Saturday, February 27, 2016

Soliciting Public Comment on Draft Digital Literacy and Computer Science Standards:

The Board of Elementary and Secondary Education voted on January 26, 2016 to solicit public comment on the draft Digital Literacy and Computer Science standards. Public input is an important part of developing state learning standards and will help to refine the standards before the Board votes on adopting them. The public comment period is open through April 8, 2016.The draft standards and a survey to submit comment are available online.

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Educator Evaluation Ratings

Educator evaluation ratings for FY15 produced under the state Educator Evaluation Framework indicate that most educators continue to earn Proficient ratings. Although this year is the third educator evaluation cycle, it is the first year in which all educators in all districts were expected to participate. The results are intended to assist individual districts in gauging whether expectations for high-quality instruction are consistent district-wide. The findings suggest that districts are using the framework to identify high-performing educators, while shortening timelines for struggling educators to improve. Improvement among lower-performing educators was also indicated. Eventually, educators will receive two ratings, a Summative Performance Rating and a Student Impact Rating. Every educator evaluated in FY15 received a Summative Performance Rating. Some districts will begin issuing Student Impact Ratings following the FY16 school year. Our state’s dual emphasis on feedback about both practice and student learning impact to inform professional growth is unique in the nation among educator evaluation frameworks.  The formal press release can be found here:

Friday, February 12, 2016

School Leader's Guide to the 2015 Accountability Determinations

ESE has developed a School Leader’s Guide to the 2015 Accountability Determinations. The Guide is intended to help district and school leaders understand Massachusetts’ accountability measures, and provides an explanation of the information contained in 2015 district and school accountability reports. For questions, email

Monday, February 8, 2016

Massachusetts Ranked 1st!

Ed Week's  Quality Counts ranked Massachusetts 1st overall among the 50 states and Washington, DC.  Massachusetts was ranked 1st for students' overall chance for success, and K-12 student achievement, and 12th for school finance.  The full article can be found here:

Thursday, February 4, 2016

Upcoming College Readiness and Dropout Prevention Webinars

Ø  February 9, 2016   3:00pm – 4:00pm   Annual Graduation and Drop Out Rate Presentation 
The webinar includes two main parts:
1) Department staff will highlight state results and trends for graduation and dropout rates
2) A district that has made positive results in their dropout and graduation rate will share their strategy and activities over the last few years

Ø  March 8th   3:00pm – 4:00pm   Early College Pathways
This webinar will focus on some of the basics as well as some emerging best practices in early college designs.

Ø  April 12th   3:00pm – 4:00pm  Graduation Coaches and Other Adult Advocates
This webinar will provide an overview of graduation coach and other adult advocate models, as well as provide district examples of implementation.

Ø  May 10th   3:00pm – 4:00pm   Career Development Education: Awareness, Exploration and Immersion
This webinar will be focused on career development education and in particular, the “career readiness” part of the “college and career readiness” agenda

Their office is also hosting a Drop Out Prevention and Re Engagement Work Group Meeting will be held on March 30th at the Double Tree in Leominster.  Jonathan Zaff, Executive Director of the Center for Promise at Boston University will be the keynote speaker.  He will be presenting Don’t Quit On Me a report from the Center for Promise that examines, from the perspective of young people themselves, the roles that relationships with adults and peers play in decisions about staying in, leaving and returning to high school.  A registration link for this will be sent out to districts in the next few weeks.  Districts interested in learning more about the working group should visit this page on the ESE Website.    If districts have questions, they can contact Nyal Fuentes ( or Lise Harney ( for more information.

Monday, February 1, 2016