Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education
Go to Selected Program Area
Massachusetts State Seal
Students & Families Educators & Administrators Teaching, Learning & Testing Data & Accountability Finance & Funding About the Department Education Board  

The Massachusetts Board of Elementary and Secondary Education

Briefing for the August 13, 2009 Special 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:August 4, 2009


The Board of Elementary and Secondary Education will hold a special meeting on the campus of Bridgewater State College in the Dunn Conference Room on Thursday, August 13, 2009, starting at 9 a.m. (coffee will be available at 8:30). Most of the day will be devoted to the Board's planning retreat, but the first 90 minutes will be a business meeting to address two action items and several informational items. The planning retreat will run from 10:30 a.m.-5 p.m. If you need overnight accommodations or any additional information about the schedule, please call Beverley O'Riordan at (781) 338-3118.


The only item presented for a vote on the business portion of the agenda is final action on the emergency regulation that the Board adopted in May 2009, setting a transition period for the MTEL math subtest for elementary and special ed. teachers.

A. Business Meeting (9-10:30 a.m.)

Comments from the Chair

Chair Banta will report on current issues and activities. She will welcome Michael D'Ortenzio Jr. of Wellesley, newly elected chair of the State Student Advisory Council, to his first meeting as a member of the Board. She will also invite Jeff Howard to give an update on the work of the Proficiency Gap Committee.

Comments from the Commissioner

  1. Race to the Top. I will update the Board on the July 24, 2009 event at the U.S. Department of Education, which I attended, during which President Obama and U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan announced the release of the preliminary Race to the Top grant applications.

  2. Legislative reports. The Department has filed the following reports with the Legislature, in response to directives in the FY09 budget and the General Laws. These reports are posted on our website at Browse DESE Reports by Category: Legislative Reports.

    • Statewide Assistance in the Preparation and Implementation of Professional Development Plans reports on the Department's grant-funded professional development opportunities which use a combination of state and/or federal funds and recommendations for the Department's new Center for Curriculum and Instruction to redesign a statewide professional development plan that will be part of the state's comprehensive system of support.

    • Professional Development Expenditures FY08 reports on state funds districts have allocated to professional development in four designated areas: professional development leadership, teacher/instructional staff professional days, substitute salaries for teachers/instructional staff, and professional development stipends, providers, and expenses.

Comments from the Secretary

Secretary Reville will brief the Board on current issues and activities.

Items For Discussion And Action

  1. Update on State Education Budget and Federal Stimulus Funding for Education - Discussion

    I will update the Board on the final FY10 state budget. Secretary Reville will brief the Board on the education budget perspective from the Governor's office.

  2. Educator Licensure Regulations, 603 CMR 7.14(g): Final Action on Emergency Amendment to Set Transition Period for Mathematics Subtest for Elementary and Special Education Teachers - Discussion and Vote

    In May 2009, the Board adopted an emergency amendment to the Educator Licensure Regulations to establish a reasonable transition period for implementing the Mathematics subtest portion of the General Curriculum test for educator licensure. The amendment was presented and adopted as an emergency regulation to allow it to take effect immediately, so that candidates who took the Mathematics subtest in March 2009 could be notified of their results as soon as possible. Under the Administrative Procedure Act, emergency regulations are effective for three months, during which time the agency solicits and reviews public comment. We have done so, as is explained in the memo under Tab 2. I recommend that the Board vote this month to adopt the emergency amendment as a final regulation.

Other Items For Information

  1. Education-Related News Clippings

    Enclosed are several recent articles about education.

  2. Report on Grants Approved by Commissioner

    Under Tab 4 is a report on grants that I have approved, 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.

  3. Directions to the Meeting

B. Board Planning Retreat (10:30 a.m. - 5 p.m.)

  1. Open Discussion.The Board will engage in an open discussion around motivations for serving on the Board, accomplishments during the 2008-2009 session, and how it spent its time.
  2. Discussion of Survey Results.The Board will discuss the results of its online survey.
  3. Going Forward.The Board will discuss priorities, processes, and time allocation moving forward into the 2009-2010 Board session.

If you have questions about any agenda items, please call me. I look forward to seeing you at Bridgewater State College on August 13th.

Last Updated: August 6, 2009
E-mail this page| Print View| Print Pdf  
Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education Search · A-Z Site Index · Policies · Site Info · Contact DESE