Martin Luther King Jr. Charter School of Excellence Summary of Review

Download 277.66 Kb.
Size277.66 Kb.
1   2   3   4   5   6   7

Appendix E: School’s Response to the 2016 Summary of Review

mlk, jr. charter school logo

January 11, 2016

Cliff Chuang, Associate Commissioner

Alison Bagg, Coordinator of Accountability

Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education

75 Pleasant St.

Malden, MA 02148
Dear Mr. Chuang and Ms. Bagg:
In January 2015 when recommending that MLK Charter School be placed on probation, Commissioner Chester wrote: “. . . short of clear evidence of academic improvement by the end of this year, MLK faces the prospect that I will recommend non-renewal in February 2016.”
MLK Charter School is pleased to report that we achieved significant academic improvement on the 2015 MCAS. (See grid below) This academic achievement shows every sign of continuing to improve during the 2015-2016 school year. We have a new, dynamic principal; we have committed an afternoon a week, every week, to professional development; and we reinforce the professional development through a cycle of observation in the classroom followed by debriefing by the principal and coaching by reading, writing, and math academic coaches. Much of this professional development is based on the methodology of the highly successful Uncommon Schools with its emphasis on academic rigor. An Uncommon Schools principal and a former Massachusetts charter school principal experienced in successful turn-around coach our principal. We are committed to working relentlessly to accomplish the academic excellence aspect of the MLK Charter School mission.
MLK Charter School achieved significant improvement on 2015 MCAS in all three subjects – English language arts, math, and science. The following chart shows the improvement as measured by DESE metrics.



ELA CPI (composite performance index)


Math CPI


Science CPI


ELA SGP (student growth percentile)


Math SGP


ELA % advanced and proficient

+ 9 %

Math % advanced and proficient

+ 9 %

Science % advanced and proficient

+10 %

School rank percentile


PPI for all students (progress and performance index)


PPI for high needs students


MLK’s academic program delivery improved in 2014-2015. Commissioner Chester wrote in January 2015 that: “. . . site visitors did note improvement from 2013 to 2014 and found that some changes to the academic program were in effect by October 2014.” The Commissioner noted improvement in curriculum, instruction, and the assessment system. These are three of the four key indicators for program delivery. The improvements in the program delivery contributed greatly to the improved 2015 MCAS performance noted above.

Charter renewal site visit: Charter renewal site visitors in November 2015 found further improvement in all four key indicators of program delivery: curriculum, instruction, assessment and program evaluation, and supports for diverse learners. Curriculum and supports for diverse learners now meet expectations, improved from last year’s partially meeting expectations. We are confident that this continuing improved program delivery will result in further improved student performance.
The Summary of Review reports that MLK Charter School meets expectations for curriculum, assessment and program evaluation, and supports for diverse learners. Although site visitors and the school administration believed that instruction in November only partially met expectations in classrooms taught by some of our newer teachers, our systematic improvement of the academic program has already generated progress since the site visit.
Level 1: In order to be a Level 1 school, a school must satisfy three requirements: (1) percentile ranking of at least 21st percentile, (2) PPI for all students of at least 75, and (3) PPI for high needs students of at least 75. MLK satisfies the second and third requirements, but not the first.
In 2015, MLK’s percentile ranking increased by 7 percentile to the 16th percentile. To leave Level 3 and be eligible for Level 1, MLK needs a 5-percentile increase. MLK already meets the other two requirements for Level 1. We are aiming to achieve Level 1 this spring. For the first two Achievement Network (ANet) assessments of the current school year (October and December), at grades 3, 4, and 5 MLK outscored the ANet network of schools in ELA (9%, 2%, and 6%) and math (19%, 10%, and 21%).
Eleven Springfield Public Schools (SPS) that serve elementary school students have a percentile ranking higher than 16. Eighteen SPS that serve elementary school students have a percentile ranking lower than 16.
Five SPS that serve elementary school students have a PPI for both all students and high needs students of at least 75. Twenty-six SPS that serve elementary school students do not meet both these requirements.
2015 student academic performance that we are proud of: Some of MLK’s 2015 student performance highlights are:

  • #1 among Massachusetts 5th grades – math SGP for African-Americans/blacks

  • #2 among Massachusetts elementary schools – math SGP for African-Americans/blacks

  • 7% warning/failing vs. 13% for state in 5th grade science

  • 4th grade SGP exceeded Springfield in ELA and math by 11-34 points for economically disadvantaged, African-American/black, Hispanic/Latino, and all students

  • #1 among Springfield elementary schools, 4th grades, and 5th grades – math SGP (growth) for economically disadvantaged students

  • #2 among Springfield elementary schools – math SGP for Hispanics/Latinos

  • #3 among Springfield 5th grades – science CPI for African-Americans/blacks

  • 52% proficient/advanced vs. 43% for state in 5th grade math for African-Americans/blacks

A few reasons that MLK Charter School is special: The MLK Charter School community is organized around our shared vision of Dr. King’s ideal “beloved community.” The school grew out of the mission of aspiring to Dr. King’s ideal of beloved community. The charter renewal site visit report and the Summary of Review both write about beloved community at MLK Charter School. Unusual features of MLK Charter School that enrich our young scholars’ lives and help achieve our mission of academic excellence, character development, and aspiring to Dr. King’s ideal of beloved community include:

  • The founders of MLK Charter School set out to serve a very high needs population and we accomplished that.

  • Our founders set out to have a diverse adult community at MLK Charter School. We are named “Martin Luther King, Jr.” because Dr. King’s values set a high standard for us. We accomplish that, not by tokenism, but by having more than 50% people-of-color among our adults – the teachers, school leaders, trustees, and staff. This is important for the scholars and their parents.

  • With our roots in the Martin Luther King, Jr. Community Center (now MLK Family Services) in Springfield, the founders of MLK Charter School set out to provide a wide range of services to meet the scholars’ needs. MLK has a large student support staff; the daily presence of our psychologist, adjustment counselor, speech language therapist, and nurse; graduate social work interns; the counseling, occupational therapy, and physical therapy services provided by partner agencies; and an after-school program operated by MLK Family Services. We accomplish the goal of providing extensive services.

  • Our founders wanted a school with strong roots in the Springfield area community. We accomplish that with our community-based board of trustees, local ties, partner organizations, and by being a good neighbor. Both Springfield Mayor Sarno and City Council President Fenton wrote letters to Commissioner Chester in support of renewing the charter of MLK Charter School.

  • We provide our scholars with a facility and grounds that differ from their neighborhoods. The Friends of Martin Luther King, Jr. Charter School of Excellence, Inc. owns our spacious, inviting school and the nine-plus acre site. Outdoors the scholars have a playground, paved play-area, playing field, and woods with nature trails. The scholars feel safe at MLK Charter School indoors and outdoors.

  • One day each month the principal leads character development activities for all scholars at each grade level focusing on that month’s Dr. King Value.

  • Many of the parents have a very strong, positive connection to MLK Charter School. 100-250 people attend each of our events such as Family Math Night and Family Literacy Night. Parents feel comfortable at the school. The school is always fully enrolled with a waiting list. Attrition is low – 7.2% for all students and 6.5% for high needs students. On the annual parent satisfaction survey, at least 95% of the respondents state that they are overall satisfied with MLK Charter School.

The trustees, faculty, and staff of MLK Charter School feel a tremendous sense of responsibility to the scholars whom we serve. We greatly appreciate the opportunity to educate them given to us by the Board and Department of Elementary and Secondary Education and the parents and guardians. We look forward to continuing to serve our scholars and their families and to striving even harder to accomplish our mission.


Alan M. Katz

Executive Director

P.S. According to our records and the October 1, 2015 SIMS report, the percentage of ELL students at MLK Charter School in 2015-2016 is greater than 9.0%.

285 Dorset Street  Springfield, MA 01108

Tel. (413) 214-7806  Fax (413) 214-7838

285 Dorset Street  Springfield, MA 01108

Tel. (413) 214-7806  Fax (413) 214-7838

285 Dorset Street  Springfield, MA 01108

Tel. (413) 214-7806  Fax (413) 214-7838

11 The names of each of these schools and additional subgroup detail can be found in the Charter Analysis and Review Tool (CHART),

2 The midpoint value of all comparison schools. This is derived using Microsoft Excel's MEDIAN function.

3 The first quartile is the middle number between the smallest number and the median of all comparison schools. This is derived using Microsoft Excel's QUARTILE function.

4 The comparison index provides a comparison figure derived from data of students who reside within the charter school’s sending district(s). The comparison index is a statistically calculated value designed to produce a fairer and more realistic comparison measure that takes into account the charter school’s size and the actual prevalence of student subgroups within only those grade levels in common with the charter school.

5 The Gap Narrowing Target (GNT) refers to the halfway point between the school’s baseline rate (which is the rate in the 2010-11 school year, or the first year enrollment data is collected if after 2010-11,) and the current Comparison Index (the “target”). The object is to meet this halfway point by the 2016-17 school year (or in a later year if baseline is after 2010-11), giving the school six years to do so. For a school to be on schedule to meet its GNT, an incremental increase must be met annually. To determine this increment, the following equation is used: [(Comparison Index – Baseline) / 2] / 6 years = Annual GNT.

6 The percentage of attrition, or rate at which enrolled students leave the school between the end of one school year and the beginning of the next.

7 A student is high needs if he or she is designated as either low income, or ELL, or former ELL, or a student with disabilities. A former ELL student is a student not currently an ELL, but had been at some point in the two previous academic years.

* 2014-2015 is the first year for which the category “Economically Disadvantaged” is being reported, replacing the “Low-income,” “Free Lunch” and “Reduced Lunch” categories used in 2013-2014 and earlier. It is important for users of this data to understand that enrollment percentages and achievement data for "economically disadvantaged" students cannot be directly compared to "Low-income" data in prior years. Please see for important information about the new “Economically Disadvantaged” category.


Share with your friends:
1   2   3   4   5   6   7

The database is protected by copyright © 2020
send message

    Main page