Parents, Staff at Holyoke’s Morgan Elementary Ask to Keep Control

Parents, staff, and administrators at Morgan Elementary School in Holyoke, Massachusetts made their pitch last night to stop the school from going into state control.

MORNING EDITION EXTRA: Holyoke school disappointment

Morgan Elementary is poised to become a Level 5 school, meaning state administrators could take control and implement a plan to boost student performance. Massachusetts Education Commissioner Mitchell Chester says he’s likely to order a takeover. He says few students at the school are at grade level in reading and math.

“That result is not improving, despite a lot of effort to turn the school around, and despite substantial investment of federal and state dollars in trying to improve the school,” Chester says.

Speakers at the hearing stressed that outside factors like poverty, homelessness, and the large population of non-native english speakers are added challenges. Rosa Cabrera is a parent of two Morgan students. She says parents need to be more involved.

“I feel kind of upset because teachers here do the work as much as they can, they try to teach the students,” she says. “But I feel like if the parents will be more involved with the school, and help the teacher like a team, it will be better.”

Cabrera and others at the meeting repeatedly asked Commissioner Chester to allow the school to go without state intervention, but he did not sound like he’d been swayed.