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State to Take Control of Holyoke’s Morgan School

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(WGGB) – A decision announced by the state Wednesday has a Holyoke school facing state oversight.

Holyoke’s Morgan School joins two schools in Boston and one school in New Bedford as officially classified Wednesday as ‘Level 5’, or chronically underperforming.

The designation, which comes after a public hearing earlier this month, triggers a state governance of the school.

Morgan School had been designated as a ‘Level 4’- or underperforming – school in 2010, and was given three years to improve its performance under their own turnaround plan.

After the state announced in September that standardized test scores didn’t show enough improvement, Mass. Elementary and Secondary Education Commissioner Mitchell Chester recommended that Morgan be deemed ‘Level 5’ in September, but the final decision on the school’s status would come only after a public hearing was held.

Chester will now convene a local stakeholder group within 30 days, make a turnaround plan, direct the Superintendent of Schools or an appointed receiver to implement the plan, and evaluate the school at least once a year.

“While the educators and students in these schools have been working hard, these are schools that can and should be doing better. The authorities and tools provided in the Achievement Gap Act will allow me to implement managerial and operational changes at these schools necessary to rapidly improve outcomes for all students,” Chester explains in a statement.

Until Chester comes up with a turnaround plan, Morgan School and the others designated as ‘Level 5’ will continue to operate under their current ‘Level 4’ plans.

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WGGB encourages readers to share their thoughts and engage in healthy dialogue about the issues. Comments containing personal attacks, profanity, offensive language or advertising will be removed. Please use the report comment function for any posts you feel should be reviewed. Thank you.
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