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Possible Topics for Special Meetings of the Board in 2014-15

Members of the Board of Elementary and Secondary Education
Mitchell D. Chester, Ed.D., Commissioner
September 12, 2014

Chair McKenna suggested that we use the second part of our meeting on Monday evening, September 22, to brainstorm possible topics for the Board's special meetings from October 2014-June 2015. The Monday evening special meetings allow flexibility for the Board to have in-depth discussions on educational issues. In advance of the planning retreat that the Board will hold later this fall, it is worthwhile to spend some time this month identifying topics that are of particular interest to the Board. This memo provides some information to get you started.

  1. Dates for Special Meetings, 2014-15

    The Board holds special meetings for extended discussion on one or more topics, from 5-7 p.m. on the Monday evening before each regular meeting. The dates for special meetings in 2014-2015 are:

    • Monday, September 22, 2014
    • Monday, October 20, 2014
    • Monday, November 24, 2014
    • Monday, December 15, 2014
    • Monday, January 26, 2015
    • Monday, February 23, 2015
    • Monday, March 23, 2015
    • Monday, April 27, 2015
    • Monday, May 18, 2015
    • Monday, June 22, 2015

  2. Dates and Topics of Special Meetings, 2013-14

    Last year, the Board's special Monday evening meetings covered these topics:

    • September 2013: 2012-13 Achievement and Accountability Overview
    • October 2013: No special meeting; the Board held a social event to honor outgoing members.
    • November 2013: Plan and Timetable for Administering MCAS and PARCC Student Assessments
    • December 2013 (two topics): (1) Digital Learning and (2) Integrating College and Career Readiness: Progress Report
    • January 2014: Joint Meeting with Board of Early Education and Care
    • February 2014: Civic Education and Engagement: the Role of Schools and State Initiatives
    • March 2014: Massachusetts Business Alliance for Education (MBAE) Educational Benchmarking Study and Policy Report
    • April 2014 (two topics): (1) Student Assessment: High School Testing and End-of-Course Tests and (2) Accountability and Assistance: Update on ESEA Waiver and Revisions to Accountability System
    • May 2014: Level 5 School Turnaround Plan for Parker School, New Bedford: Consideration of Appeal1
    • June 2014 (two topics): (1) Transforming Educator Preparation and (2) School and Classroom Culture and Climate: Hearing from Stakeholders

  3. Topics Already on the Tentative Agendas for 2014-15 Special Meetings

    A couple of topics are already on the tentative agendas for 2014-15 special meetings:

    • Special Education Policy Issues (review and discussion of research studies by Professor Thomas Hehir, Harvard Graduate School of Education) - tentatively scheduled for October 2014
    • Civic Education and Engagement: the Role of Schools and State Initiatives (continuing discussion) - date to be determined

I look forward to hearing your ideas on September 22 for topics that you would like to learn more about and discuss at our special meetings over the next nine months. We can, of course, continue mapping out the topics at the Board's planning retreat, which will take place later this fall.

Last Updated: September 18, 2014
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