Wednesday, September 13, 2017

College & Career Readiness Data Tools

School and District Profiles and Edwin reports are home to a wealth of data resources, including College and Career Readiness data.  To learn how to access and use these tools, the MA Department of Elementary and Secondary Education has developed five short videos to help educators understand students' college and career readiness.  These tools can be found on the Department's College and Career Readiness website.

Monday, September 11, 2017

New ESE Science Networks

Science and Technology/Engineering Networks
Elementary Science Networks
Time on Science: Creating Robust Elementary Science Programs

Who should attend:
Registration for this network is closed for 2017–2018. ESE plans to expand these networks in 20182019. Look for new principal network openings in spring 2018.

Location and dates:
Worcester (9/29, 12/1, 3/16, 6/1)  


Nicole Scola,

The 2016 Science and Technology/Engineering (STE) Framework presents grade-by-grade standards for elementary school that include all STE disciplines tied together by a grade-level theme. This specificity fosters new opportunities for elementary school principals to push for more time on science in their pre-K–5 classrooms. The STE Framework emphasizes that many instructional models can effectively engage students in STE learning, and that STE instruction may be a dedicated time in the school schedule or integrated with instruction of other subjects. This network brings together principals from across the state to develop customized strategic plans for STE in their schools. Principals will work cross-district to develop and promote a vision for their science programs, instructional models and school-wide science instructional practices, high-quality assessment tasks, and professional learning opportunities for teachers.

Middle Grades Science Networks
Aligning STE Assessments to the Middle Grades STE Standards

Who should attend:
STE curriculum directors, department heads and/or lead teachers for grades 5–8

Locations and dates:
Group 1: Northampton (10/27, 1/30)
Group 2: Worcester (10/25, 1/23)  
Group 3: Boston (10/26, 1/25) 

*Each group will participate in a virtual meeting between the two meetings and a culminating virtual meeting in the spring.


Craig Waterman, 

The 2016 Science and Technology/Engineering (STE) Framework presents grade-by-grade performance standards that state what middle school (grades 68) students should be able to do as a result of instruction. This network aims to develop highly effective assessment tasks to measure student mastery of these standards, both the disciplinary core ideas and the STE practices. Network members will use ESE’s Assessment Literacy Continuum tool to evaluate sample tasks and to create and critique their own assessment tasks for middle grades performance standards.  


Urban Science Leaders Network
Developing Authentic STE Assessments K–12

Who should attend:
Urban science leaders

Location and dates:
Marlborough (10/5, 11/14, 1/24, 2/8, 4/10, 6/13)


Marianne Dunne,

For 20172018, the ongoing Urban Science Leaders network will focus on developing and curating highly effective K12 assessment tasks that measure mastery of both disciplinary core ideas and science and engineering practices. The network will operate as smaller working groups focused on tasks that link to specific domains, STE practices, cross-cutting concepts, and grade bands. Network members will use these assessments within their districts to catalyze highly effective instruction that deeply engages students at all levels with the 2016 STE Framework’s performance standards.  

Thursday, September 7, 2017

New interactive parent guide to the next-generation MCAS

The Department has an interactive next-generation MCAS guide that provides helpful tips for parents on:
  • how test results are used to support teaching and learning
  • the ways the next-generation MCAS test better measures the critical skills students need for success in the 21st century
  • the new scoring categories, and
  • how to seek support for their child.