Yesterday afternoon, the Senate adopted our amendment to make TS Gold voluntary! This is just the first step, of course, as we will have to get this through the Conference Committee and then make sure that the Governor doesn’t veto it, but we are at least now in the game. We’ll let you know the next steps as we go along. But for now, THANKS FOR ALL YOUR GREAT WORK ON THIS!! Thanks to Nancy for the idea of “decoupling” the assessment from the grant, and to Beth for helping draft the amendment language, and to all of you for all that you did to make this happen.MAKING TS GOLD VOLUNTARY: Full Day Kindergarten Voluntary Student Assessment – Amendment #602 – filed by Senator Jim Welch (D-W. Springfield) was adopted. This amendment requires the state to apply for a waiver allowing communities that utilize Kindergarten Expansion Grants to voluntarily participate in the MA Kindergarten Entry Assessment (MKEA). As you know, currently, schools that receive kindergarten expansion grants must assess their students using TS Gold, a tool many teachers are adamant is not necessary or appropriate for their students, and that interferes with teaching and learning for our youngest students.Senator Welch and his staff worked hard on this, and he should be thanked, along with the other co-sponsors (see below). Senator Jehlen also helped behind the scenes (as the Asst vice-chair of SW&M, she does not sponsor amendments).Here is the language of the amendment (it is possible that there could be technical changes to this language, as it moves through the process, but the substance was agreed upon):Full Day Kindergarten Voluntary Student AssessmentMr. Welch, Ms. O'Connor Ives, Mr. Moore, Mrs. L'Italien and Mr. Kennedy moved that the bill be amended, in Section 2, in item 7030-1002, in line 15, by inserting after the word "data;" the following: "provided further, that the department is hereby authorized and directed to file a waiver with the US Department of Education (USDOE) to remove any requirement related to mandatory participation in the Massachusetts Kindergarten Entry Assessment (MKEA); provided further, that grantees may voluntarily participate in the MKEA, but no grantees shall be required to participate in the MKEA, unless the department has, in good faith, filed a waiver of this requirement with the USDOE which is not approved prior to the beginning of the 2015-2016 school year; provided further, however, that in no case shall grantees be required to participate in the MKEA after December 31, 2015;"
Friday, May 22, 2015
GOOD NEWS ON TS GOLD AMENDMENT!
Posted by NBEA