Recording Secretary Report-11/16/2016

Wednesday, November 16, 2016                                                                                    3:15-5:15

Starting Time: 3:28                                                                  Adjournment Time: 5:14



  1. Presentation of Agenda
  2. Welcome
  3. Consent Agenda (Recording Secretary, Corresponding Secretary, Grievance, and PAL Reports)
  4. Treasurer Reports
  5. President’s Remarks
  6. Guest Remarks
  7. Old Business
  8. New Business

Agenda accepted without objection

Treasurer Report

Lussier was not in attendance, but passed along notes. She was at an MTA meeting to share information with other treasurers as one of the most senior treasurers in the state.

She suggests making a budget prior to the start of the year. MTA is working towards electronic member enrollment.

Motion to accept by James and seconded by Jake. Passed without objection.


President Remarks

Last meeting was the largest phone bank in Western Mass.

Jake motions to accept Consent Agenda and seconded by Ben. Passed without objection.

Discussed how we shouldn’t run from threat, but face it. Specifically, the CEA will be focused on the threat of high schools being declared Level 4 from Level 3. This may be because of administrative issues, teacher issues, or system issues.

We must make significant progress in an unspecified time period, as soon as 7 months. There would be immediate changes, such as principal being replaced.

The CEA will gather information with MTA to make an appropriate response.

Chuck hopes that we will improve education in the city regardless.


Guest Remarks (Beverly Miyares, MTA Center for Education Policy and Practice)

It is important to find out the facts concerning accountability and the specifics within the district.

These issues arise from NCLB, ESSA, and other state/federal requirements. Terminology depends on circumstance and which requirements are looked at.

First is decided which school types (Elementary, High, etc.) are ranked in the bottom 20%. These are labelled level 3.

Targets designate Level 1 and Level 2 schools.

Commissioner has discretion to designate Level 4 schools. If progress isn’t made within 3 years, the school becomes Level 5.

Department is moving forward despite transition year federally.

Superintendents voiced praise for Level 4 tools and autonomy in legislator session.

Bill to make a Level 3.5 failed, but will show up again.

DESE is implementing some of these ideas through a grant. This comes with strings though;

  • Close the school
  • Restart the school
  • Turn around (Replace principal if there for 3 years already, all staff would have to reapply)
  • Transformation (Replace principal if there for 3 years already, some staff may have to reapply)

The program has been most successful at Elementary Schools, not successful at Middle Schools, and mixed results at High Schools.

There are four instances of Level 5, with mixed success.

District automatically gets the same level as the lowest performing school, which superintendents hate. Level 5 is the exception, but district can be designated as such.

We will always have Level 3, but only commissioner determines if there are Level 4 or 5, with some guidelines.

School Leaders Guide explains how the percentile is determined, but it is unclear why specific percentiles are there. Research file will have all this information

Difficulties have been arising with replacing staff. Easier near Boston, but harder as going west.

Accommodations can (and have been) made with the 4 action plans.

Holyoke only forcibly replaced ~20%, but ~40% left voluntarily due to poor working conditions.

Opting out in more affluent communities might help if participation is below 95% and thus drop a level.

Charter Schools get levels, but aren’t able to become Level 4 or 5.

DSACs help Level 3 schools not become Level 4 schools. Offer opportunity for competitive grant to make it similar Level 4 conditions.

First step here is a monitoring site visit, by School Works. These are mostly retired principals and superintendent, matched with demographics so they can understand and speak with credibility.

MCAS will be used through Class of 2020, then move to PARCC-like MCAS 2.0 afterwards.

The union needs to tell the visitors the story of our schools.

Equipercentile Linking on DESE website will help to show how to convert between MCAS and PARCC.


As our district hasn’t negotiated DDMs. Most people think it’s a waste of time and have been telling Commissioner. Commissioner has given in to not report label, but still in bureaucracy. Worst case is reporting is gone, and will give superintendents and locals license to continue as normal.

Legally we can tell our members, that there is nothing we have to do as there is no agreement. We only need to pick one subject for DDM.

It is worth asking what the district is reporting on EPIMS.


Old Business

CEA Negotiations Update – All four Units are in negotiation, though one unit has been postponed. Unit A has signed an NDA (as an olive branch) for 5 meetings. We hope for great news by then. The week of January 9th, we’ll update the second table to maximize communication. Unit B will see where it goes. Unit E will hold firm to percentage increase. Unit D will meet on 11/21/2016.

If you have questions, email your Unit representatives.


Mass Child – Kathy Abood is in charge. We’re close to tapping out our current grant level. We’ve been connecting with folks for deals with purchases.


Holiday Party – Donna Conroy and Kathy Abood have been working hard.

We need donations for raffles and volunteers to sell tickets.

47 people have already responded using the poll, please encourage people to use it.


Save Our Public Schools (No on 2) Campaign – We had a resounding success.

  • The state polls were 62.1% to 37.9%.
  • Chicopee got above the state average, 66.7% to 33.3%.
  • Yes only won in 15 of the 351 towns, and 2 towns tied.

Made possible by phone banking, polling, and canvassing

Breakfast goes to Fairview and Litwin

Jason Surprise, Ben Eisen, and Kara Gauthier were leading the campaign strong.


MTA PR and O Grant – Used to purchase CEA buttons. Wear them on your lanyards!

We have more if there are those who don’t have any. These go to all Units and all members.


New Business

Ethnic Minority Affairs Committee Conference – Registration is open. It is December 2 to December 3. The only cost is registration fees, of $50.

James motions to send 2 members funded by the CEA. Seconded by Jean. Passed unanimously.


Bylaw Amendment: Release Time for the Association President – First reading of the proposed bylaw amendment. Will be read again and discussed at following meeting.

James mentioned that proposals that include if/or, it should be careful and decisive.


Bylaw Revision – Dividing up previous revisions into 4 chunks. Invite others to view and compare with the 2009 Bylaws which are on the CEA website.

The goal is to revise and promote document over the course of the meetings.


MTA Board of Directors – Ben Eisen is running of our district, replacing Jean Sherlock


Next meeting at Chicopee Comprehensive High School, Teacher Cafeteria, December 14