Commissioner's Weekly Update - August 19, 2016
Next-Generation MCAS Contract Awarded:
The Department has signed a five-year contract with Measured Progress of Dover, N.H. to collaborate on the development and administration of the Next-Generation MCAS. Measured Progress, a not-for-profit organization that is the vendor for the existing MCAS, was one of two vendors that responded to ESE's request for responses. Measured Progress' subcontractors will include Pearson Education North America, which will provide supporting services, primarily related to on-line testing technology. Department staff will continue their long-standing practice of contributing to and overseeing all aspects of work on the construction, production and administration of the new assessments, and Massachusetts educators will also continue to play a significant role in the development process.
Charter School Applications:
Six groups have submitted prospectuses to open a new charter school, and 12 existing schools have asked to expand their enrollment, several of them by more than 100 students, ESE announced this week. The Department will decide by mid-September which applicant groups to invite to submit full proposals. The final applications will be due by November 1, 2016, and Commissioner Chester will then decide which finalists to recommend to the Board of Elementary and Secondary Education for consideration in February 2017.
On the expansion requests, the commissioner and Board will consider comments solicited from the superintendents within each school's district or region. Members of the public may also submit written comments regarding a school's expansion request to: Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education, c/o Office of Charter Schools and School Redesign, 75 Pleasant Street, Malden, MA 02148 or by email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Comments on proposed new schools will be solicited during the final application stage, including at public hearings that will be scheduled in the cities and towns where the proposed charter schools intend to locate.
ESE Resource Corner
Back-to-school pamphlet for parents: The Department has created a three-page pamphlet for parents that notes Massachusetts' top-of-the-nation status in education, links to the commissioner's back-to-school video message and explains the different roles that the state and local districts have in educating students. Please share this link with teachers and families: http://www.doe.mass.edu/commissioner/2016BackToSchoolFlyer.pdf.
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