. . . and I took a stab at live-tweeting it. I had fun, but I’m now convinced that live-tweeting is at least a two person job as it was hard–for me anyway–to try to take extensive notes plus compose tweets plus keep up with my Twitter feed.
In case you missed the live-tweeting, I’ve put together a Storify version of it here.
For future reference, I see that the DE was using the hashtag #iastatebd yesterday on Twitter.
It’s old news at this point, but the Iowa State Board of Education, by unanimous vote, adopted the Next Generation Science Standards as presented in the Science Standards Review Team Report. See news coverage here, here, and here. The State Board also, by unanimous vote, directed the DE to draft rules implementing the Assessment Task Force’s recommendation number one (adopt the Smarter Balanced Assessments) for the 2016-17 school year and to reconvene the Assessment Task Force to review science assessments. See news coverage here and here.
On the drive home, a few things struck me about the State Board discussion around assessment.
First, that individual state board members publicly acknowledged that the costs of the Smarter Balanced assessments for districts would be more (not the same or less). Of course, that didn’t stop them from voting to move forward with adopting the assessments, as at least two of the board members opined that it would be easy for either districts or the Legislature to find the money. Miller suggested that people write or talk to legislators.
Perhaps you have just slapped your forehead and thought–as I did–“I wish I had thought of talking or writing to legislators about the need for more school funding! I’ll have to give that a try. No doubt it will be very effective, when we finally do it.”
Or maybe you were just wondering if state board members follow the news or any social media accounts. At all.
Second, it occurred to me that the state board members did not raise the issue of technology readiness for statewide online assessment as part of the discussion yesterday, nor did they discuss the experiences other states had administering the Smarter Balanced assessments this spring. Based on a non-discussion, it is hard to know if they aren’t following national news or are otherwise unaware of these issues, or if they feel that these issues have been adequately covered in other meetings or, perhaps, by the Assessment Task Force.
Which brings me to a third thought, as I considered this Barry Garelick tweet (referencing science standards adoption) again this afternoon:
And that thought, or question, really, is whether the use of task forces and review teams, whatever their merits might be (and I do think they may have some), removes too much of the deliberative process from the public eye.
Thoughts on the actions taken by the state board? Or on the processes in place for making decisions about public education on behalf of the citizens of Iowa? Are the decisions being made good ones, sufficiently transparent, and being made by the right people?