A Letter to the BLA Community

Dear Boston Latin Academy Community:

The Massachusetts Department of Elementary & Secondary Education (DESE) has released its annual accountability report that shows Boston Latin Academy has again exceeded its accountability targets, Progress and Performance Index (PPI), in every category and every subject area. Most notably, the PPI average across all BLA groups (6 subgroups) is 91 out of 100. Also, the school’s PPI for our high-needs subgroup is 87. However, we are disappointed to learn that Boston Latin Academy has been re-classified by DESE from a Level 1 to a Level 2 school.

All Massachusetts schools and districts with sufficient data are classified into one of five accountability and assistance levels (1 – 5), with the highest performing in Level 1 and the lowest performing in Level 5. For a school to be classified into Level 1, the cumulative Progress and Performance Index for both the “all students” group and “high-needs” group must be 75 or higher. A school will be classified into Level 2 if it has low assessment participation rates for any group (between 90% and 94%).

Notwithstanding exceeding the state’s minimum index core of 75 for both our all-students group and high-needs subgroup for Level 1 classification, BLA has been classified a Level 2 school due to our high-needs students’ participation rate falling to 90%, below the state’s required 95%. This decrease in their participation rate resulted from three high-needs students not participating in the assessment. BLA has a total of 29 high-needs students, 26 of whom took the assessment.  I am also very proud to note that several of these students are among the highest scoring on the assessment in their respective classes. I am disappointed that BLA’s classification level has declined, and because of this I wrote a letter of appeal to retain BLA’s Level 1 classification, which was endorsed by Boston Public Schools, to Mitchell Chester, the Commissioner of Elementary & Secondary Education.

Respectfully,

Troy P. Henninger
Head Master

Chimdi Uchendu
Assistant Head Master