DESE Commissioner Chester’s Report

I am attaching a copy of the power point presentation from Dr. Mitchell Chester, the Commissioner of Education in Massachusetts.  Dr. Chester presented this report to the summer gathering of the state’s superintendents.  From my perspective, there were several key areas of interest. 

  • Massachusetts is performing well, when considered independently of the rest of the country, on international tests of student achievement. 
  • Despite this performance, elementary literacy scores are flat. 
  • The state is moving toward a growth model of student and district evaluation.

The growth model warrants more discussion because the changes that will result from the DATA could be significant.  The state will begin to measure growth, not simply performance.  What this means is that the state will report the value that districts/schools/teachers are adding to a students achievement growth during the year.

There are many districts/schools/teachers that work with students who are already capable of high performance on a state assessment.  In the current system, these students are tested and their scores reported.  Typically the districts with the highest performing test scores are rated the highest performing.  In a growth model it will be the districts/schools/teachers who bring their student along the furthest who will be the highest performing.

I am looking forward to this new, growth focused environment.  I believe that with the quality of our teachers and students coupled with our continued community support, Burlington will be recognized as the top district in the state in regards to the value that we add.

Commissioner Mitchell’s Report: MASSPPT

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