Saturday, November 19, 2016

Minutes from the October 11 meeting might help educators in other states learn more about PORTFOLIOS and EXHIBITIONS for a PATHWAY to Graduation from High School

100 minutes that included portfolios and exhibitions as a path to demonstrating proficiency
The meeting started at 5:30 and ended at 7:10 p.m. on October 11

List of Minutes and video of the Council for Elementary and Secondary Education
Quick link  TINYURL.com/rideminutes

Oct 11 Meeting
Present: Daniel McConaghy, *Colby Anderson, **Amy Beretta, Colleen Callahan, Barbara Cottam, Karin Forbes, Marta Martinez, Lawrence Purtill, and Joyce Stevos Absent: Jo Eva Gaines
Unanimous Vote


ON PAGE 11 of the Minutes, the vote was shown to be unanimous in support of the regulations (ACTION ITEM)

a. Approval of the Regulations of the Council on Elementary and Secondary Education – Middle and High School Learning Environments and the R.I. Diploma System
On a motion duly made by Joyce Stevos and seconded by Karin Forbes, it was VOTED: That the Council on Elementary and Secondary Education approves the amended Regulations of the Council on Elementary and Secondary Education – Middle and High School Learning Environments and the R.I. Diploma System, as presented

Student representative Colby Anderson, expressed that although the members of the Student Advisory Council support the proposed changes to the regulations, they do not support districts having the option of requiring a state assessment as a graduation requirement.

Council Member Beretta asked when RIDE anticipates having the Council’s designations ready and in what form. She is very concerned that there will be one set of requirements for the Class of 2021, another set for the Class of 2022, and so on, and that she finds that problematic.

Commissioner Wagner responded that he anticipates that the designations could change over time as a widely recognized state assessment becomes available or as school districts start telling RIDE that we missed a fairly important pathway designation and that they would like us to add another one. The way it is structured is that it will be something that will come to the Council, but it would not rise up to the threshold of regulation or go through the regulation process. It will almost be like an appendix to fill in details of the regulations.

Council Member Beretta expressed that if it’s not in regulation she is concerned that every time the complexion of the Council changes, changes will be made and students who will be graduating in 2021 are not going to know what the requirements are the day they start high school.

Commissioner Wagner responded that there is a requirement in the regulation that the expectations be set by ninth grade and that the Council would be violating its own regulations if it changed the rules for students who are in the middle of high school.

In December, RIDE will bring to the Council for approval the expectations and the performance standard of what they would want for a commissioner’s seal. On the pathway side, the Council will have to

Minutes Page 11 of 12 

approve what the framework should look like and RIDE will fill in the details through guidance. Designations are optional, which means that the Council can preapprove them and adopt them, but school districts do not have to offer the suggested pathway endorsements.

Commissioner Wagner expressed that his recommendation would be that the Council not get into the nuances of best practices, as they can change year after year. It is perhaps not the policy direction that Councils typically get into, but rather the operational expertise of school districts.

Deputy Snider clarified that the most urgent piece that RIDE is working on right now is getting clarity around what is on the menu of assessments to earn a commissioner’s seal and what those features are. RIDE will bring it for Council discussion in December as this coming spring it will need to inform the current eighth graders (Class of 2021) what score they need to earn in the PARCC exam in order to earn a commissioner’s seal. RIDE also wants to have the flexibility as it looks at more measures to add on to the menu without having to open up the regulations every time something is added.

Commissioner Wagner suggested that, when the recommendations on the designations are brought to the Council for approval in December, if the Council sees that it’s something that rises to the threshold of regulation as opposed to policy, then we can change it.

Board Chair Cottam expressed that the diploma requirements are in the regulations and that it’s only the optional designations that need to be fleshed out and adopted by the Council as a policy.

Council Member Callahan voiced that she remains uncomfortable with the inclusion of local decision-making around the utilization of a statewide assessment as a local graduation requirement given the level of angst and outcry that could bubble up from the local level.

Commissioner Wagner expressed that a state agency typically sets minimal standards, which local school districts can decide to exceed. Singling out the state assessment as an exception to local school district discretion would be purely because of some of the energy around that particular decision. It doesn’t strike him as a sufficient threshold to get in the way of the dozens of decisions that school districts can always make about exceeding the state minimal.

Vote: 8 members voted in the affirmative and 0 members voted in the negative as follows:
YEAS: Daniel McConaghy, Amy Beretta, Colleen Callahan, Barbara Cottam, Karin Forbes, Marta Martinez, Lawrence Purtill, and Joyce Stevos
NAYS: 0





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Response

To the members of the Council on Elementary and Secondary Education

Daniel McConaghy, Amy Beretta, Colleen Callahan, Barbara Cottam, Karin Forbes, Marta Martinez, Lawrence Purtill, and Joyce Stevos


I've had the pleasure of reading about approval of the use of portoflios and exhibitions as

Steve McCrea
Teacher
Fort Lauderdale, FL
ManyPosters@gmail.com

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