Nov. 2, 2015 Teaching/Learning Sub Meeting


Quincy School Committee
Teaching and Learning Subcommittee
Ms. Barbara Isola, Chair
Monday, November 2, 2015, 5:00 pm
Coddington Building

  1. Quincy School Committee Resolution on Standardized Testing

  2. Adjournment


Quincy School Committee
Teaching & Learning Subcommittee Meeting
Monday, November 2, 2015

A meeting of the Teaching & Learning Subcommittee was held on Monday, November 2, 2015 at 5:00 pm in the Coddington Building. Present were Mrs. Kathryn Hubley, Ms. David McCarthy, and Ms. Barbara Isola, Chair. Also attending were Superintendent DeCristofaro, Mrs. Mary Fredrickson, Deputy Superintendent Kevin Mulvey, Mrs. Maura Papile, Ms. Madeline Roy, Mr. Keith Segalla, Ms. Judy Todd; Quincy Education Association President Allison Cox; Citywide Parent Council Executive Board Member Kristin Perry; and Ms. Laura Owens, Clerk.

Ms. Isola called the meeting to order at 5:00 pm and reviewed the purpose of the meeting, to discuss and approve a School Committee Resolution that can be introduced at the Massachusetts Association of School Committees (MASC) Conference. Mrs. Hubley will be attending the MASC Conference and representing the Quincy School Committee as a delegate at the General Session on Wednesday, November 4. Two versions of a resolution were drafted for School Committee consideration. One version proposes a delay in implementing any new high-stakes standardized testing, while the other proposes a moratorium. After a brief time to review the two resolution options, Ms. Isola opened the discussion. Mrs. Hubley asked if the delay option was approved, should it contain a specific length of time. Mr. McCarthy asked if other School Committees have specified a time frame. Deputy Superintendent Mulvey said not that we have seen.

Ms. Isola said that moratorium expresses School Committee’s belief that PARCC is not viable for Quincy Public Schools, there are too many unknowns, especially as it pertained to graduation requirements and the technology infrastructure issues.

Mrs. Hubley made a motion to accept the moratorium resolution as presented:

Quincy School Committee Resolution Calling for a Moratorium on High-Stakes Standardized Tests

WHEREAS, our future well-being relies on a high quality public education system that prepares all students for college, careers, citizenship and lifelong learning; and

WHEREAS, our school systems in Massachusetts and across the country have been spending increasing amounts of time, money, and energy on high-stakes testing in which student performance on standardized tests is used to make major decisions affecting individual students, educators, schools and districts; and

WHEREAS, the overreliance on high-stakes and standardized testing in state and federal accountability systems is undermining educational quality and equity in U.S. public schools by hampering educators’ efforts to focus on the broad range of learning experiences that promote the innovation, creativity, problem-solving, collaboration, communication, critical thinking and deep subject matter knowledge that will allow students to thrive in a democracy and an increasingly global society; and

WHEREAS, it is widely recognized that standardized testing is an inadequate and often unreliable measure of both student learning and educator effectiveness; and

WHEREAS, the overemphasis on standardized testing has caused considerable collateral damage in too many schools, including narrowing the curriculum, teaching to the test, reducing a love of learning, pushing students out of school, driving excellent teachers out of the profession, and undermining school climate;

WHEREAS, high-stakes standardized testing has negative effects on students from all backgrounds, and especially for low-income students, English language learners, children of color, and those with disabilities;

THEREFORE, let it be resolved that the Quincy School Committee supports locally developed, authentic assessments and more time for educators to teach and students to learn;

THEREFORE, let it be resolved that the Quincy School Committee calls on state and federal education policymakers to adopt a moratorium on the high-stakes use of standardized tests so that educators, parents, and other members of our communities can work together to develop assessment systems that support positive teaching practices and better prepare students for lifelong learning.

Ms. Isola seconded the motion and on a voice vote, the ayes have it.

Mrs. Hubley made a motion to adjourn the meeting at 6:15 pm. Ms. Isola seconded the motion and on a voice vote, the ayes have it.