Saturday, August 26, 2017

In the News: Franklin native commands ship; Waiver sought for MCAS alternative

From the Milford Daily News, articles of interest for Franklin:

"The salty sea air, the never-ending expanse of blue, and the unmistakable beep on the sonar displaying a minefield off in the distance. 
Though not a typical day at work for Franklin native and commanding officer of the U.S.S. Champion, Joshua Kristenson, it’s something he’s been trained for and it’s the main focus of his job in San Diego, California. 
The 26-year-old vessel is 244-feet long and is an Avenger class mine-countermeasure ship. Her primary purpose is to detect and detonate sea mines. 
USS CHAMPION - ship's crest
USS CHAMPION - ship's crest
“Mine warfare is somewhat slow and unglamorous. It’s not shooting missiles out of space, and I’ve been on ships that can do that,” he said with a chuckle. “It’s slow and methodical, and extraordinarily vital when it comes to keeping sea-lines of communication open and protecting America and our interests.”

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Additional info on Lt Commander Kristenson and the U.S.S. Champion

"New federal limits on the number of students allowed to take an alternative to the state’s MCAS exam could have significant impacts for some special education students in Massachusetts. 
The federal Every Student Succeeds Act, the successor to No Child Left Behind, includes a requirement that no more than 1 percent of public school students in any state take the alternative assessment instead of the state’s standardized exam. Proponents of the cap say the vast majority of special education students are able to take the standard exam with accommodations, and that taking the alternative assessment in early grades could put students on a track that could delay or hinder the eventual attainment of a high school diploma. 
In Massachusetts, more than 1.6 percent of students currently take the alternative assessment, or MCAS-Alt, primarily due to severe cognitive disabilities. 
“Obviously, if a student is required to take MCAS, even with accommodations, if it’s not developmentally appropriate for the student, it’s going to have an impact on them,” said Jim Major, executive director of the Massachusetts Association of Approved Private Schools, an organization of schools that educates severely disabled students whose educational needs cannot be met by their public schools."

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