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Talking Points Shared for Districts With Priority Schools

Stacy Bogard

By Stacy Bogard, CAE, MASB Assistant Director of Communications, PR & Marketing

DashBoard, Aug. 17, 2016

As you’ve likely seen in the media or experienced in your district, the State School Reform/Redesign Office has been meeting with the districts that currently have schools in the bottom 5%. It is also known that the SRO will be releasing a new list in September, which could include new schools.

To ensure that those who are impacted are prepared to handle any questions that may come about from community members, parents, staff or media, MASB, in collaboration with MASA, released a set of talking points yesterday. In addition to these talking points, MASB suggests you add appropriate local messaging and background based on your unique situation in your conversations with the audiences mentioned above.

One of the greatest concerns is that the SRO is using data that education experts at every level have denounced as fundamentally flawed to make monumental decisions that will affect students, schools and communities at the deepest levels. Basic research standards dictate that multiple years of consistent data be collected for a reliable accountability system. Given that the state assessments have changed every year for the past three years, there is no consistent data to use to determine what action, if any, could be taken against struggling schools.

“Districts should be allowed time with a new assessment to work with their teachers and adjust their curriculum to meet the new demands,” said Don Wotruba, MASB Executive Director. “The idea that the state would close a building based on the results of a test that districts have only been able to put in front of their students twice is a disservice to those students and communities.”

MASB is working with other state education associations to ensure that this and other concerns are being addressed, and will continue to keep members updated. If you have any questions or concerns, please contact us at webmaster@masb.org or 517.327.5900.

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