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The Massachusetts Board of Elementary and Secondary Education

Benjamin Banneker Charter Public School - Report on Condition of Probation

To:Members of the Board of Elementary and Secondary Education
From:Mitchell D. Chester, Ed.D., Commissioner
Date:December 4, 2009

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On January 24, 2006, the Board of Elementary and Secondary Education renewed the Benjamin Banneker Charter Public School (BBCPS) charter with conditions requiring that the school make Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP) by 2008 and meet or make substantial progress toward meeting the academic success objectives in its accountability plan. The conditions also reduced the school's enrollment from 350 to 325 students until the conditions were met. The school made AYP in 2007 but not in 2008. Because the school did not consistently meet the conditions, in February 2009, BBCPS was placed on probation with a condition concerning academic success. The school has met the condition imposed.

Benjamin Banneker Charter Public School

BBCPS, a Commonwealth charter school, is located in and chartered to serve students from Cambridge. The school opened in 1996 and serves kindergarten through grade six. Students are primarily drawn from Boston and Cambridge, as well as from twenty additional districts.

The mission of BBCPS is: "the Benjamin Banneker Charter School is an urban K-6 science and technology school, committed to excellence in education. We believe all students can excel as learners and citizens when provided with a rich, supportive, and stimulating educational environment. The BBCPS is the inspiration of concerned community leaders, parents, and educators, with the common vision and purpose of providing all Cambridge and local youth, regardless of race, culture, language, or socioeconomic status, with a high quality education."

Academic Condition

In 2009, the school was placed on probation as a result of not meeting a renewal condition regarding academic success. That condition is as follows:

By December 2009, Benjamin Banneker Charter Public School shall demonstrate that it is an academic success by

  1. providing evidence that the school has met academic growth targets in English language arts and mathematics, as established by the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education, or has achieved Adequate Yearly Progress in the aggregate and for all statistically significant subgroups in English language arts and mathematics; and

  2. providing evidence that the school has met or is making substantial progress toward meeting all benchmarks in its Accountability Plan.

Condition met. In 2009, BBCPS made AYP in the aggregate and for all statistically significant subgroups in English language arts and mathematics. The school's aggregate CPI rose by 4.7 points, to 72.0 in ELA; and rose by 8.0 points, to 68.6, in mathematics. The school's accountability plan includes 13 measures of academic progress which use MCAS results and other assessment data to track student achievement. With the exception of some measures of progress using Terra Nova data, the school has met the measures in its accountability plan. BBCPS has met the condition imposed by the Board in February 2009 and, therefore, I recommend that the Board vote to remove the school from probation.



Last Updated: December 14, 2009
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