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The Massachusetts Board of Elementary and Secondary Education

Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) Flexibility Waiver Renewal

Members of the Board of Elementary and Secondary Education
Mitchell D. Chester, Ed.D., Commissioner
March 13, 2015


At the meeting of the Board of Elementary and Secondary Education on March 24, 2015, we will continue our discussion regarding the state's Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) flexibility waiver, and I will ask you to vote to endorse my proposed three-year waiver renewal request. We discussed this topic at the Board's regular meeting on February 24th. Background information is contained in the January 16, 2015 memo I prepared for you.

My staff worked collectively with various stakeholders this winter to review implementation of our accountability and assistance system under the waiver and identify potential areas for improvement in the design of the system. This process confirmed stakeholder support for the fundamental components of our system, and identified several aspects of the system that might be improved.

Specifically, the enhancements I plan to propose to the U.S. Department of Education later this spring are:

  • Provide additional credit to schools and districts serving English language learners (ELLs) who demonstrate strong growth on the ACCESS for ELLs English language proficiency assessment.
  • Provide additional time for schools to increase the English language proficiency of certain recently arrived ELLs before incorporating those students' complete MCAS or PARCC results in school and district accountability determinations.
  • Increase the number of schools and districts held accountable for student subgroups by lowering the minimum group size for accountability determinations.

Deputy Commissioner Alan Ingram, Senior Associate Commissioner Russell Johnston, Associate Commissioner Carrie Conaway, Rob Curtin, Director of our Education Data Services office, and Matt Pakos, Director of our Title I office, will be at the meeting on March 24th to present an overview and respond to your questions.

Last Updated: March 18, 2015
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