridge City Council to tour CPS buildings that are in the greatest need of maintenance.
That Whereas there has been discussion in the Cambridge Public Schools community about the advantages and disadvantages of MCAS testing, with some community members viewing MCAS as a tool for equity and others viewing MCAS as a tool of discrimination;
The School Committee will hold a roundtable discussion about MCAS, other forms of CPS assessments, and the Massachusetts Consortium for Innovative Educational Assessments (MCIEA). This roundtable will be televised, livestreamed, and archived on the School Committee website, and will be held before October 15, 2019.
Whereas, as flexible and adaptable learning organizations, Cambridge Public Schools and the Cambridge School Committee uphold the district strategic objectives of Equity and Access and Continuous Improvement; and
Whereas improvement requires the regular monitoring of progress in multiple ways however, the current format and frequency of the Massachusetts Comprehensive Assessment System (MCAS) does not fully align with CPS district objectives or CPS vision of rigorous, joyful, culturally responsive learning; and
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 question 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 School Committee go on record in support of the role that CPSD and the Superintendent can play in advocating to the Massachusetts Commissioner of Education and Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) for flexibility from federal assessment regulations in the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA); and be it further
Resolved that the School Committee request a letter be sent to the Commissioner of Education and Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) encouraging the state to explore an application to the Innovative Assessment Pilot (ESSA Section 1204) for Massachusetts be one of the US States allowed to 'pilot innovative systems of assessments' with a goal of providing continued accountability, and improving authentic and meaningful assessments that more equitably serve our students; and be it further
Resolved that the Superintendent create a working relationship with the Massachusetts Consortium for Innovative Education Assessment (MCIEA) around the idea of creating innovative performance assessments.
Given the proximity of the Eversource electrical substation to the Kennedy-Longfellow School that the School Committee go on record supporting the attached City Council Order.
That the School Committee review and approve the attached Draft Personal Use of Social Media by Cambridge Public Schools Employees Guidelines (first reading).
That the School Committee hereby goes on record in expressing it's congratulations to Ms. Kathleen S. Donlon for her official retirement as of December, 2017, and that the Executive Secretary be and hereby is requested to forward a suitably engrossed copy of a resolution to Ms. Kathleen S. Donlon on behalf of the entire School Committee.
At the conclusion of the Regular Meeting, the School Committee will entertain a motion to convene in Executive Session, in the School Committee Conference Room, 459 Broadway, Cambridge, for the purpose of discussing strategy for contract negotiations with non-union personnel (Superintendent).