From: Dan Drmacich []

Sent: Saturday, May 6, 2023 at 11:13 AM

To: David Long <>, Sean Smith <>, Dave Atias <>, Eileen <>, David Kurtz, and 81 more

Subject: May 5th Rochester Coalition for Public Education Meeting Minutes

Present: Howie Maffucci, Chojy Schroeder, Don Bartalo, Cindy Butterworth, John Boutet, 

Cassy Bocanegra, Dan Drmacich

1. Dan shared that he, David Hursh and Tricia Gonzalez are meeting with new Regent Adrian Hale, at his request, on May 8th, to discuss the Blue Ribbon Committee and PLAN initiatives.

2. Dan reminded Coalition members that Regents Wade Norwood and 
Adrian Hale will meet with the entire Coalition on Friday, June 9th at 4:00 pm to discuss a variety of education issues.

3. We agreed that the Coalition website can be improved by:

    A. Having access to it be made easier by using the "Rochester Coalition for Public Education" name more prominently in its title for access, and   

    B. Sending more research-based articles & other progressive education examples for inclusion, and

    C. We also noted that about 4 years ago we co-sponsored a "community read" and presentation by Dan Koretz on his book, "The Testing Charade," & wondered if we should do the same in the Fall. Ideas????

4. Chojy and Dan reported that the Superintendent turned down the International Academy's proposal for using an alternative assessment process for ELL Students for the 2023-24 school year, but wuld consider it for the following year. Stay tuned!

5. Cindy & Dan reported that the RASE Education group continues to make slow progress & has agreed to conduct a survey with Monroe Cunty resiedents to identify the top education recommendations from the RASE report & then develop implementation plans for each. Eventually all 18 recommendations will have implementaion plans. Hopefully, new recommendations will be included as part of their work.

6. Dan encouraged all Coalition members to read the NYSED PLAN initiative (see below) that asks interested school districts & proponents of a Performance Based Assessment- driven school to submit proposals. Dan beieves it is a reasonable plan for moving progressive education forward.

7. Bart reported that he will hopefully get a response to his proposal to the Supt. to create an advisory board for monthly feedback & proposals for RCSD improvement.

8. We discussed Isaiah Santiago's RCSD BoE campaign & agreed that part of his success may rest upon his ability to get ages 18-25 out to vote for him, as a 19 year old canbdidate. Dan will contact him for a report on how he plans to mobilize that group & how we can assist. Dan will also see what Metro-Justice plans to do with the campaign.

9. Dan reported that Congressman Jamaal Bowman will discuss his bill to provide more flexobility on ESSA high-stakes standardized testing on an upcoming TV show. See the information below. Dan has also requested a meeting with Joe Morelle to discuss his support for the bill.

10. Cassy Bocanegra, described her work to assist Rochester-area immigrants & how their rights areoften being violated. We expressed our support & will publish efforts to assist. 

11. We agreed to meet again on Friday, May 19th at 4:00 pm.


PLAN Pilot

Tue, May 2, 10:23 AM (4 days ago)


NYSED is soliciting feedback on the design of the PLAN Pilot school application process via the survey linked below.  We invite you to complete the survey to share your thoughts on: 

  1. Key features of a supportive application process; 

  2. Considerations that should be taken into account when selecting Pilot Schools; 

  3. Main topics/sections that should be covered in the application; 

  4. Types of questions the application should ask; and 

  5. Top questions you have about the application process. 

Click here to share your thoughts!  This survey will close at midnight on Friday, May 19, 2023. 


In the 2022 Competitive Grants for State Assessment (CGSA) grant proposal funding the PLAN Pilot, NYSED committed to supporting interested schools through the PLAN Pilot application process, stating:  

Our goal is to remove any barriers to entry for schools with fewer local resources.  Moreover, the application will be designed to ensure that core services intended in the design of this pilot—including accessibility, transparency, equity and inclusion, student voice, parent/community engagement, deepening student learning, and improving school culture—are carried through in local implementation (p. 38). 

When selecting pilot schools, NYSED will need to consider: 

  1. Requirements for participating schools, as described in NYSED’s 2022 CGSA grant proposal. See excerpts of these requirements at this link: Excerpts from NYSED’s Funded CGSA Proposal 

  2. Research considerations. The PLAN Pilot will look at how performance-based learning and assessment (PBLA) can be implemented in a diverse range of schools—urban and rural, large and small, with different student demographics—and how to support schools in making that transition.  In pursuit of these aims, NYSED will need to purposefully select a sample of schools with: 

    • diverse features (e.g., student population, N/RC, geographic location, size, etc.);  

    • diverse interests in PBLA (e.g., work-based learning, internships, CTE, learner profiles, PBATs, etc.); and  

    • diverse stages of readiness for PBLA implementation (i.e., from schools starting with only the essential pre-implementation conditions to schools already implementing some PBLA practices). 

  3. Features of successful PBLA implementation, according to current research and practice.  For this consideration, PLAN Pilot Advisors have been reviewing these resources: 

  4. Essential pre-implementation conditions, according to current research and practice.  For this consideration, PLAN Pilot Advisors have been reviewing these resources: 

Watch a 16-minute presentation by project staff for an overview of these considerations at this link: NYSED PLAN Pilot School Application Process Background and Considerations 


This announcement can be found on our website at this link.

Our public schools are the heartbeat of our communities and a pillar of our democracy.

As one of Congress’s only former educators, I understand the importance of developing the value and ethic of lifelong learning skills as a fundamental piece of our commitment to education equity and racial and economic justice. We can no longer “teach to the test”.

That’s why I’m proud to introduce the More Teaching Less Testing Act created to build on the flexibility of the Every Student Succeeds Act and provide opportunities to design assessment systems that support high quality teaching and learning. We must end the oversuse, abuse, and misuse of standardized testing in our schools, and trade a broken metric for a system that empowers educators and communities to excite, inspire, and challenge their students.

If you believe that our school systems should center the whole child, and ensure our educators are afforded the time, space and resources to provide holistic learning opportunities, add your name to support the More Teaching Less Testing Act today.

Add your name »

We need a revolution in our public schools that unlocks the brilliance of all our kids and cultivates a generation equipped to take on 21st century challenges. Our schools should be funded and supported to foster the joy, curiosity, creativity, and problem solving skills of every child to reach their full potential. But today we spend less time teaching, and more time testing.

There is a constant emphasis placed on annually testing every student using standardized summative assessments. And this drastically and negatively affects what gets taught in our schools and how it is taught, and it is out of step with peer-reviewed research on K-12 assessments.

This bill would not eliminate summative assessments, but rather make space for a more balanced assessment system that would allow for both formative and summative assessments. It would engage educators, school leaders, families and advocates in determining appropriate limitations on assessment and test prep. This bill will take a crucial first step in fixing outdated requirements through common sense flexibility, and an approach based on the whole child and their learning experience.

Dan, we can work together to elevate student learning, guide teaching, and inform families about their students' progress on a regular basis. Please show your support for the More Teaching Less Testing Act by signing your name in solidarity of our collective work.

Peace and love,

Jamaal Bowman

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