Monday, May 1, 2017

Educators Needed! MCAS Panel Standard Setting

Beginning August 14, 2017, the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education will conduct a week-long standard setting event for the next-generation MCAS tests in grades 3–8 ELA and mathematics. The standard setting will be conducted by panels of Massachusetts educators and other stakeholders, working in coordination with expert facilitators. We are pleased to invite educators and stakeholders from across the state to apply to participate on one of these panels.

Panelists will be organized into six committees: grades 3–4 ELA, grades 5–6 ELA, grades 7–8 ELA, grades 3–4 mathematics, grades 5–6 mathematics, and grades 7–8 mathematics. Each panel will consist of 20–24 members, divided into tables of 4–5 panelists, one of which will serve as a table leader.

More information, including the application and online survey, can be found here:

Friday, April 28, 2017

5DP Educator Showcase- Register Today!

The Five District Partnership is hosting its first-ever Educator Showcase on Thursday, May 25th from 5-7pm at the Winthrop High School. This free event will feature educators from all five districts (Chelsea, Everett, Malden, Revere, Winthrop) sharing examples of their work -- how they're supporting students, collaborating and thinking creatively. Presentations at the Showcase will include:

"Gimme the Codes: Introducing Coding in the Classroom"
by Damian DeMarco,
Computer Science Teacher, SeaCoast High School, Revere Public Schools
"Increasing Mathematical Discourse"
by Chris Fitzpatrick, Elementary Math Coach,
Beebe/Forestdale Elementary School, Malden Public Schools
"Empowering ELL Students by Turning the Tables: ELL Students Teaching Teachers"
by Sarah Harrington, English Language Learner History and Social
Studies Teacher, Chelsea High School, Chelsea Public Schools
"Guided Math to Reach All Students"
by Ryan Heraty, Principal, Dawn Letterie, Math
Coach, Kristen Reynolds, Third Grade Teacher, and Courtney Pino, Special Education Teacher, Arthur T. Cummings Elementary School, Winthrop Public Schools
“Increasing Awareness Beyond the Classroom: The Genocide Research Project"
Amanda Judd, English Language Arts Teacher, Brandi Coffey, English Language
Teacher, Riley Dunn, English Language Arts Teacher, Michael Scarfo, English Language Arts Teacher, Everett High School, Everett Public Schools
"Transition in Action: Supporting Student Dreams"
by Karen Suttle, School Social
Worker, SeaCoast High School, Revere Public Schools
“Taking Risks, One Poem at a Time"
by Althea Terenzi, English Language Arts
Teacher, Revere High School, Revere Public Schools
To register for this event click here.

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

New Updates from Next Generation MCAS

Last week, the Board of Elementary and Secondary Education approved the revised descriptors for the new Next Generation MCAS assessment performance levels.  Scores will fall into the following four categories:
  • Exceeding Expectations
  • Meeting Expectations
  • Partially Meeting Expectations
  • Not Meeting Expectations.
The legacy grade 10 MCAS will continue to use the existing descriptors (Advanced, Proficient, Needs Improvement, Warning) until the Next Generation grade 10 MCAS is adopted. For more information on the descriptors, click on the following link:
Additionally, ESE has confirmed the following data highlights for the 2016-2017 MCAS layout:
  • Item analysis will be back!
  • Students will receive a percentile ranking in the state for math and ELA separately.
  • Students will receive an SGP in ELA and math (with the exception in grade 3).

Friday, March 31, 2017

Opportunity to Have Your Voices Heard: SEI Guidance Project

The Office of English Language Acquisition (OELAAA) at the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (ESE) in the early stages of developing a Sheltered English Immersion (SEI) Guidance Project, tht will include statewide programmatic and curricular guidance, as well as 8 SEI Model Curriculum Units (MCUs). 

They need your help, and are seeking the voices and expertise of educators working with English Learners (ELs) to support this project. To find our more information  and review a project description or to apply, click on the link here:


Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Massachusetts Adopts Revised English Language Arts Standards!!!

This morning, the Board of Elementary and Secondary Education voted unanimously to adopt revised learning standards in math and in English language arts and literacy.
In English language arts and literacy, the changes include:
         Multiple cross-references to make the reading, writing, speaking and listening, and language standards more coherent;
         Instructional examples and samples of student writing from Massachusetts classrooms to clarify the meaning of the standards; and
         An explanation of how literacy instruction — particularly in the early elementary years — is intertwined with mathematics, science, social studies, the arts, and other subjects in a well-balanced curriculum.

Stay tuned for opportunities to learn more about the implementation of the revised standards coming soon from ESE!

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Three Professional Development Opportunities from OELAAA

OELAAA is happy to announce an opportunity for qualified K-12 instructional coaches and teachers to apply for a seat in no-cost courses sponsored by the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (ESE):
  • Integrating SEI into Literacy Coaching - For Literacy and SEI/ELL Coaches 
  • Integrating SEI into Mathematics Coaching - For Math Coaches
  • Six Standards of Effective Pedagogy in SEI Literacy and Math Instruction - For math teachers and teachers responsible for literacy instruction

The coaching courses are based on the Six Standards of Effective Pedagogy Coaching Framework, and are part of the state’s Extending the Learning phase of RETELL. They focus on the roles of the coach in supporting, expanding, and sustaining effective standards-aligned practices and SEI practices both, in diverse classrooms with ELLs, and supporting long-term integration of sheltered instruction into core instruction through instructional coaching.

The companion teacher course prepares teachers to use enduring principles of learning to shelter instruction for English Language Learners (ELLs) in Pre-K-12 classrooms. 

Priority will be given to applicants applying together to take the course as a Coach/Teacher team.

Application deadline: March 1, 2017

Course dates: June 21-30, 2017 (coaches), June 21-27, 2017 (Teachers) 

View application information on the MATSOL website...

Wednesday, February 1, 2017

Next Generation MCAS Practice Tests POSTED!

Finally, the moment many of you have been anxiously waiting for, the Assessment Team at ESE is pleased to announce that the majority of the Next Generation MCAS ELA practice tests and draft rubrics have been posted! To access these resources, click here:

 The practice tests are currently available in two formats: paper-based tests (PBT) and computer-based tests (CBT).   Grades 7 & 8 should be posted within the next week.