State Board of Education delays A-F Letter grades

The State Board of Education voted Monday to delay the issuance of A-F Letter grades until at least October 9. The board had originally intended to set cut scores and release preliminary letter grades by the end of August, with a public release in mid-September. However, the board requested additional information from the Accountability Advisory Group and ADE prior to setting final cut scores. The revised timeline is as follows:

  • Sept. 5—SBE Study Session on A-F, ADE validates potential cut score models
  • September 22—SBE Study Session on A-F, to evaluate results of ADE modeling, select preliminary A-F cut scores
  • September 25—SBE regular September meeting, final cut scores set, schools receive preliminary letter grades
  • October 9—Letter grades public release for SY2016-2017

The board deemed this delay necessary in order to further evaluate how different cut scores will effect the grouping of schools in certain performance levels. The board raised some concern with the weight given to students making different levels of growth, and how high school graduation rate effects the outcome for high schools. The Accountability Advisory Group made some recommendations regarding adjusting the weights, which the board asked ADE to model for its meeting on the 5th. The board is not considering adding additional criteria or indicators to the model, but adjusting the weighting used to award points for academic growth.

ASBA will be attending these meetings and providing updates following each.

Why the Special Education funding gap should matter to everyone and results of results-based funding – Special webinar, Sept. 14

Learn about special education expenditures and how those compare to funding for special education from state and federal sources. Do expenditures exceed funding, creating a funding gap? How large is the funding gap? Does the size of the funding gap differ across the state? What accounts for the differences? Why does it matter to special education students and to non-special education students?

The second part of the webinar will look at the results of results-based funding. Which schools received results-based funding? How many schools and students will benefit? In what parts of the state? What are the demographics of the students in schools receiving/not receiving funding?

Join Anabel Aportela, Director of Research for ASBA and AASBO, Chris Kotterman, Director of Government Relations for ASBA and Chuck Essigs, Director of Government Relations for AASBO on why this matters to public school districts and individual schools.

Register now

A Message from the Black Caucus: Now Is Not the Time for Silence

Our state, like our nation, is still healing from the extremely hateful and violent acts, perpetrated by White supremacists, that unfolded in Charlottesville, Va., earlier this month. It’s 2017 and we have yet to overcome racism. We must address hate and division head on, because it’s the only way that we will heal.

At this time, when Americans of all backgrounds are grappling with issues of race and equity, leaders close to home need to speak out. As an elected school board member and president of the ASBA Black Caucus, I encourage school boards around our state to loudly and boldly speak out to condemn hate and bias in all forms, assure communities that there is no room for this in our schools, and make it a priority for local educators to receive the tools and training necessary to respond to students’ questions, and create safe classrooms where love and acceptance are present and students can learn to their fullest potential. (There is helpful content available to aid in approaching these delicate issues: Responding To Hate and Bias in School and 7 Ways that Teacher’s Can Respond.) Committing to training aimed at eradicating both implicit and explicit bias at all levels of our school districts, from the classroom to the boardroom, is another way public school leaders can act.

In our wonderfully diverse state, students and their families are paying attention to how we respond.

It is also essential that local school districts reaffirm their values of inclusion and excellence by eradicating discriminatory policies, such as those regarding natural hair (afros) and zero tolerance discipline.

Returning a focus to cultural and civics curricula is important as well, and an area where school boards have influence. These subjects, which have been disappearing from our public schools, are necessary for in-depth understanding of the complex issues that are underlying the hate and bias that remain cancers in our country.

What else can you do?

  1. Accept the ASBA Equity Challenge.
  2. Create a comprehensive Equity Committee that consist of people of color, parents, students, teachers, principals, district leaders, and representatives of marginalized communities.
  3. Learn about #Demand2Learn, and find out if your district may have practices that are pushing children out of classrooms. Read AZEdNews article featuring #Demand2Learn program.
  4. Learn about restorative justice and practices. (Balsz ESD is a resource.)
  5. Learn about ACEs (Adverse Childhood Experiences) and consider training on them for teachers and staff.
  6. Pass School Safe Zone Resolution recommended by the Black Caucus.

Our future — our children’s future — is in our hands. Our country is looking to us. And now is not the time for silence.

Channel Powe is the president of the ASBA Black Caucus and a member of the Balsz ESD Governing Board.

Are you a first-time presenter? Share your district successes at the Annual Conference

We encourage first-time presenters to share their district successes by presenting at the Annual Conference, December 15-16, 2017. Proposals are now open and will close Fri., September 15, 2017. ASBA is seeking proposals that enhance the knowledge, skills and abilities of board members and superintendents, share promising strategies and best practices that can be replicated by other districts and demonstrate innovative ideas and solutions that are showing effectiveness.

Contact Nikkie Whaley for any questions about presenting. Submit now!

Grants for public high schools to provide the ACT or College Board Examination (SAT) to 11th grade students

Apply now! House Bill 2545 provides $235,000 for grants to be awarded on a first-come, first-served basis by the Arizona Commission for Postsecondary Education to applying high schools.  Details and application are on the ACPE website.

Your board can propose ASBA bylaw changes by Sept. 15

Please note that all proposed changes must be received no later than Friday, September 15, 2017. Each year, your school governing board can determine if they wish to put forth any changes or amendments to the ASBA Bylaws. This is an option and not required by your board. If your board decides to put forth an amendment, please view the model agenda item as an example.

To view or download ASBA’s current bylaws, click here. Electronic voting on proposed changes will begin in this November. Please note this is separate from the Delegate Assembly process.

View the call for bylaw changes letter.

If you have any questions, please contact Kristi Sisk by e-mail.

ASBA Events

Register now! 2017 County Meetings, September 19-October 25, 2017

Registration is open for the ASBA County Meetings which begin September 19 – October 25, 2017, and will provide opportunities for ASBA officers and staff to share state-level issues and celebrate board member training accomplishments with the Superior Training Accomplishments & Recognition (STAR) Awards. View your county invitation and agenda now.

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