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The Massachusetts Board of Elementary and Secondary Education

Briefing for the June 22, 2010 Regular Meeting of the Board of Elementary and Secondary Education

To:Members of the Board of Elementary and Secondary Education
From:Mitchell D. Chester, Ed.D., Commissioner
Date:June 11, 2010

The next regular meeting of the Board of Elementary and Secondary Education will be on Tuesday, June 22, 2010, at the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education's offices at 75 Pleasant Street in Malden. The meeting will start at 8:30 a.m. (coffee will be available at 8) and will adjourn by 1 p.m. If you need overnight accommodations or any additional information about the schedule, please call JC Considine at (781) 338-3112.


The agenda for our regular meeting on Tuesday includes votes on the annual performance evaluation of the commissioner, proposed regulations under the new anti-bullying statute, final regulations on innovation schools, and the schedule for regular meetings of the Board through June 2011. I will present my report on current activities related to the Proficiency Gap Task Force's recommendations as well as our next steps for implementation. Other items on our agenda are an update on the state budget, the common core state standards, and the common assessment consortium. The Board will also receive a presentation on Readiness Centers from the Executive Office of Education and the end-of-year report from the State Student Advisory Council.

Comments from the Chair

Chair Banta will report on current issues and upcoming events.

Comments from the Commissioner

I will update the Board on current matters.

Comments from the Secretary

Secretary Reville will brief the Board on current issues and activities, including the state budget.

Items for Discussion and Action

  1. "High School Quiz Show" Winners - Presentation

    WGBH President and CEO Jon Abbott, and WGBY-Springfield Vice President and General Manager Rus Peotter will be at our meeting to discuss "High School Quiz Show," an academic game show that launched in November. Our curriculum team has worked closely with the show's developers. Executive Producer Hillary Wells will present a clip of the show, introduce this season's winners, and present them with their championship trophy.

  2. Annual Performance Evaluation of the Commissioner - Discussion and Vote

    In April 2010 Chair Banta appointed a committee of Board members to conduct the Commissioner's annual performance evaluation. At our meeting on June 22, the committee will present its report and the Chair will recommend a motion.

  3. Proposed Regulations to Implement Anti-Bullying Statute - Initial Discussion and Vote to Solicit Public Comment

    The anti-bullying law that was enacted in May requires each school district, charter school, non-public school, approved day or residential school, and collaborative school to develop and implement a plan to address bullying prevention and intervention. The plan covers ten elements, including procedures for students and others to report bullying and retaliation to school authorities and procedures for schools to respond, investigate, and take disciplinary action as appropriate. One required element concerns notification by the school to parents/guardians and, under certain circumstances, to law enforcement. The statute directs the Board of Elementary and Secondary Education to promulgate regulations relating to the principal's duties under this provision. I am presenting proposed regulations to the Board this month for initial discussion. I recommend that the Board vote to solicit comment on the proposed regulations, in accordance with the Administrative Procedure Act. After the public comment period, we would bring the regulations back to the Board for final action in September.

  4. Regulations on Innovation Schools, 603 CMR 48.00 - Discussion and Vote

    In April the Board voted to solicit public comment on proposed new regulations governing innovation schools, and in particular virtual innovation schools. We received a number of comments, which are included in your briefing book and are also summarized for your convenience. I have continued to receive advice and comment from the educators who are serving at my request on a virtual schools advisory committee. Based on this feedback, I am proposing a number of revisions to the draft regulations and recommend that you vote to adopt them at your June 22 meeting.

  5. Schedule for Regular Board Meetings through June 2011 - Vote

    After checking with members, we have prepared a proposed schedule for regular Board meetings through June 2011. With the Board's approval, we will post the schedule on our website.

  6. Report of the Proficiency Gap Task Force: Commissioner's Recommendations - Discussion

    At the special meeting of the Board on May 24, 2010, Jeff Howard presented the report and recommendations of the Board's Proficiency Gap Task Force. This month, I will present a response from the Department describing our current activities related to the Task Force's recommendations as well as our next steps for implementation. A memo summarizing my comments will be distributed to you prior to the meeting.

  7. Update on State Education Budget - Discussion

    I will update the Board on the latest information we have on the state budget for FY2011. We expect to receive the conference committee report within the next couple of weeks. Secretary Reville will brief the Board on the education budget perspective from the Governor's office.

  8. Update on Common Core Standards Review - Discussion

    I will update the Board on the status of three major activities designed to compare the June 2010 Common Core State Standards in English Language Arts and Mathematics to two versions of Massachusetts standards in those areas: our current standards (English Language Arts: 2001/2004 supplement; Mathematics: 2000/2004 supplement) and working drafts of revised standards (June 2010). These activities will provide the Board with several analyses that will inform your decision regarding adoption of the Common Core State Standards at the special meeting on July 21. If the Board adopts the Common Core State Standards, we will proceed in the fall to determine what standards and other resources Massachusetts will add to arrive at the final versions of new Massachusetts Curriculum Frameworks in English Language Arts and Mathematics. If the Board rejects the Common Core State Standards, we will proceed with the development of our working drafts.

  9. Update on Common Assessment Consortium - Discussion

    At the meeting on June 22 I will update the Board on our work with two consortia of states for the development of common assessments. A memo will be transmitted to you under separate cover.

  10. Readiness Centers: Presentation by Executive Office of Education - Discussion

    Secretary Reville and Saeyun Lee of the Executive Office of Education will present an overview of the Readiness Centers initiative.

  11. State Student Advisory Council End-of-Year Report - Discussion

    Board member Michael D'Ortenzio Jr. will present the end-of-year report from the State Student Advisory Council. Michael has served with distinction as chair of the SSAC and as a member of this Board. We thank Michael for his year of service and congratulate him on his re-election by his fellow students as 2010-2011 chair of the SSAC and member of the Board.

Other Items for Information

  1. Education-Related News Clippings

    Enclosed are several recent articles about education.

  2. Report on Grants and Charter School Matters Approved by Commissioner

    Under Tab 13 is a report on grants I approved under two competitive grant programs, per the Board's vote in October 2008 to delegate grant approvals to the commissioner. This authorization allows us to make decisions and inform grant applicants on a timely basis. The grants are for state-funded Competitive Academic Support Services - Work and Learning programs (summer 2010) and the federally-funded Title II-B Mass. Mathematics and Science Partnership program. The Board also delegated authority to me to approve extended loan terms for charter schools, a routine administrative matter. I approved three such extended loan terms, for Mystic Valley Regional Charter School, Pioneer Valley Chinese Immersion Charter School, and Sturgis Charter Public School. Details are set forth in the enclosed memo.

  3. Report on Non-Operating School Districts Approved by the Commissioner

    By statute, towns that do not operate their own public schools (generally because the town is small and is not a member of a regional school district) must request and receive approval annually from the Board to tuition their students to public schools in other towns. In June 2009 the Board voted to delegate this approval authority to the commissioner. Enclosed under Tab 14 is a memo reporting on the approvals I have granted.

  4. Report from Advisory Council on School and District Accountability and Assistance

    Joseph Esposito, CFO (retired) of Solid Works and former member of the Educational Management Audit Council, chairs the Board's 15-member Advisory Council on School and District Accountability and Assistance. Deputy Commissioner Karla Baehr and others in the Department have been working with the advisory council as we implement our redesigned system for accountability and assistance. By statute, the advisory council is to present its findings and recommendations to the Board at least two times a year. The council's June 2010 report will be transmitted to you under separate cover, for your information.

Directions to the Meetings

If you have questions about any agenda items, please call me. I look forward to seeing you here in Malden on June 22.

Last Updated: June 18, 2010
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