The Massachusetts Board of Elementary and Secondary Education

Briefing for the December 18, 2012 Regular Meeting of the Board of Elementary and Secondary Education

Members of the Board of Elementary and Secondary Education
Mitchell D. Chester, Ed.D., Commissioner
December 7, 2012

The next regular meeting of the Board of Elementary and Secondary Education will be on Tuesday, December 18, 2012, at the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education in Malden. The regular meeting will start at 8:30 a.m. (coffee will be available at 8) and should adjourn by 1 p.m. The Board will not hold a special meeting this month. If you need overnight accommodations or any additional information about the schedule, please call JC Considine at (781) 338-3112.


At the December 18 Board meeting I am recommending that the Board vote its intent to revoke the charter of the Gloucester Community Arts Charter School. Our business agenda also includes an update on the state education budget, a progress report on the Department's work on new regulations and a model agreement for educational collaboratives, and a vote on amendments to the educator licensure regulations, relating to the new transition specialist endorsement.

Regular Meeting

Comments from the Chair

Chair Banta will report on current issues and activities. She will ask committee chair Vanessa Calderón-Rosado to report on the December 17 meeting of the Commissioner's Performance Evaluation Committee.

Comments from the Commissioner

  1. Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study (TIMSS) results. I expect to report to the Board on the 2011 TIMSS results for Massachusetts, which are being released on December 11. TIMSS is administered every four years and assesses student mathematics and science performance in fourth and eighth grades. In 2011, Massachusetts participated in the eighth grade assessment only. This is the third administration of TIMSS in which the Commonwealth has participated as a territory.

  2. FY2013 State and Federal Budgets. I will report on the latest information that is available regarding the cuts to the FY2013 state budget as well as regarding Congressional activity related to sequestration.

Comments from the Secretary

Secretary Reville will brief the Board on current issues and activities.

Items for Discussion and Action

  1. Update on State Education Budget - Discussion

    The Board voted on November 27 to adopt priorities and recommendations for the FY2014 state education budget, and I have transmitted those recommendations to Secretary Reville. At our meeting on December 18, Secretary Reville and I will update the Board on the latest information concerning the current year (FY2013) education budget.

  2. Educational Collaboratives: Progress Report on Regulations and Model Collaborative Agreement - Discussion

    In September 2012 the Board voted to solicit public comment on proposed regulations on educational collaboratives, which are called for under the Act Relative to Improving Accountability and Oversight of Education Collaboratives that was enacted earlier this year (Chapter 43 of the Acts of 2012, amending Mass. General Laws Chapter 40, Section 3). The new law and proposed regulations make sweeping changes in the operation and accountability of educational collaboratives. For that reason, Department staff have worked closely with our constituents and other regulatory agencies in preparing the regulations. We expect to bring the final regulations to the Board for a vote in January 2013. In anticipation of the Board vote next month, I have asked Christine Lynch, Director of School Governance, and Jay Sullivan, Director of School Business Services, to present a progress report on the regulations and the model agreement that we will be publishing with the regulations.

  3. Regulations on Transition Specialist Endorsement (Educator Licensure), 603 CMR 7.00 - Discussion and Vote

    At the September 2012 meeting, the Board voted to solicit public comment on proposed amendments to 603 CMR 7.00, Regulations for Educator Licensure and Preparation Program Approval, relating to the new transition specialist endorsement. A transition specialist provides transition services to students with disabilities with Individualized Education Programs (IEPs). The endorsement provides recognition of a particular set of skills and knowledge in relation to transitioning to adult life for students with IEPs. The Department has reviewed all the comments we received during the public comment period; a summary is enclosed along with the memo under Tab 3. I recommend that the Board vote this month to adopt the regulations as amended.

  4. Gloucester Community Arts Charter School: Commissioner's Recommendation to Revoke Charter - Discussion and Vote

    At our November 27 meeting I presented an update on the progress achieved by the Gloucester Community Arts Charter School (GCACS) in response to the conditions that the Board imposed on the school. Despite the fact that the school has had more than two years to gain its footing, I continue to be very concerned about the viability of GCACS. For the reasons set forth in my memo under Tab 4, at our December 18 meeting I will recommend that the Board vote its intent to revoke the charter for GCACS, effective June 30, 2013. I have invited representatives from the charter school to address the Board before the vote.

Other Items for Information

  1. 5. RETELL - SEI Endorsement and Professional Development

    Under Tab 5 I have included my December 7, 2012 memo to superintendents, principals, charter school leaders, and statewide professional organizations that addresses questions the Department has received from districts about the new Sheltered English Immersion (SEI) endorsement and associated professional development requirements, and their relationship to licensure, license renewal, and continued employability within school districts.

  2. 6. Report on Scheduling of Comprehensive Audits and Reviews

    The memo under Tab 6 explains how the Department is addressing the provisions of G.L. c. 15, section 55A, regarding the scheduling of major reviews to reduce administrative burdens on schools and districts. The Board voted in December 2010 to delegate this scheduling task to the Commissioner, and I am submitting this report for FY2013 comprehensive audits and reviews to you in accordance with that vote.

  3. 7. Education-Related News Clippings

    Enclosed are several recent articles about education.

If you have questions about any agenda items, please call me. I look forward to seeing you at the Department on December 18.