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The Massachusetts Board of Elementary and Secondary Education

Innovation Schools Regulations - Amendments to 603 CMR 48.00

To:
Members of the Board of Elementary and Secondary Education
From:
Mitchell D. Chester, Ed.D., Commissioner
Date:
January 18, 2013

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At the November 29, 2012 meeting, the Board of Elementary and Secondary Education voted to solicit public comment on proposed amendments to 603 CMR 48.00. These proposed amendments would:

  1. expand the definition of "teacher," which would provide greater clarity and certainty in the innovation schools approval process;
  2. require that the innovation plan establish a process and schedule for seeking approval of the plan by the teachers who must approve the plan; and
  3. establish a process by which amendments may be made to an innovation plan during its 5-year operating period.

We received one comment on the proposed regulations during the public comment period, from Superintendent Carol Johnson of the Boston Public Schools (BPS). Superintendent Johnson supports the change in regulation to restrict teachers from voting if they will not be employed at the school the following year. She also comments that BPS does not support absentee voting on the innovation plan, due to logistical challenges. She suggests that if absentee voting remains permissible, it should be limited to situations where teachers are absent due to illness or on approved leave. (See attached letter from Superintendent Johnson.)

As a point of clarification, while the proposed regulation mentions absentee voting, it does not require absentee voting. (See proposed amendment 603 CMR 48.04 (b): The innovation plan shall describe the process for conducting the vote, including absentee voting.) Consequently, no change is needed. We agree with Superintendent Johnson's suggestion that absentee voting should be restricted to those who are out due to illness or on approved leave. This clarification will be included in guidance materials.

I recommend that the Board approve these proposed amendments as originally submitted.

Cliff Chuang, Associate Commissioner for Charter Schools and School Redesign, and Bridget Rodríguez, Director of Planning and Collaboration at the Executive Office of Education, will be present at the Board meeting to answer any questions.

Enclosures:

Download PDF Document  Download Word Document
Proposed Regulations (clean copy)
Download PDF Document  Download Word Document
Proposed Regulations (with changes tracked)
Innovation Schools Statute
Motion


Last Updated: January 24, 2013
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