DESE investigations of MCAS testing at Worcester schools

Jeremy Shulkin filed this request with the Department of Education of Massachusetts .
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From: Jeremy Shulkin

To Whom It May Concern:

Pursuant to the state Freedom of Information Act, G.L.M. c.4, €7, clause 26th, I hereby request the following records:

I request all documents revealing findings from the investigations of MCAS testing irregularities at Worcester's Belmont Street Community School and Goddard School of Science and Technology. Furthermore, I request any supplementary materials provided by the Worcester Public School district to the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education for the purpose of aiding the investigations, including any correspondences between Superintendent Melinda Boone, Chief Academic Officer Jeffrey Mulqueen and Chief Acountability Officer David Perda and the DESE.

I also request that, if appropriate, fees be waived as we believe this request is in the public interest, as suggested but not stipulated by the recommendations of the Massachusetts Supervisor of Public Records. The requested documents will be made available to the general public free of charge as part of the public information service at MuckRock.com, processed by a representative of the news media/press and is made in the process of news gathering and not for commercial usage.

In the event that fees cannot be waived, I would be grateful if you would inform me of the total charges in advance of fulfilling my request. I would prefer the request filled electronically, by e-mail attachment if available or CD-ROM if not.

Thank you in advance for your anticipated cooperation in this matter. I look forward to receiving your response to this request within 10 business days, as the statute requires.

Sincerely,

Jeremy Shulkin
Filed via MuckRock.com
E-mail (Preferred): requests@muckrock.com
Daytime: (617) 299-1832
For mailed responses, please address:
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Somerville, MA 02143

From: Department of Elementary and Secondary Education

Jeremy,

Attached are the documents that respond to your request for public records related to the investigation into alleged MCAS testing irregularities at the Belmont School. The Department of Elementary and Secondary Education did not investigate MCAS testing irregularities at the Belmont School, but does have records that respond to your request. Worcester Public Schools internally investigated MCAS testing irregularities at the Belmont school and, according to state laws and regulations, provided various investigative records to the Department.

Attached to this email are copies of the investigatory records sent to the Department by Worcester Public Schools. These records, however, are heavily redacted. Significant portions of these records are made exempt both by the Investigatory Exemption to the public records law (G.L. c. 4, §7(26)(f)) as well as the Privacy Exemption (G.L. c. 4, §7(26)(c)) which covers disciplinary records upon which employment decisions could be made. In order to preserve the security of MCAS testing, the integrity of MCAS results, and the confidentiality of techniques and the identities of people implicated in the investigation, the Department must keep private those portions of the responsive documents that the Public Records Law exempts.

Please contact me at 781-338-3112 if you require further assistance. Additionally, please be advised that if you wish to challenge this response, you may appeal to the Supervisor of Public Records following the procedure contained in 950 C.M.R. § 32.08.

Thanks,
JC

JC Considine

Director of Board & Media Relations

Department of Elementary and Secondary Education

781.338.3112

CONFIDENTIALITY NOTICE: This electronic transmission is for the intended recipient only and may contain information that is privileged, confidential, or otherwise protected from disclosure. Any review, dissemination, or use of this transmission or any of its contents by persons other than the intended recipient is strictly prohibited. If you receive this transmission in error, please notify the sender immediately upon receipt and delete or destroy the communication and its attachments. Thank you for your cooperation.

From: Department of Elementary and Secondary Education

From: Jeremy Shulkin

Hi JC,

Thanks for this. When can I expect the documents from the Goddard School of Science and Technology investigation as well?

Thanks again,

Jeremy

From: Department of Elementary and Secondary Education

Hi Jeremy,

I believe we’ll have documents related to the Goddard investigation by the end of the week. I’ll keep you posted.

Thanks,
JC

JC Considine

Director of Board & Media Relations

Department of Elementary and Secondary Education

781.338.3112

From: Department of Elementary and Secondary Education

Jeremy,

Please find attached the records pertaining to the Goddard School that are responsive to your February 3, 2011 public records request. Because of the size of the files, I will send four additional attachments under separate cover.

As you will see, we have redacted or withheld information that is exempt from the public records law under G.L. c. 4, § 7, cl. 26(c) (invasion of personal privacy); G.L. c. 4, § 7, cl. 26(d) (development of policy positions); G.L. c. 4, § 7, cl. 26(f) (investigatory materials); and based upon the attorney-client privilege. To be clear, the information redacted pursuant to the deliberative process exemption, exemption (d), concerns an unrelated school in a different school district involved in a matter wholly unrelated to Goddard or Belmont. References to this other matter – which has not yet been resolved – have been redacted to the extent that they appear in documents that also contain information about Goddard or Belmont.

Please contact me if you require further assistance or any additional information. Additionally, please be advised that if you wish to challenge this response, you may appeal to the Supervisor of Public Records following the procedure contained in 950 C.M.R. § 32.08.

Thanks,
JC

JC Considine

Director of Board & Media Relations

Department of Elementary and Secondary Education

781.338.3112

From: Department of Elementary and Secondary Education

From: Department of Elementary and Secondary Education

From: Department of Elementary and Secondary Education

From: Department of Elementary and Secondary Education

<em>EDITOR'S NOTE: Date of this document was taken from the last communication. It may have arrived earlier.</em>

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