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Commissioner's Weekly Update - September 28, 2012

New Early Warning Indicator System Data - Now Available:

ESE developed an Early Warning Indicator System (EWIS) to identify students who are potentially "off track" for grade-level or developmental age progress, including for high school graduation (potential dropouts). The EWIS provides districts with valuable data and tools to help educators systematically identify students who may be in need of additional supports to get "on track" to meet key academic goals. Districts can access risk level information (low, moderate, high risk) for enrolled students in grades 1-12 to predict their likelihood of reaching academic goals if they continue on their current trajectory. This student-level risk information is available via the College and Career Readiness Dropbox in the Security Portal. EWIS overview, Q&A, and district summary documents are also available in the Dropbox. Submit questions to View information on introductory webinars in October on the EWIS data at

Training Schedule for Educator Evaluation:

All Race to the Top districts must publish a training schedule for the delivery of the evaluation training program by October 1, 2012. RTTT districts must also develop and submit to ESE plans for funding the training no later than November 1, 2012. The Guide to Educator Evaluation Training Requirements Download PDF Document  Download MS WORD Document, which outlines the training and funding requirements mandated by the new law, is posted at The funding plan document, entitled "Title IIA Addendum," is also available on ESE's evaluation training program page at

Upcoming "Go Public!" Events:

"Go Public!" is a new campaign organized by the MA Department of Higher Education in partnership with the state's 29 public colleges and universities. Each event will feature student speakers to talk about their experiences attending a community college, state university, or UMass campus. Campuses will also run financial aid and career planning seminars for students and families. The first of four fall events will be held Wednesday, Oct. 3 from 7-8:30 p.m. at Plymouth North High School. For more information, visit

Charter School Finalists:

On Sept. 28, ESE announced that the founders of 12 proposed charter schools have been invited to submit a final application. Final applications are due on November 14, 2012. The final applications will be reviewed and evaluated by ESE staff and external review panelists. Public hearings will be held in the areas where schools are proposed to be located. Commissioner Chester will make his recommendations to the Board of Elementary and Secondary Education in February, and the Board will vote to award new charters at its Feb. 26, 2013 meeting. For more information, see the press release at

BESE Meeting Recap:

At its Sept. 25 regular meeting, the Board of Elementary and Secondary Education adopted final amendments to the school finance regulations, which include an increase in the extraordinary maintenance allowance from $100,000 to $150,000 per project per school. (Extraordinary maintenance is a provision of the Chapter 70 formula that allows districts to use net school spending dollars for small building repair projects.) The Board also voted to send out for public comment proposed new regulations on educational collaboratives and on a new transition specialist endorsement in educator licensure. The meeting was the first for new student member Ryan Casey, a senior at Franklin High School. Ryan was elected by his peers to serve as chair of the State Student Advisory Council during the 2012-13 school year.

For Your Info:

  • FY13 Title I Allocations: Last week, ESE received word from the U.S. Department of Education that our statewide Title I allocation for the current school year has been adjusted upward by approximately $36,000 (0.02%). We will incorporate this adjusted amount into district Title I allocations when we make final allocation adjustments this winter.
  • On Sept. 26, Gov. Deval Patrick signed legislation that creates a nine-member expert literacy panel that will make recommendations around better aligning and coordinating current early literacy initiatives and improving the implementation of programs to ensure that all students are proficient readers by the end of grade 3. Read more online at
  • Last year, 38 MA public schools participated in the first National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) computer-based assessment in writing. Results from the new writing assessment provided information on the ability of 8th and 12th graders to write on the computer for specific purposes and audiences. No state-level results were reported. To see how students performed nationally, go to
  • On Thursday, October 18, 2012, the Governor's Youth Council will be hosting a screening of the documentary film Bully at AMC Loews Boston Common 19 Theater. Following the screening, the attendees are invited to the State House for a rally against bullying, featuring Governor Patrick and other guests. Attendees for this event will include 351 students - one student representative from each city/town in Massachusetts. For more information on the documentary screening and the rally, visit The deadline to register is Friday, October 5, 2012. If you have any additional questions, please contact Anny Jean-Jacques Domercant, Director, Governor's Office of Community Affairs at


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Last Updated: September 28, 2012
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