On April 18, an e-mail went out across New York State announcing the beginning of a conversation about the New York State English Language Arts Standards. I had the same conversation a few times when discussing plans to attend the meeting.
"It's about writing new standards." One person would say.
"New standards? They just re-wrote the standards in 2005!" Always said with a slight hint of disbelief.
"These are the NEW, new standards." Emphasis on the first new.
"Oh for crying out loud" or some such variation.
Although it feels like NYS just released new standards in 2005, what I think I heard come out of the meeting is the documents released in 2005 were a restructuring or repackaging to bring them into closer alignment with the yearly state assessments. Previous standards were clustered by grade level and not grade specific.
So what is about to begin is a rebirth of the standards. I'm sure there are lots of analogies to follow there but I'm going to leave it alone. The first meeting was held here in Buffalo and was well attended. Afterwards, I talked to two people from charter schools who weren't sure if they were allowed to attend. Hopefully, future meetings will have a full representation from as many constituents as possible.
Theresa and I decided to Twitter the meetings. Not with any particular communication goal in mind but just to see if the tool could be used in that way. I was luckier than Theresa as my phone has a full keyboard and web access, making it easier to quickly enter text. The highlight of the Twitter experience was when Theresa began to get all of my Tweets at once - in the wrong order. The Tweets are below and though I think the tool may not work as a note-taking measure, it did cause me to think differently about what I wanted to remember and document. You can see below what I considered "Tweet-worthy".
A few general observations/questions about the new standards process:
1. Where are the students? There was lots of mutual admiration about including as many educators as possible, but not one mention of the group that will actually be (in theory) benefiting from the new standards.
2. The view of technology is an interesting one. Several times it was mentioned that it has to be integrated and included. It would seem to suggest that it's an add-on, rather than a way of doing what needs to be done. Theresa articulates the role of Web 2.0 better than I can. (Sorry, Theresa, I couldn't find the link to your wiki!)
3. If they aren't released with logical, key word linked codes, I am going to throw a temper tantrum of epic porportion.
DataDiva: @ nys regents ela forum in buffalo with theresa, angela, and many others!
DataDiva: Phil Rumore the president of the Buffalo teachers union just arrived. Good to see a union presence!
DataDiva: opening remarks by Don Ogilvie
DataDiva: intent of forum: articulate understandings of the standards
DataDiva: Chancellor Bennett making intros
DataDiva: nys goal is all kids on grade reading by Grade 2
DataDiva: proposal to board by july 1
DataDiva: regents saul cohen (sp?) is coordinating the redesign. Will be transparent, will have a space for comments on website
DataDiva: call to field for help from classroom teachers
DataDiva: principles - 1. Include 3 levles of standards (stdent, teacher, system)
DataDiva: 2. develop a single set for each content areas
DataDiva: 3. Infuse literacy throughout all content
TheresaGray: NYS ELA standards review- "techology must be integrated in all content areas"
DataDiva: 4. Infuse cultural competences
DataDiva: 5. Develop measurable standards.
DataDiva: 6. Review prek-12 standards for seamless curriculum
DataDiva: 7. Integrate technology
DataDiva: website: www.emsc.nysed.gov/cis
DataDiva: Questions. 1. How is the content and substance of the current standards?
DataDiva: 2. How is the organization and format of the current standards?
DataDiva: 3. Are the current standards measurable?
DataDiva: ? From phil r. Regarding % of teachers on committee
DataDiva: a: mostly teachers on writing committee
DataDiva: limited to sharing one bold bright idea
DataDiva: Breaking into small groups
DataDiva: Lots of debate about what teachers need to use the standards the word "suckable" is being used
DataDiva: We identified the need for vertical connections. End of grade 3 should match beginning of grade 4.
DataDiva: tables sharing out - mirrors what our table said
DataDiva: lots of big picture ideas.... need for common training, conversations
DataDiva: here's a nitty gritty idea - if the grade 12 standards reference "main idea" - code that (ie) 12.2.1. p-11 standards that reference main id should also have the code X.2.1
TheresaGray: Interesting how often a discussion of standards moves to testing and often inaccurately
DataDiva: applause for a teacher who said the data from ny state should come faster so teachers can use them *sigh/facepalm*
DataDiva: the train has officially left the tracks!
DataDiva: "WNY is the most important place to start" you know it!
TheresaGray: Great point about need to include GED students in the standards