In his February 22 memorandum (District-Determined Measures 2-22-13), Commissioner Chester sent this message to Massachusetts school districts:
. . . it is imperative that districts diligently and thoughtfully position themselves to begin implementation of district-determined measures in the 2013-2014 school year.
Here Tom Scott, executive director of the Massachusetts Association of School Superintendents (MASS), reports on the meeting at which MASS, the Massachusetts Association of School Committees, and two major teacher unions (AFTMA and MTA) provided feedback to the Commissioner on implementation of district-determined measures of student growth (DDMs):
All the professional associations expressed concern with the sense of overload and the anxiety over the work of DDMs. Everyone agrees that it is more important to get it right than to simply get it done. We agreed that more time for sharing models, ideas and strategy were necessary and in that vein we agreed planning some events made sense this spring and next fall.
These associations are sending a clear message to the superintendent about the difficulty of tackling district-determined measures within the current timeline. Softening this timeline by allowing districts a pilot year in 2013-14 would help districts adopt these measures in a more deliberate and thoughtful way.