The Massachusetts Board of Elementary and Secondary Education

Comprehensive District Reviews

Members of the Board of Elementary and Secondary Education
Jeff Wulfson, Acting Commissioner
October 13, 2017

The Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (Department) conducts numerous district and school reviews for a wide variety of purposes throughout the year. It is the Department's goal to minimize the burden these reviews place upon districts and schools as much as possible, while also ensuring that we fulfill our legal and public obligations by conducting thorough, high-quality reviews.

To this end, the legislation that called for the creation of the Department's Office of School and District Accountability (now called the Office of District Reviews and Monitoring, hereinafter ODRM) requires ODRM to ensure that no school or district is audited during the administration of any statewide assessments, and shall coordinate with other entities in the department to ensure that a school or district is not subject to multiple comprehensive audits or reviews by the department or any accrediting body within a 9 month period unless the board specifically votes to do so on an emergency basis (M.G.L. c. 15, § 55A).

The Department has created a database of all comprehensive reviews year by year, including five-year charter renewal reviews, Comprehensive Program Reviews (CPRs) by our Office of Special Services, district accountability reviews by our Office of District Reviews and Monitoring (ODRM), and accreditation reviews by the outside agency New England Association of Schools and Colleges (NEASC). According to this database, the reviews scheduled by the above offices did not include any potential conflicts or overlaps for the 2017-2018 school year.

Overlaps resolved within ESE

The Office of Special Services and Charter School Office worked proactively to avoid overlaps and conflicts for their scheduled reviews. In addition, ODRM used the database as an element of its selection criteria and worked with the Office of Special Services to avoid any potential overlap when selecting the districts for the 20 district accountability reviews required by state law.

Overlaps with NEASC

There were no overlaps or conflicts with NEASC reviews for the 2017-2018 school year.