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The Massachusetts Board of Elementary and Secondary Education

Overview of 2008-2009 Board Meetings


  • Locations: 6 of 10 regular meetings (60%) were held in Malden, 4 of 10 (40%) were held off-site. Three of four special meetings (75%) were held in Malden.

  • Length of Board Meetings: The average length of a regular Board meeting was 4.04 hours. The average length of a special meeting was 3.19 hours.

  • Agenda Items: Charter schools (9 out of 10 months), the state budget (8 out of 10 months), and the accountability redesign (5 out of 10 months) were the most frequent topics on the monthly agendas.

  • Board Votes: The Board cast 51 votes on agenda items during the 2008-2009 session. 37 of 51 votes cast (72.5%) were unanimous in favor of the motion. 27 of 51 votes cast (52.9%) were on agenda items related to charter schools.

  • Public Comment: 6.9 individuals on average spoke during the public comment period each month. The most popular topics addressed during public comment by frequency were charter schools (26 times), 21st century skills (7), school libraries (6), MCAS (6) the budget (4), and English language learners (4).

  1. 2008-2009 Board Session Logistics


    • August 11, 2008 Retreat
    • 10 regular meetings between September 2008 and June 2009
    • 4 special meetings: October (accountability), December (21st century skills), March (charter school policy), June (accountability)


    • Retreat held at Henderson House, Weston
    • 6 of 10 regular meetings (60%) were held in Malden
    • 4 of 10 regular meetings (40%) were held off-site (Holyoke, Somerville, Chelmsford, Brookline)
    • 75% of special meetings held in Malden

    Duration of Meetings

    • The average length of a regular meeting was 4.04 hours, or 242.6 minutes. The average length of a special meeting was 3.19 hours, or 191.25 minutes.
    • The longest regular meeting was February 2009 and lasted 5.17 hours, or 310 minutes. The shortest regular meeting was January and lasted 3.5 hours, or 210 minutes.

  2. Agenda Items

    • The most frequent agenda items were: charter schools (9 months out of 10), state budget (8 months), accountability redesign (5 months), MCAS or MCAS appeals (4 months), educator leadership (3 months), curriculum frameworks (3 months), and student advisory council (3 months).

    • The topics for the four special meetings were accountability (October, June), 21st century skills (December), and charter schools (March).

    • The Board cast 51 votes on agenda items. The Board cast 37 votes (72.5%) in unanimous support of a motion. The Board cast 27 votes (52.9%) on matters related to charter schools.

    • The Board heard from the State Student Advisory Council (September, December, June), the Advisory Council on School and District Accountability and Assistance (April, June), and the Parent & Community Education and Involvement Advisory Council (June).

    2008-2009 Agenda Items Mapped to Board Priorities
    MonthEducator DevelopmentCurriculum & InstructionAccountability RedesignSupports for Students and Families
    Sept. 2008FY10 BudgetFY10 BudgetFY10 BudgetFY10 Budget
    Board MissionBoard MissionMCAS Performance AppealsBoard Mission
    GrantsGrantsAdvisory Councils appointmentsState Student Advisory Council
     Charter school amendmentsGrants
    District and School Reviews 
    Board Mission
    Oct. 2008Board FY10 Budget ProposalMCAS Results & AYP DeterminationsMCAS Results & AYP DeterminationsBoard FY10 Budget Proposal
    Initiatives to Strengthen Educ. LeadershipBoard FY10 Budget ProposalEducational Proficiency PlansGrants
    GrantsGrantsBoard FY10 Budget ProposalBallot Question 1
    Ballot Question 1Ballot Question 1State System of Acct. and Assistance 
     Advisory Councils
    Charter Schools
    Ballot Question 1
    Special Meeting - Acct. and Assist.
    Nov. 2008Board FY10 Budget Proposal21st Century SkillsBoard FY10 Budget ProposalBoard FY10 Budget Proposal
    Voc-tech educ. regulationsNat'l History Teacher of the YearMCAS Performance Appeals 
     Board FY10 Budget ProposalAcct - Charter School Review and Renewal Process
     Charter Schools
    Dec. 2008 TIMSSCharter School RenewalsStudent Advisory Council Trimester Report
    21st Century SkillsCharter Schools - Uphams Corner 
    Special Meeting - 21st Century Skills 
    Jan. 2009Voc-tech educ. regulationsUpdate on curriculum frameworks & initial draft of revised ELA frameworkCharter School Renewals 
     Charter Schools - Uphams Corner
    Waiver of Procedural Regulation (charter public hearing)
    Regional school district regulations
    New charter applicants
    Feb. 2009FY10 BudgetFY10 BudgetFY10 BudgetFY10 Budget
    Mass TeLLSMCAS History & SS AssessmentsMCAS History & SS Assessments 
     Charter school renewals, report on conditions
    Graduation Rate Standard for FY09 AYP
    New charter applicants
    State System of Acct. and Assist.
    Mar. 2009FY10 BudgetFY10 BudgetFY10 BudgetFY10 Budget
     Progress report on Math Curriculum Framework revision processGrowth model 
     Charter school policy recap
    Graduation Rate Standard for FY09 AYP
    Charter amendment request
    Special Meeting - Charter school policy
    Apr. 2009FY10 BudgetFY10 BudgetFY10 BudgetFY10 Budget
     School & District Acct. and Assistance: Adv. Council report; Progress report and next steps2008 Dropout Report and Dropout Prevention and Recovery Initiatives
    Charter school amendments 
    May 2009FY10 BudgetFY10 BudgetFY10 BudgetFY10 Budget
    Educator preparation and licenseUpdate on State-Led Common Core Standards Initiative and Revision of ELA and Math Curriculum FrameworksCharter school review and renewal process 
      Regionalization and Inter-district collaboration 
    Jun. 2009FY10 BudgetFY10 BudgetFY10 BudgetFY10 Budget
    Educational Leadership: Proposed Policy Standards for Principals, Supts, and other leadership rolesCommissioner Evaluation2nd report from Advisory Council on School & District Acct. & Asst.Commissioner Evaluation
    Commissioner EvaluationBoard schedule for 2009-2010Commissioner EvaluationBoard schedule for 2009-2010
    Board schedule for 2009-2010 Approval of non-operating districtsReport from Parent & Community Education and Involvement Advisory Council
     Board schedule for 2009-2010State Student Advisory Council Year-End Report
    Special Meeting - Accountability redesign 

  3. Public Comments at Regular Meetings

    • On average, 6.9 individuals addressed the Board each month.

    • Month-by-month total number of speakers were September (1), October (5), November (6), December (9), January (11), February (14), March (2), April (7), May (6), June (8).

    • The most popular topics discussed during public comment, by frequency, were: charter schools (26), 21st century skills (7), school libraries (6), MCAS (6), the budget (4), English language learners (4), and educator licensure and testing (3).

    • The most frequent speaker was Steve Hemman, executive director of MARS (4 times), followed by Kathleen Skinner, MTA (twice), Marc Kenan, Mass. Charter Public School Assn. (twice), Gloucester Superintendent Christopher Farmer (twice), and Marilyn Segal, Citizens for Public Schools (twice).

    • The most frequent organizations represented by individuals who addressed the Board were associations (17 times), parents (11 times), educators (10 times), superintendents (7 times), non-profit / public interest (6 times), school board member or charter board member/founder (6 times), business (3 times), and legislators (2 times).

Last Updated: August 6, 2009
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