At Board meeting, Director Peters brought forth her motion for discussion of the use of the Smarter Balanced assessment, saying the discussion needed to be done "honestly, openly and immediately." She said she asked about having it come before the Curriculum &Instruction meeting but was told their agenda was set.
(I looked and they haven't even posted the agenda for the next C&I committee meeting so if it is set, then it should be available for public viewing. Since it's not, I would assume the agenda is not set. Hmm.)
President Carr asked for comments on the motion itself - to add it - but not to discuss the content of the motion.
Martin-Morris says he is "not opposed to having a conversation and it's important to have" but his real concern is timing. Policy that lays out how "we do things" and this would seemingly be an exception. Brought up the code phrase of "good governance." (I confess I do not know Board policy on this but I have seen things added to the agenda in the same way so I'm wondering why this cannot happen.)
He brings up Code of Conduct being voted on containing a "no surprises" clause and feels notification of this is too late. He said, "I can't support this kind of behavior."
Director McLaren had a prewritten statement. Understands anxiety over this test and glad that people are speaking out by e-mailing and testifying especially teachers. She said "community is demanding that we have meaningful dialog about testing in schools." But she says they don't need to suspend SBAC testing to do so.
(Again, they both miss that this motion IS to have a dialog and would not suspend anything.)
Carr interrupted to say that they didn't need to discuss the content but wanted to stay on track with real motion. But McLaren wanted to continue on. She has two disagreements with adding this to agenda. Says there is "no emergency" and that suspending SBAC testing is the answer (even as she says there are "many teachers who feel woefully unprepared to administer this test.")
She then said, "I know our students can take the test and be proud that they have done so." What does that mean really? I'm not sure. She goes on and says once the tests are completed, "we will have information that we need,rather than mere speculation." And that the district can "gauge" the results and define changes.
No, the district won't be able to change ANYTHING on this test, no matter the results.
She also asked "what kind of message would we - the adults - be sending if we fear our students won't do well after we have spent years preparing for them?"
She wants to have the conversation AFTER the testing. Then she went on with some blather about what she thinks testing should be like. I just don't get her.
I do know that I'm tired of hearing Director McLaren saying she supports parents and teachers but then finding reasons not to do so. I really think she needs a challenger this fall to defend this cycle of inaction on her part.
So, with her statement, we all know that this motion will fail because Carr, Martin-Morris and Blanford will vote that way as well.
Peaslee doesn't like how it got to agenda but will vote for the discussion.
Motion fails, 4-3.