Goal 2 Subcommittee Meeting Notes

November 8, 2017

After a summer hiatus, the Goal #2 Achievement Gap Subcommittee reconvened to review progress made by the task force during the interim and to plan for upcoming efforts.  In particular, the task force pulled together a sampling of research having to do with the three topics generated at the May 19 meeting: mainstreaming special education students, tracking (ability grouping) of students, and acceleration opportunities. A video having to do with ability tracking was viewed by the subcommittee. The subcommittee also learned about two presentations around our efforts given to the District Executive Cabinet and the District Staff Development Committee. The latter presentation was intended to generate thoughts and ideas around appropriate staff development initiatives to be rolled out in 2018-19. The subcommittee then spent the remaining time brainstorming questions they want addressed at upcoming site visits to schools in the metro area that are seeing some success in addressing the achievement gap.  The first two of those visits will be two middle schools on November 13 and 14.  

May 19, 2017

The meeting began with a review of the nine areas of focus identified at the March 28 meeting.  Chris Gerst explained how the task force sorted topics into one of three categories: things we can control, things we can influence and things we cannot control.  The subcommittee briefly reviewed a document developed by the National Education Association wherein that organization identified achievement gap-related topics within a school’s control and those outside a school’s control.  It was determined that the task force will work this summer to collect information around topics that have been already been heavily researched: mainstreaming special education students, tracking (ability grouping) of students, and acceleration opportunities. The subcommittee will reconvene in October to review this research and begin assessing staff development needs and priorities. These steps will include visiting schools that have had success in closing the achievement gap and planning a course of action through staff development for all ISD 12 staff. 

Next meeting: The committee will meet in October. Check back for more information.

March 28, 2017

The meeting began with Scott Johnson providing a review of the subcommittee’s work since the first meeting on January 10, including a brief overview of our subcommittee’s task force meeting on January 27. Chris Gerst then shared a variety of slides showing how Centennial schools rank on state accountability tests among our ten comparable districts, as well MMR and AGA comparisons. The group also observed growth and gap ratings at each site within Centennial Schools. These data points included sub-group success within reading/math. Finally the group observed each sub-group gap results: are we closing the achievement gap within this group? After observing the data, we recognized ISD 12 is just like every other school district: we have a gap. At that point in the meeting, the group was given the opportunity to brainstorm our next steps. Ideas were suggested and will be brought back to the task force. The GAP interventions focus on programs and people. Meeting attendees shared approximately nine topics that might be interesting to learn more about in terms of closing the achievement gap.  

Next meeting: May 19, 7:15am-8:15am in the District's Board Room, 4707 North Road.

January 11, 2017

The subcommittee  examined what is meant by the “achievement gap” and brainstormed the possible causes. Programs and practices currently in place that may positively impact the district’s gap were discussed. Test results highlighting performance discrepancies across varying racial and ethnic subgroups in the district were reviewed. Goals were identified for upcoming meetings: Review of student performance data from comparable districts; Learning from districts that have successfully closed the achievement gap and from representatives of different ethnic racial groups about their experiences in the district. 

Next meeting: March 28, at 6:30pm, High School Learning Commons.