Friday, December 12, 2014

FACEOFF ON FITCHBURG CHARTER SCHOOL



Faceoff on Fitchburg charter school

Date Published: 
December 12, 2014

Author: Anna Burgess      
News Type: 





All community members may care about education, but right now they're not agreeing on what that education should look like.


On Thursday night, the Board of Elementary and Secondary Education held a public hearing at the Fitchburg Public Library for community members to weigh in on a proposal submitted to the board for the Academy for the Whole Child, an elementary-level charter school.  
READ MORE...
http://www.masscharterschools.org/media/news/faceoff-fitchburg-charter-school

HEARING ON PROPOSED CHARTER SCHOOL IN FITCHBURG


Proposed charter school stirs crowd at hearing in Fitchburg

Picture
James Morton, left, and David Roach, both on the Board of Elementary and Secondary Education, 
listen to members of the public speak at a public hearing at the Fitchburg Public Library Thursday. 
(T&G STAFF/Rick Cinclair)
READ MORE...http://www.telegram.com/article/20141211/NEWS/312119464/0#.VIp-R1gDcHg.facebook

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

ATTEND CHARTER SCHOOL PUBLIC HEARING! Dec 11, 4 - 6 pm Fitchburg Public Library


Lowest 10% districts... how are they ranked and what does it mean?


School District Profiles
Presenting a Clearer Picture
District
2013 Achievement Ranking
(294 Districts)
2014 Overall Achievement Ranking
(292 Districts)
Overall Growth in Achievement (2013-2014)
2014 Overall Growth Ranking
2014 Weighted Rank
2014 Overall Weighted Rank (Achievement & Growth split 75% MCAS/25% Growth)
Lawrence
4
5
+1
182
49.25
44
Brockton
9
8
-1
191
53.75
50
Fitchburg
11
11
0
141
43.50
36
Somerville
19
36
+17
269
94.25
87
Gardner
23
18
-5
5
14.75
7
Haverhill
26
25
-1
111
46.50
39
Chicopee
30
29
-1
50
34.25
25
Palmer
40
40
0
16
34.00
24
Taunton
56
37
-19
17
32.00
21
Explanation

Ranking in the lowest 10% of School Districts in MA          
Growth in Achievement from 2013-2014       
Decrease in Achievement from 2013-2014      
No change in Achievement from 2013-2014

The chart shows us that you can have no change in overall achievement ranking (Fitchburg), a decline in overall achievement ranking (Brockton & Haverhill), or an increase of +1 in overall achievement ranking ( Lawrence), and if you have shown significant growth within your achievement ranking then your 2014 overall weighted rank will increase.
  • This indicates that a district can continue to have an overall poor achievement ranking, but if they show growth within that poor achievement ranking, they can outweigh a district whose overall achievement ranking is higher than theirs.

The chart shows that you can have no change in achievement ranking and very little growth within your achievement ranking, and your 2014 overall weighted rank with decrease (Palmer). 
  • This put Palmer in the lowest 10% even though their 2014 overall achievement ranking is higher than all other 8 districts shown in the chart.

Chicopee outranks 6 districts in 2014 overall achievement, but because they did not show enough growth within their achievement ranking, they have been moved into the lowest 10% of school districts in MA.

Clearly, this chart shows that there are two very different measurements for performance; achievement and growth
  • Achievement is measured by traditional MCAS results (as defined by the DESE).
  • Growth tells you how much change or “growth” there has been in performance from year to year (as defined by the DESE).
In conclusion, to get a true picture of a district’s performance, you must look at these two measurements both independently and collectively.  Achievement ranking tells you how well a district is performing in achievement, compared to all other school districts in MA, as indicated by the MCAS (performance of students).  Growth ranking tells you how well a district is performing in growth, compared to all other school districts in MA, as indicated by the growth model (how much academic progress students made in relation to their academic peers).   For more information visit:  http://www.doe.mass.edu/charter/capincrease.html

Thursday, November 20, 2014

PUBLIC HEARING FOR FITCHBURG REGIONAL CHARTER SCHOOL SCHEDULED

Public Hearings Scheduled on Four Charter School Final Applications

MALDEN - The Department of Elementary and Secondary Education announced today that it has scheduled four public hearings in the coming weeks to invite community members to comment on this year's four charter school final applications.
Charter school founding groups that submitted a final application for a Massachusetts public charter school will undergo a rigorous review process over the next three months. The public hearings represent an opportunity for interested parties to provide feedback on the finalists. At least one member of the Board of Elementary and Secondary Education will attend each hearing and report back to the full Board on the public testimony provided at each hearing.
In addition to the hearings, members of the public can submit written comments through Jan. 5, 2015 to: Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education, c/o Charter School Office, 75 Pleasant St., Malden MA 902148 or by email tocharterschools@doe.mass.edu.
Public hearings will be held from 4:00-6:00 p.m. in the following locations:
  • Thursday, Dec. 4, 2014 - Springfield
    Brightwood Branch Library meeting room, 359 Plainfield St., Springfield
  • Monday, Dec. 8, 2014 - Brockton (pending waiver, please see below)
    Brockton Main Library meeting room, 304 Main St., Brockton
  • Thursday, Dec. 11, 2014 - Fitchburg
    Fitchburg Public Library auditorium, 610 Main St., Fitchburg
  • Wednesday, Dec. 17, 2014 - Salem
    Bentley Elementary School cafeteria, 25 Memorial Drive, Salem
    (The Department scheduled this hearing on the first day of Hanukkah only after ruling out other options. Individuals who celebrate the holiday and who would like to comment on the Salem application should feel free to attend any of the other hearings or to give input during the Board of Elementary and Secondary Education's Dec. 16 meeting at 8:30 a.m. at 75 Pleasant St., Malden.)
The final application process includes a rigorous review of the written final application by a review team, an interview of the applicant group, public hearings in the areas where schools are proposed to be located, and a review of public comments submitted to ESE. Elementary and Secondary Education Commissioner Mitchell Chester will then review all of the materials and make final recommendations to the Board of Elementary and Secondary Education, which will consider the recommendations and potentially vote to grant charters in February 2015.
The founders of five proposed charter schools were invited to submit final applications during the 2014-15 application cycle. The applicants for one of those, the UP Academy Charter School of Boston, which would have been a Horace Mann charter, decided to not to pursue a charter at this time.
The final application for the New Heights Charter School of Brockton was submitted for Department consideration pending a waiver. A provision of the 2010 Achievement Gap Act requires that the first two Commonwealth charters approved in a cycle must be in the lowest 10 percent of districts. The district it proposes to serve, Brockton, is not among the lowest 10 percent in the state. The Board of Elementary and Secondary Education will decide on the applicant's waiver request at the Board's Nov. 25 meeting. If the Board grants the waiver, the charter proposal will proceed with the review process.
Read more:

Sunday, November 9, 2014

Friday, November 7, 2014