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Commissioner's Weekly Update - July 25, 2014

2014 Green Ribbon Schools Awards:

On Tuesday, the U.S. Department of Education honored 48 schools and 9 districts from around the country for their efforts to reduce environmental impact and costs, promote better health, and ensure effective environmental education, including STEM, green careers and civics. Congratulations to Boston Latin School, this year's lone 2014 Green Ribbon Schools award recipient from Massachusetts. We anticipate that Massachusetts will participate in the fourth annual Green Ribbon Schools competition during the 2014-15 school year, and will provide additional information later in August. To learn more about the program in Massachusetts, go to

Use of 2014-15 PARCC Student Growth Percentiles in Educator Evaluation:

The Department has received questions from districts that will administer the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC) in spring 2015 about how to use those PARCC results as part of the 2014-15 educator evaluation process. The 2014-15 school year is the first year that all districts will collect data from measures of student growth to use to determine Student Impact Ratings at the end of 2015-16. To learn more about the Department's response on how to best use the results from the spring 2015 PARCC assessments, go to

2014-15 Charter School Prospectuses:

The Department has received charter school prospectuses from seven founding groups seeking approval to open new charter schools in Boston, Brockton, Cape Cod, Chicopee, Fitchburg, Salem, and Springfield. The Department will review the proposals and in mid September, notify the founding groups whose prospectuses show the most promise and invite them to submit full applications. Final applications are due to the Department by Wednesday, November 5, 2014. After a comprehensive review by Department staff and external reviewers, Commissioner Chester will decide which of the finalists' applications he will recommend to the Board of Elementary and Secondary Education. The Board will vote on the Commissioner's recommendations to award new charters at its February 24, 2015 meeting.

In addition, the Department will advance to the final application stage an eighth proposal to grow a charter school network in Boston under a new one-stage process for eligible, existing charter school boards of trustees. UP Academies is seeking to open a Horace Mann charter school in Boston as part of its existing network of schools. For more information on the 2014-15 prospectuses, go to

Upcoming Edwin Teaching and Learning Webinar:

Numerous Race to the Top districts are currently using Edwin Teaching and Learning, the Commonwealth's new instructional improvement system. Non-Race to the Top districts are now able to access Edwin at no cost. To learn more, we encourage non-Race to the Top districts to sign up for an introductory webinar that will take place on Thursday, July 31, 2014 at 12 p.m. To register, go to

Seeking PARCC Educator Leader Fellows:

The Department is seeking nominations of educators to serve as Massachusetts Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC) Educator Leader Fellows for 2014-2016. The team of fellows provides professional development around the Commonwealth's learning standards and PARCC. Nominees should already be engaged in leadership work around the Common Core State Standards, actively involved in professional networks, and regarded as leaders by their colleagues. The deadline to apply is September 22, 2014. To view the application materials, go to

For Your Info:

  • Directory Administration: As an early reminder, district leaders should review and update information within Directory Administration. The Department frequently uses Directory Administration to communicate with districts on various topics, such as RETELL, MCAS, and PARCC. Please submit any new email address to your District-Level Directory Administrator, who is the person in charge of submitting and updating contact information to the Department. To view a list of Directory Administrators, go to

Subscriber Information: Superintendents, principals, and charter school leaders will receive the update automatically. For others wishing to subscribe, send an email to with the following information in the body of the email: subscribe ESEUpdate Your Name. (Example: subscribe ESEUpdate John Smith) To unsubscribe, send an email to the same address with the following information in the body: unsubscribe ESEUpdate Your Name. (Example: unsubscribe ESEUpdate John Smith)

Last Updated: July 28, 2014
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