Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Boston EdTalks

Earlier this month, Boston held its 5th annual EdTalks, a convening of teachers to share brief presentations of best practices from across the state.  Check out the EdTalk videos from this year's teacher presenters, as well as previous presentations including: From Data to Action: Early Warning Indicators to Design Student Support Systems.

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Applications for ESE's Teacher and Principal Advisory Cabinets

Applications for ESE’s Teacher and Principal Advisory Cabinets Due May 31st
The Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education is currently accepting applications for the 2016-17 Teacher and Principal Advisory Cabinets. Educators on these cabinets provide crucial feedback and input on ESE policies and resources. Members increase their knowledge of state education policies, build relationships with educators across the state, and position themselves as go-to resources and leaders in their districts. Additionally, members will work closely with ESE staff on a year-long project aligned with a key educator effectiveness initiative.

Applications are due Tuesday, May 31st 2016.

·         The Teacher Advisory Cabinets are open to all educators who work with students across grade levels and content areas—including specialists, coaches, and specialized instructional support personnel.
·         The Principal Advisory Cabinets are open to all school-level administrators, including principals, assistant principals, department chairs, and charter school leaders.
·         When applying, educators will have the option to select a Cabinet in the eastern part of the state (meeting in Malden) or the central/western part of the state (meeting west of Worcester).

Applications are available at To learn more about the Cabinets, you can watch this short video of Cabinet members talking about their experiences and check out the 2014-15 Teacher Advisory Cabinet Summary and Principal Advisory Cabinets Summary.

Monday, May 16, 2016

2016-2017 Next Generation MCAS Testing Schedule Released

  • One Extended Window for Grades 3-8
    Traditionally, MCAS testing has been separated into two administration periods: an early window for English Language Arts, and a later window for Mathematics and Science and Technology/Engineering (STE).
    Beginning in 2017, grades 3-8 tests in ELA, Mathematics, and STE will be administered during one extended window for all subject area tests. This minimizes the number of interruptions during the school year and allows more time for schools doing computer-based testing.
    In fall 2016, the Department will provide additional guidance on administering grades 3-8 tests, such as the number and length of test sessions, whether sessions will be generously timed, and whether there will be a prescribed order for testing.
  • High School Test Dates Similar to Those in Previous Years
    The testing dates in 2017 for high school testing are different from the testing window for grades 3-8 to accommodate the two separate testing windows, since the spring 2017 grade 10 tests are mirroring previous years' test design. In future years, high school test dates and grades 3-8 test dates may be administered concurrently again, depending on high school testing plans.
    Dates for high school tests closely align with what has been done in previous years (e.g., which day of the week the test will fall on, allowing for calendar shift).

Thursday, May 5, 2016

Upcoming REL Webinar on MA Early Warning System Implementation

Massachusetts, Minnesota, and the State Role in Supporting Early Warning System Implementation

What is the role of state education agencies in supporting the implementation of early warning systems (EWSs) to identify students at risk of not graduating from high school? Join Susan Therriault, REL Northeast & Islands, for an overview of the state role in EWS implementation, along with Kate Sandel, Massachusetts Department of Education, and John Gimpl, Minnesota Department of Education. They will discuss their processes for organizing, implementing, monitoring, and adjusting their EWSs and the supports (team members, training, guidance, resources) available in their states to support EWS work and confront challenges to implementation. Strategies to connect EWS work to other state agency programs and priorities will also be discussed.
  • Susan Therriault, EdD
    Principal Researcher, REL Northeast & Islands
  • Kate Sandel
    Senior Policy Analyst, Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education
  • John Gimpl
    State Implementation Leader, Minnesota Department of Education

Tuesday, May 3, 2016

How Summit Public Schools is Using Facebook to Personalize Learning

On Thursday, May 4, Harvard's Graduate School of Education will be holding a public Askwith Forum featuring the partnership between Facebook and Summit Public Schools in developing an online personalized learning platform in the classroom.  The presentation will include discussions with a teacher, principal and student from the first cohort.

More information can be found here.