Regents Learning Standards Review Initiative

Apparently, NYSED is crisscrossing NY gathering suggestions for revamping the NYS ELA standards. Their first meeting was held on Thursday at BOCES over on Harlem Road.

I was about twenty minutes late (had to stop home to check email for any responses to my mass call for suggestions and then had to get gas), so I missed the opening statements by Robert Bennett and Donald Ogilvie.

The meeting was populated by English and ESL teachers and administrators from acros Western New York. Essentially, tables were asked to address the following three major areas and report back to the larger group after one hour (Taken from "Standards Review Initiative Public Forum Discussion Group Assignments"):
  1. ELA/ESL Standards Content and Substance. Considering the content and substance of the Standards and Performance Indicators, what do you recommend be kept? What do you recommend be dropped? What do you fell is missing? What needs to be updated and/or revised
  2. Organization and Format of the ELA/ESL Standards. Is the organization/format of the current Standards and Performance Indicators easy to understand by teachers and others? Does the current format and organization promote engagement by teachers and does this format make the Standards easily "usable" by students? What organization and format would you recommend be considered?
  3. Are the ELA/ESL Standards Measurable? How do you fell about the current ability of these Standards and Performance Indicators to be properly measured? Can student understanding or proficiency be measured through multiple assessment approaches? In your discussion, please address measurability of the Standards through local assessment measures, state assessments and classroom methods (observation, portfolio evaluation, etc.)
I tried to quickly jot down the recommendations of each table, so here goes (note: some are standards related, some are soapbox related):
  • there should be a prerecorded listening passage from the state to ensure consistency and fairness on the first task of the 11th grade Regents
  • we should be integrating art instruction into ELA...(?)
  • Abandon the exam altogether for portfolio assessment (combination of a few tables)
    • the test is not process oriented, and that should be a 12 hour test. Everything we teach about writing must be thrown out the window to write under extreme timed conditions..."test of endurance more than skill"
    • adopt an authentic, growth model of assessment
      • especially for ESL and IEP kids...
  • universal literacy indicators (mic from the other room cut out for that one...not too sure what they were talking about)
  • ELA standards should be integrated into all content areas (echoed by two others...not too sure what that had to do with the question...maybe frustration over feeling responsible for having to teach writing for all content areas?)
  • Increased specificity regarding year to year progression, benchmarks, etc. One table said, to great applause, that the standards are hard to read and a more user friendly matrices showing introduction, proficiency, and mastery of individual PI's and literacy competencies would be...appreciated. Also, track kids year to year based on these matrices
  • More tech - reflect the real world. Get rid of handwriting and institute keyboarding early on (hallelujah), ditch friendly letter and work on email, etc. Integrate digital text/multimedia composition
  • Less PI's
  • Literacy Competencies to help guide 9-12, as they cut off after 8th grade
  • tasks should match the standards
I think I hit all the major points. BOCES had password protected Wifi, so I couldn't live blog it, and it's been more than 24 hours so a few points are a little murkier than when they were first delivered.

One more important note. They also attached a sheet titled "Standards Review Working Principles" Here's the text (man I wish my scanner was hooked up, lol).

Through this comprehensive standards review initiative, we will:

1. Include three levels of standards:
a. Student standards (content)
b. Teacher standards; and
c. System standards (infrastructure)

2. Develop a single set of standards for each content area, although some students may need different levels of support or scaffolding to achieve the learning outcomes (e.g. struggling learners, English language learners, students with disabilities).

3. Infuse literacy throughout all the content areas.

4. Infuse cultural competence throughout all the content areas.

5. Develop the measurable standards.

6. Review PreK-12 standards within the context of a seamless p-16 continuum.

7. Integrate technology throughout all the content areas.
So, I don't know, what do you think? Anything noteworthy here, or more of the same?

No comments: