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Commissioner's Weekly Update - October 19, 2012

Reminder about Anti-Hazing Law Requirements:

Each secondary school principal must certify to the Department each year, on or before October 1, that the school has met the requirements of the anti-hazing law. To help with this process, the Department has developed a one-page Anti-Hazing Report. See Attachment 3 to the memo located online at http://www.doe.mass.edu/news/news.aspx?id=5591. Please note that by November 1, the Department is required to notify the Attorney General of any secondary school that has not filed an anti-hazing report. If you need assistance, please contact the Program Quality Assurance Unit at 781-338-3708.

Update on Education Evaluation:

  1. To date, 120 Race to the Top districts have submitted their educator evaluation systems to ESE for review, or notified ESE of the district's agreement to adopt the Model Contract with no modifications. Eighty (80) of the 120 districts have ratified agreements in place. All districts that have submitted contracts to date have chosen to adopt or adapt the Model Contract - including 31 districts that have adopted the Model Contract with no modifications.

    Please ensure that you submit your district's agreed-upon contract by sending it via email to ContractAgreements@doe.mass.edu. If you are adapting the Model Contract, when you submit your agreement to ESE, please make the changes visible by providing tracked changes in a Word document or a cover letter that identifies the nature and location of the changes. If you have agreed to the Model Contract with no changes, please simply notify ESE of the agreement to adopt; no materials need to be submitted.

  2. As a reminder, Race to the Top districts must develop and submit their plans for funding evaluation training no later than Nov. 1, 2012. If you have any questions about this requirement, please send an email to EducatorEvaluation@doe.mass.edu.
  3. If you were unable to attend the Oct. 9 webinar on the education evaluation teacher training program, and would like ESE to schedule a second webinar, please send an email to EducatorEvaluation@doe.mass.edu. Provided there is sufficient interest, we will schedule a second webinar in late October or early November.

Board of Elementary and Secondary Education to Meet on October 23:

The Board of Elementary and Secondary Education will meet on Oct. 23 in Malden. The Board will hear a presentation on and discuss the initiatives the Department has undertaken and is proposing in response to the Task Force on Integrating College and Career Readiness. The task force issued a series of recommendations to the Board at its June 2012 meeting; that report is posted online at http://www.doe.mass.edu/boe/docs/2012-06/item1_report.pdf. The Board will also hear an overview of related state initiatives on college and career readiness. On charter school matters, the Board will vote on three charter school amendments, hear an update from its charter school committee, receive information on charter school enrollments, and discuss its charter authorizing authorities. The Board will discuss its FY14 budget proposal and receive an update on Level 4 schools. View the agenda at http://www.doe.mass.edu/boe/docs/2012-10/

Schools Can Soon Order ACCESS for ELLs Tests:

Between Oct. 29 and Nov. 16, principals can order test materials for ACCESS for ELLs, the state's new test to measure English language learner (ELL) students' listening, speaking, reading, and writing skills. Principals will receive information on ordering materials on Oct. 28. For information on identifying ELL students for testing, ensuring that test administrators are properly trained and meet the certification standard, and other preparations, please view the Principal's Pre-Administration Manual: ACCESS for ELLs Tasks to be Completed in Fall 2012 located at http://www.doe.mass.edu/mcas/access/PPAM.pdf. The tests will be administered from Jan. 10 to Feb. 13, 2013. For more info, go to http://www.doe.mass.edu/mcas/access/.

For Your Info:

  • Congratulations to Boston Superintendent of Public Schools Carol Johnson, this year's recipient of the Council of Great City Schools' Richard R. Green Award. The nation's highest urban education honor, the award is given to a past or present school superintendent or board of education member in recognition of exceptional contributions to urban schools and students. The Green Award recipient receives a $10,000 college scholarship to present to a high school senior of the winner's school district or from his or her high school alma mater. The award pays tribute to Richard R. Green, a former chancellor of New York City Public Schools and superintendent of Minneapolis Public Schools.
  • ESE is seeking nominations for the U.S. Presidential Scholars Program. All Massachusetts high school students graduating between January and August of 2012 and who are U.S. citizens or legal permanent residents, who attend a Massachusetts public or private high school, are eligible. Each school may nominate one female student and one male student. Candidates should have demonstrated leadership; school and community involvement; and may receive discretionary points for extraordinary achievement, heavy work load, family responsibilities, or obstacles overcome. For more information and the nomination forms, go to http://www.doe.mass.edu/FamComm/Student/PresidentialScholars.html.

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Last Updated: October 19, 2012
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