Thursday, May 30, 2013

Opportunity to work on DDM Anchor Standards

The following is from my colleague, Abbey Dick, our GBDSAC Literacy Specialist, as posted on her blog. Please contact Abbey for more information at

"During the 2013-2014 school year, all Commonwealth districts will be selecting and piloting District-Determined Measures (DDMs). These measures are a critical component of the educator evaluation system in providing educators in all grades and subjects with data about their students' growth.  The goal is for districts to implement DDMs for teachers in all grades and subjects, including Comprehensive Health, World Languages, and the Arts, during the 2014-15 school year. At the end of the 2015-16 school year, districts will be expected to use the DDMs they selected to determine an Impact Rating for each educator. The Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (ESE) is partnering with WestEd for the collection, evaluation and posting of assessments that districts may elect to use as DDMs in various grades, subjects, or courses.

The first step in this process is to convene panels of educators at face-to-face meetings to review anddevelop anchor standards for the state’s “non-tested” grades and subjects. These anchor standards will be at the foundation of the DDM selection process, as assessments aligned to the anchor standards will be eligible for designation as one of ESE’s exemplar DDMs. All meetings will be held in Massachusetts in June and July, 2013.

We now are actively recruiting panelists for these meetings.
Panelists for the first of four meetings will be confirmed by Tuesday, June 4, so please act promptly to nominate qualified colleagues or to indicate your own interest in participating. Those with instructional and curricular expertise - experienced teachers, content specialists, curriculum coordinators, and instructional coaches - will contribute essential skills and knowledge to the anchor standards development process. Panel participants will receive a $450 honorarium and have the opportunity to inform next steps in the implementation of the emerging Model System for Educator Evaluation."

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

ESE Security Portal Updates

From the latest Commissioner's Update
"Over the next two weeks, ESE will install a new Identity Management System to bring the Security Portal in line with the Commonwealth's new standards around secure access. Phase 1 of the implementation will begin on June 1with some of the more heavily used applications (e.g., SIMS, EPIMS, ELAR). We expect to complete installation on all applications by June 9. Please note that the Security Portal will not be accessible to any users over the weekend of June 1-2. During the week of June 3, the Security Portal will be available, but users may have to log in twice if they are attempting to access an application that has migrated to the new system or one that is still undergoing an update. Users will continue to use their existing usernames and passwords to access the new system, and there is no need to change either credential. Thank you in advance for your patience and understanding should this update cause you or your staff any inconvenience."

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

DDMs - "Technical Guide A: Considerations Regarding DDMs" Now Available

From the May 17 Commissioner's Weekly Update:

Technical Guide A, a supplement to Part VII of the Mass. Model Educator Evaluation System, is now available at The guide describes key assessment concepts that district teams should consider when selecting district-determined measures. It also provides guidance on how to select or modify existing assessments and how to build a new assessment.

Friday, May 10, 2013

PARCC Test Specifications

Lots of information this week! This tidbit is from DESE's most recent Student Assessment Services newsletter.

"Last week, the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC) released a set of test specification documents to help educators and the public better understand the design of the new PARCC English language arts/literacy and mathematics assessments. The documents include blueprints and evidence statement tables. Blueprints describe the content and structure of an assessment by defining the total number of tasks and/or items for any given test component, the standards measured, the item types, and the point values for each. Evidence statement tables describe the knowledge and skills that a test item or a task is measuring. To view the newly released test specifications, go to"

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Ed Eval Data Collection - Quick Reference Guide

ESE released another educator evaluation "Quick Reference Guide", or QRG. This latest QRG focuses on the data districts will be reporting to ESE and the timeline for reporting. You can find it on the Educator Evaluation homepage

Stay up-to-date! If you don't receive the Educator Evaluation newsletter, you can sign up on the newsletter page and check out past editions. 

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

WIDA Webinars - Interpreting and Using Score Reports

From the most recent DESE Student Assessment Services newsletter:

The Department will present three 2-hour webinar workshops on interpreting and using the WIDA score reports. The dates are  May 23 (9a.m),  May 28 (1p.m) and  May 29 (9a.m.).

Registration information is posted at 

Print copies of ACCESS for ELLs test results will be mailed to schools on May 16 and should arrive by May 22. Results will also be posted to the Security Portal at

Additional information about ACCESS for ELLs 2013 reporting, including parent letters and translated Parent/Guardian Reports, has been posted at