Here is the latest press release from DOE on testing math teachers:
For Immediate Release Contact: Darrell S. Pressley, 781-338-3126 Wednesday, May 3, 2000
Department Of Education Invites Public Comment On The Testing Of Math Teachers In Low-Performing Schools Malden - Five public forums will be held in May as an opportunity for teachers, parents and others to comment on proposed regulations regarding the diagnostic testing of certain math teachers with under-performing math programs.
Governor Paul Cellucci, in his State of the State address, directed the Board of Education to test math teachers in those schools where more than 30 percent of students are failing mathematics.
Commissioner of Education David P. Driscoll said, "Our objective is to hear from the field about factors affecting student performance in mathematics. Our goal is to gather advice from people, and report their views back to the state Board of Education."
Commissioner Driscoll and the Board of Education are also interested in the broader concern of student achievement in mathematics. While these proposed amendments address the issue of teachers' content knowledge and professional development, there are other factors affecting student achievement in mathematics, as measured by MCAS, especially in schools in which large numbers of students are failing. Specifically, the Board is interested in public comment to address the following questions:
What type of professional development will be most beneficial to mathematics teachers? How can schools and districts better structure mathematics programs and better utilize mathematics teachers to improve student achievement in mathematics? How can districts with poor student achievement in mathematics attract and retain outstanding certified mathematics teachers, especially at the middle school level? What can schools do to involve parents and/or community resources to improve mathematics achievement?
Public forums are scheduled for:
Tuesday, May 9 6:30 - 8:00 p.m. West Junior High School, Brockton (co-sponsored by the Brockton Education Association)
Thursday, May 11 4:00 - 5:30 p.m. Hoagland-Pincus Conference Center, Shrewsbury
Monday, May 15 3:00 - 6:00 p.m. Carson Place at the Boston Teachers Union,Dorchester
Monday, May 15 4:00 - 5:30 p.m. in Northampton,location to be announced
Tuesday, May 16 4:00 - 5:30 p.m. Merrimack Professional Development Center, Chelmsford
Draft state regulations would require schools with low-performing mathematics programs to register their math teachers to take a Mathematics Content Assessment selected by the Board of Education. Also, there are proposed amendments to the Recertification Regulations that would require individual results from the Mathematics Content Assessment be used by those teachers and their principals to tailor their professional development plans to address any weaknesses identified through the diagnostic testing.
Commissioner Driscoll would have the authority to refer schools with low-performing mathematics programs for a review under the Regulations for Under-Performing Schools and Districts, in addition to those schools identified through the school performance rating process.
The Board is currently scheduled to vote on the proposed amendments at its regular monthly meeting on May 23.
A policy questionnaire on the proposal to test certain mathematics teachers will be available at the forums and online.
For more information on the proposed amendments, visit the Teacher Quality Enhancement website.
Written comments on the proposed amendments may be submitted to Ann Duffy, Associate Commissioner for Educator Quality, 350 Main St., Malden, MA 02148, by fax at 781-338-3392, or by e-mail to TeachMath@doe.mass.edu. The deadline for submission of written comment is May 16.