Public Comment Palooza! Spring 2022

Three FIVE opportunities for public comment on regulations are open this week. Any member of the public can weigh in on proposed amendments to regulations during the public comment period. The Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) publishes the proposed changes and a deadline to submit comments in writing.

The rest is up to you. Take a peek at a throwback post on Public Comment 101 for tips.

Here is what is on the table and watch this space for links to more information on each topic:

MCAS Scores & Competency Determination

DESE is proposing raising the score on MCAS to earn a high school diploma. The proposed amendments also consider students who don’t reach a Proficient score on the Grade 10 MCAS on the first try.

Don’t worry if a student does not meet the test score, they can take advantage of the opportunity to take the test four more times, complete an Education Proficiency Plan (EPP) and take additional district-administered tests while also completing their last year of high school coursework including Algebra II.

The proposed change is here – https://www.doe.mass.edu/bese/docs/fy2022/2022-04/item3.1-a603cmr30-redline.docx

A more extensive analysis of the proposed regulatory change (and the non-regulatory impacts) will be available (link coming soon.)

Educational Proficiency Plans and Performance Appeals

DESE is also proposing the requirements for the EPP. High schools are required to have an EPP for any student who does not meet Proficient on one or more MCAS tests in the 10th grade. After the test results trickle in in the fall of their Junior year, Principals (and school counselors) will now be required to add more requirements to the student’s last year and a half of high school in addition to retaking the MCAS test(s).

The proposed amendments would allow students to use a Ch 74 vocational program or early college program as part of an EPP. We are not sure which Ch 74 programs accept students in the middle of their junior year?

The proposed change is here –https://www.doe.mass.edu/bese/docs/fy2022/2022-04/item4.1-a603cmr31-redline.docx

A more extensive analysis of the proposed regulatory change (and the non-regulatory changes) will be available (link coming soon.)

Accountability

DESE has proposed a rather brief amendment to the regulations related to school and district accountability. The proposed regulation grants the Commissioner the authority to drop any requirement of the accountability framework as he sees fit given the ongoing impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on what is really important: MCAS testing.

The proposed change is here – www.doe.mass.edu/news/news.aspx?id=26728

A more extensive analysis of the proposed regulatory change (and the non-regulatory changes) will be available (link coming soon.)

Licensure: Vocational Technical Teacher Testing

At the April 26, 2022 Board of Elementary and Secondary Education meeting, DESE will propose to allow professional license exams to substitute for some Vocational Technical Educator License test (VTEL) requirements. The Vocational Technical Literacy Skills or Communication and Literacy MTEL will still be required for all licensure applications.

The proposed amendments are available here: https://www.doe.mass.edu/bese/docs/fy2022/2022-04/item5.docx

See our post on the propose changes here https://thepolicyminute.com/2022/05/10/cvte-teacher-testing-proposed-regulations/

Licensure: Long Term Substitutes and Assignment Out of Field

Staffing flexibilities is the term they use – but unlicensed teachers in classrooms is what is actually happening. At the 4/26/22 BESE meeting will be a proposed extension to the regulatory language that will allow districts to hire substitute teachers for a full year in the same role with no license. DESE also wants to continue the assignment of teachers outside of their license field/level to up to 50% of their role for another year.

The proposal is available here https://www.doe.mass.edu/bese/docs/fy2022/2022-04/item6.docx

Does this impact you? Let us know in the comments.

A more extensive analysis of the proposed regulatory change will be available (link coming soon.)

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