Conferences are for growth I (NYSSBA)

NYS School Board Association conference

This post consists of bits of info shared at the annual NYSSBA conference October 14th, 2017. One always learns something new or delves deeper into something already known at a conference. The conferences are for growth. If attending is not possible, one can follow the conference online and read reflections of bloggers. The presenters, educators, administrators, and school board members share their thoughts on issues they are facing at their districts. They influence and help each other learn . Let’s see the topics the NYSSBA conference covered in October.

Just the fact that the association contracted Yong Zhao to open the conference signaled the association’s shifting view on school accountability. Zhao has been setting the non-traditional educational paradigm before the start of this Century. His opposition to the current accountability and standardized testing is well known. His thoughts inspired me in the early days of my learning about the US education. I mentioned him in a post earlier.

M. Hynes, the superintendent from Patchogue-Medford, was sharing with the audience his vision of educating the Whole Child and PEAS. Educators from the Levittown SD came with a presentation whose title “No Child Left Inside” is enticing into further exploration.

A presenter discussed the NY Data dashboard. Is it similar to or is it the same as the Data Warehouse our school district is using?, were my thoughts when reading the slides. The delegates from our school district would know the answer. In another slide, someone brought up the detrimental effects of poverty on education. Although the impact of poverty is well documented, the views that schools in poor communities are to be blamed for mediocre test results still persist among the public.

A NYSED representative reiterated the rhetoric about making “significant changes in testing experience,” but the following screenshots also signal a shift in perception of the school accountability. The statements resonated through the hall. (Commissioner Elia repeated the statements at the NYSPTA conference on November 3rd).

The NYSED voiced their intention to assign score 1 to all standardized test refusals. The score would not affect students, but schools.

It would not be a conference by the school board association, if there were not discussed topics that help the school board members grow. For example, they learned “how to communicate with and involve the public in important decision-making…..” Also, the BOE members could refresh their best practices applied at the board meetings. The delegates to the conference also adopted a resolution. My question who represented the Malverne public schools stakeholders at the conference, sent to Malverne BOE, was not answered.

Did your school district send delegates to the conference? How did they share with the community what they learned? Is your community updated on changes coming with the ESSA?


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