Opportunities and Challenges from a Teacher's Perspective
INTERIM COMMITTEE TO STUDY THE EVERY STUDENT SUCCEEDS ACT
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02:08 PM -- Opportunities and Challenges from a Teacher's Perspective
Mark Sass, a local teacher and State Policy Director for Teach Plus, introduced himself to the committee and spoke about his background. He distributed a copy of his Power Point presentation (Attachment B). He told the committee that most teachers' understanding of ESSA is limited, and he sees the opportunities for innovation at the classroom level. He said that teachers in general find that the current Colorado Academic Standards meet or exceed what is required in ESSA, and feel like they are finally figuring out and feeling comfortable with what is required under law and how to build their curriculums to align with the standards and assessments. He said that many teachers are concerned with the possibility of having to reconfigure the system which will be throwing out four years of work of teachers, but that they do feel it's important to audit the current assessment system to make sure it continues to align with the state standards. He spoke about the work being done in New Hampshire, and stated that he is dismayed by the impact that the opt-out movement had on schools, although he understands that it is the role of teachers to tell and demonstrate to the community why assessments are important. He spoke about indicators of school quality and success and said that teachers are excited that under ESSA, they can use multiple indicators to measure this.
Mr. Sass answered questions from the committee. He talked about using Title II funds to focus on teacher leadership and explained that ESSA redefines the standards for professional development. He concluded his presentation by discussing the possibility of a state teacher advisory council.