Audit Finds Some Northampton Nonprofit Education Service Providers Have Not Been Licensed or Evaluated

BOSTON (WWLP) – An audit published by the Office of State Auditor Suzanne M. Bump (OSA) of the Collaborative for Educational Services (CES) found that some of its active and former educators were unlicensed appropriate state or had not completed the required annual teacher appraisals. .

CES is a Northampton non-profit organization that provides educational support services to school districts in Franklin and Hampshire counties.

The full audit report is available here.

The audit examined the organization’s records from July 1, 2017 to March 31, 2019. The auditors found that 18 CES educators did not have licenses or exemptions issued by DESE for subjects and / or levels for which they were hired to teach. At least four of them either had no license at all or had been exempted from teaching when they were hired. Under DESE regulations, a superintendent or person with similar authority in an educational collective, such as CES, can apply for a waiver for a teacher who shows the educator’s satisfactory progress toward licensure. . The audit notes that some active and former CES educators went without a DESE license or exemption for periods of 55 to 507 days.

The audit also found that during the 2017-18 school year, CES did not ensure that 30 of its educators met all of the annual teacher assessment requirements. Of the educators reviewed, 8 did not complete self-assessments, 6 did not complete goal setting forms, and 18 did not keep documentation of progress towards goals. Additionally, some CES employees who conducted teacher evaluations did so without receiving proper authorization, did not systematically observe teachers during the school year, and did not complete all evaluations. written formal. The audit notes that this had a direct impact on CES ‘ability to meaningfully assess teacher performance.

The audit found that DESE’s contract with CES did not contain the provisions required under the Federal Disability Education Act, which guarantees the right of every student with a disability to receive free and appropriate public education. The audit encourages CES to work with DESE and the Department of Youth Services to ensure that these educational requirements are met.

The report found that improper licensing and teacher assessments can result in students receiving substandard education. In its response, the ETUC said it would work with the state, including the Department of Primary and Secondary Education (DESE), to better streamline the licensing process for teachers and improve its oversight of assessments. annual educators.

The ETUC provides educational services to 36 member school districts in Franklin and Hampshire counties and to institutions across the state. It is one of 25 educational cooperatives operating across the Commonwealth. CES is governed by a Board of Directors made up of one representative from each of the 36 member districts. During the audit, it had 977 full-time and part-time employees. In fiscal 2019, he received $ 39,878,917 in total revenue from various state agencies, including the Department of Youth Services, DESE, Department of Education and Early Childhood Care, and the Minister of Public Health.

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