Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Charter schools: Board vote

Vote on Commissioner's recommendations
McKenna: had a long discussion last night
entertain a motion to approve Commissioner's recommendations

motion on Salem: 
Chester: want this on the record for anyone who was not there last night
end of a process that began in August when we received 7 submissions
5 invited to apply; 4 applied
all 4 went through a very thorough vetting process
public meeting, interviews, review by DESE and non-department 
were evaluated on their merits
"pleased to have these strong recommendations before you"
two Commonwealth applications that in my judgment and in the judgment of staff and non-staff
"I don't believe those two are poised for success at this point"
"I do want to say, that I'm quite concerned for those who thanked me for not bringing the two applications forward and those who criticized me"
judged solely on potential for success
"If they had met the bar, I would be recommending approval"
"judged on their merits"
"particularly disappointed to see Mass Charter School Association saying, 'left with no choices other than failing district schools'.”
"reject the notion that Brockton and Fitchburg are failing school districts...every district has room for improvement, Fitchburg and Brockton no less so"

Salem approved

on UP Academy in Springfield
Peyser: ethics disclosure due to New Schools Venture fund grant funds to UP Academies
disclosure allowing him to vote on this

Chester says Springfield School Committee conditionally approved their vote in favor that the Springfield Empowerment Zone voting in favor of
approved with condition of Board of Trustees of Empowerment Zone endorsing UP Academy and School Committee has acknowledged that vote by November 2015

Peyser: asking for clarification on acknowledgement v. approval

Springfield approved

McKenna: clarify last night's discussion not necessarily about growth, some for and some against, but needs to be logical
Roach: should be no question about thoroughly and fairness of review process

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