Friday, January 14, 2011

An Old Mission Statement from the 2003-2004 Annual Report

Recently we published current MCAS scores and MVRCS approach at addressing prior years MCAS scores in comparison to current year scores. We find ourselves drawn back time and time again to the very unnecessarily complex manner in which they have adopted when discussing their scores in Annual Reports.
The term 'weighted composite average' seems like convoluted double speak. In an effort to unravel or make sense of their smoke screen, we began looking for a definition. We found the following definition for 'weighted average' at

A weighted average multiplies each data point by an arbitrary 'weight' and divides by the sum of the weights. Your everyday garden variety average, or arithmetic mean, is actually a special case of a weighted average, except all the weights are equal to 1.

Selection of weights are largely arbitrary but generally based on sound reasoning (e.g. relative population sizes). As another example, let's say you have 5 reviewers of a product giving their overall satisfaction rating. The scores are 9, 7, 6, 7, 3. However you have a very high regard for Reviewer 1 so you assign her a weight of 15 (and the others remain at weight=1).
The average score is (9+7+6+7+3)/5=6.4
The weighted average score is (15*9+7+6+7+3)/(15+4)=8.3
The weighted average is much closer to Review 1's opinion due to your weighting decision.
And we found the definition for composite at
and thought the the 'combining the typical or essential characteristics of individuals making up a group' definition was the most fitting. 

Ok, so now that we have a better understanding of a 'weighted composite average', the question must be asked why it should matter which sending district a student is from when considering test scores. Even more interesting is that while poking through the 2003-2004 Annual Report we came across their Mission Statement. It was then that we realized how conflicting their Mission Statement from 2003-2004 and their current method for analyzing and presenting MCAS scores within their Annual Report. If, as their Mission Statement claims they provide a "world-class education" where "a first-rate education is the birthright of every child, that all children can learn, and that every child should be challenged to reach his or her full potential then why does it matter which sending district a child is from? AND, we must ask, was this before Kathy Kinnon took over as the Special Education Director (or Coordinator) and the schools diverse learners started failing miserably? Further, given the numbers that we presented in earlier posts, we found most interesting the comment "demonstrate the heights of academic achievement that public schools can routinely attain when the advantages of charter school governance are coupled with new academic standard." Hmmm, given their current standing on unweighted,  uncomposited, and unaveraged scores it is no wonder that this is no longer part of their Mission Statement. Too bad they couldn't find a way to revert back to their founding principles.

From the MVRCS 2003-2004 Annual Report
To establish a school which provides the opportunity of a world-class education. The prime characteristics being a well mannered disciplined and structured academic environment. One which promotes and incorporates certain core virtues, as well as, our common American culture, both which are embodied in our Declaration of Independence and our United States Constitution.
The Mystic Valley Regional Charter School was founded on the following principal:
  •  That a first-rate education is the birthright of every child,
  •  That all children can learn,
  • That every child should be challenged to reach his or her full potential.
The overachieving goals of the school are to:

Demonstrate the heights of academic achievement that public schools can routinely attain when the advantages of charter school governance are coupled with new academic standard,

Offer area families new choices in public education,

Create new professional opportunities for teachers that permit them to succeed,

Graduate well educated, civic minded, principal adults capable of thoughtful, logical reasoning.

The Mission Statement from the 2008-2009 Annual Report found at What happened to the Mission Statement from 2003-2004?

Mission Statement

            The mission of the Mystic Valley Regional Charter School is to provide the opportunity of a world class education characterized by a well mannered, disciplined and structured academic climate. Central to Mystic Valley’s academic environment is the incorporation of selected core virtues and the fundamental ideals of our American Culture, which are embodied in the Declaration of Independence and the United States Constitution


  1. As a teacher there the statement that I find the most entertaining is the one that claims "Create new professional opportunities for teachers that permit them to succeed".
    They allow their teachers to succeed???? Somewhere else I read that something about great professional development and mentoring....not sure what school or dream world they were living in but not at the MVRCS school that I work at! PD is a joke, if a teacher tries to do right by their students, speak out of turn to a parent, or seek assistance from the Admin, they are quickly shown the door (hence the high turnover). What a joke.

  2. If your a teacher THEIR I'm pulling my can't even spell right sooo sad.

  3. To Anonymous @ January 15 11:08PM
    In defense of the posting in question, YOU are mistaken...If you are referring to the first statement "as a teacher there" (i.e. who works there) -
    per wiki @,-Their-and-They%27re
    "Use there when referring to a place, whether concrete ("over there by the building") or more abstract ("it must be difficult to live there")."
    "Use their to indicate possession. It is a possessive adjective and indicates that a particular noun belongs to them.
    Their things were strewn about the office haphazardly"

  4. I am speaking for the parents who actually support this school....the people that have started this blog are a joke. You make yourselves look like losers. If I was ever as unhappy as you are I would NEVER, EVER send my kids to this school. LEAVE!!!!! Give the 1000+ kids on the waitlist a chance to become a part of the "community" that we should be. Your an embarrassment to your kids. Cowards.

  5. If we are a joke for wanting better for our kids then shame on you. Are you NOT disturbed at the decrease in MCAS scores? Why should we leave, why should we not be given an opportunity to be heard? We aren't just fighting or blogging for our kids, we're advocating for all the kids (even those parents that don't enough to be concerned). We didn't just randomly decide to start an unofficial blog as a means of voicing our issues but rather were forced into as a result of the Board and Administration being corrupt, dismissive, and indifferent to parents concerns and issues. This behavior would never be tolerated in our public district schools and neither should it be at our public charter schools.
    BTW, you mixed up there and their and WE look like losers?

  6. do look like losers. Thanks for asking.

  7. Gee Andrew, don't hold back!
    Interesting that parents who send their kids there subject them to longer days and school year in the hopes of their child getting the best education possible. While we don't think that MCAS scores are the end all be all in determining a schools success or failure rate, we do think that they are a useful indicator. Many of us used MCAS scores when determining where to send our children. The fact that the scores are dropping and/or are not holding up against other schools is cause for concern (in our eyes). Again, we're not talking about uniforms or homework signatures here, we're talking about academics. It is amazing to us that some parents are SO unwilling to even consider the issues that we present here. How being concerned, vested, and objective parents who want the best for our kids makes us losers is beyond us.
    But then again, we're sure you meant your last comment in jest as we know you truly only want the best for your children as well.

  8. What about a SAT comparison?

    Keep up the good work UNOfficial MVRCS.....

    What I don't understand is why people who think you are a joke take the time to read and post here......

  9. Sat scores - the DESE only have 2008-2009 scores published and MVRCS did ok but with only 38 students we would have hoped they would have done exceptionally well.
    SCHOOL Tests Taken Reading Writing Math
    Everett - Everett High 208 433 432 445
    Malden - Malden High 266 465 466 490
    Medford - Medford High 223 490 504 506
    Medford - Medford Voc Tech High 20 378 393 405
    Melrose - Melrose High 154 510 517 520
    Mystic Valley Regional Charter School 38 519 509 525
    Stoneham - Stoneham High 149 491 481 496
    Wakefield - Wakefield Memorial High 188 517 526 523

  10. To the poster @ 7:19pm - what we don't understand is why they are so blindly loyal to the school. If the school were doing great things, heads and tails above all sending districts that would be one thing but between the treatment of parents, the less than ideal scores, and the corruption that is having negative implications on all of the students, it doesn't make sense. Especially when they call us names and become angry with us. They are just the type of parents that the Board and Administration want, too insecure, blindly loyal and unwilling to see beyond the propaganda the school puts out. Oh well, to each their own.

  11. The SAT scores are quite disappointing considering the longer school day and year.

    The Mission Statement that the school was founded on seems to have been forgotten. It's very sad that parents of students entering the school are lead to believe that their child will get the best education around.

  12. Thanks for the SAT scores proves the Schools Point. Unfortunately you don't understand how statistically better they are than the sending Districts combined. Your only legitimate point is that the number is a small sample size. By the way where did the majority of those kids attend school and what percentage took the SAT. Bet its a lot closer to 100% than in Malden, Medford and Everett which is where the majority reside. You'll never provide that info since it won't fit your thesis.

  13. Very interesting article in the Boston Globe today. It's nice to see that the media is finally catching on to charter school antics:

  14. Very telling comment "media catching on to Charter School antics" Hmm wonder who you work for... Teachers Union. Bet this comment doesn't make the cut but we all know now.

  15. To January 18, 2011 10:13 PM. No union my friend. Just a smart, former parent, who has done their homework and knows for a fact that charter schools, especially MVRCS alters their reports.