From: Dom on
http://www.boston.com/news/local/massachusetts/articles/2010/01/27/vote_is_unanimous_to_close_springfield_charter_school/

The Boston Globe January 27, 2010

Board votes to shut Springfield charter school
By James Vaznis, Globe Staff

MALDEN -- The state Board of Elementary and Secondary Education voted
unanimously yesterday to close a Springfield charter school, two
months after a state investigation revealed widespread cheating among
administrators and staff on the MCAS exams last year.

"The kids and the parents are the victims," Thomas Fortmann, a state
board member from Lexington, said before the vote, which was held at a
senior citizen center near the state’s education headquarters. The
state has shut down five charter schools over the years for poor
academic performance or other reasons.

Mitchell Chester, the commissioner of elementary and secondary
education, recommended last month that the Robert M. Hughes Academy in
Springfield be closed at the end of the school year, after an
investigation by his department found the school's principal
orchestrated an extensive plan to cheat on the Massachusetts
Comprehensive Assessment System tests last spring, enlisting the
support of several teachers and other staff members.

The investigation revealed, among other things, that the principal or
another administrator had instructed teachers to tell students to
double-check answers when they spotted wrong answers and that one
teacher helped a student write an essay for the exam, fearing that the
principal would otherwise fire him.

Also yesterday, board members strongly resisted calls to rescind
approval of a Gloucester charter school that has created a political
firestorm, saying they lack legal authority to do so. The panel also
discussed whether to close a Lowell charter school with more than 900
students, an issue the board might vote on next month.
[snip]
From: toto on
On Sun, 31 Jan 2010 07:14:54 -0800 (PST), Dom <DRosa(a)teikyopost.edu>
wrote:

>http://www.boston.com/news/local/massachusetts/articles/2010/01/27/vote_is_unanimous_to_close_springfield_charter_school/
>
>The Boston Globe January 27, 2010
>
>Board votes to shut Springfield charter school
>By James Vaznis, Globe Staff
>
>MALDEN -- The state Board of Elementary and Secondary Education voted
>unanimously yesterday to close a Springfield charter school, two
>months after a state investigation revealed widespread cheating among
>administrators and staff on the MCAS exams last year.
>
>"The kids and the parents are the victims," Thomas Fortmann, a state
>board member from Lexington, said before the vote, which was held at a
>senior citizen center near the state�s education headquarters. The
>state has shut down five charter schools over the years for poor
>academic performance or other reasons.
>
>Mitchell Chester, the commissioner of elementary and secondary
>education, recommended last month that the Robert M. Hughes Academy in
>Springfield be closed at the end of the school year, after an
>investigation by his department found the school's principal
>orchestrated an extensive plan to cheat on the Massachusetts
>Comprehensive Assessment System tests last spring, enlisting the
>support of several teachers and other staff members.
>
>The investigation revealed, among other things, that the principal or
>another administrator had instructed teachers to tell students to
>double-check answers when they spotted wrong answers and that one
>teacher helped a student write an essay for the exam, fearing that the
>principal would otherwise fire him.
>
>Also yesterday, board members strongly resisted calls to rescind
>approval of a Gloucester charter school that has created a political
>firestorm, saying they lack legal authority to do so. The panel also
>discussed whether to close a Lowell charter school with more than 900
>students, an issue the board might vote on next month.
>[snip]

When you rely on high stakes testing to grade schools, teachers and
students, you get a lot of cheating. It's inevitable.

We need a better way to measure how schools perform.


--
Dorothy

There is no sound, no cry in all the world
that can be heard unless someone listens ..

The Outer Limits