Monday, October 16, 2017

Student Learning Experience Reports

This year, districts have access to a new report in Edwin.  The Student Learning Experience report provides information on a students' learning experience, over one year or five years.  This report looks at the experience of students in terms of the assignment of their teachers.  This report can help inform conversations about teacher assignment to specific students or subgroups of students, and support discussions about the inequity of educational experience among certain subgroups.  This report is accessible in Edwin.  Tutorial videos on the Student Learning Experience report can be found here.

Monday, October 9, 2017

MCAS Update: Transition to Computer-Based Testing for Grades 4, 5, 7 & 8

Continued Transition to Computer-Based Testing

The transition to full computer-based testing will continue in spring 2018, with the expectation that all schools will administer the following tests using the computer-based format:
  • Grade 4 ELA and Mathematics
  • Grade 5 ELA, Mathematics, and legacy Science and Technology/Engineering (STE)
  • Grade 7 ELA and Mathematics
  • Grade 8 ELA, Mathematics, and legacy STE
For grades 3 and 6, schools may elect to administer either the computer-based or paper-based tests in spring 2018.

Paper-based tests will always be available as an accommodation if required by a student's individualized education program (IEP) and as needed for the small number of students who do not have IEPs but who are unable to take a computer-based test for other reasons. Similar to the 2016-2017 school year, this fall districts will have an opportunity to apply for a waiver from computer-based testing for one or more of their schools, provided the school is making a good-faith effort to comply and has a plan for transitioning to full computer-based testing in spring 2019.

Thursday, September 28, 2017

Upcoming Reporting Session for Grades 3–8 English Language Arts and Mathematics Results

The Department will host a reporting session on October 16 from 1:00 p.m. to 2:30 p.m. to help school and district leaders understand the changes to the MCAS program and prepare for the official release of the MCAS results.

The presentation will cover general information about the 2017 MCAS results, including an orientation to the new scales and achievement levels, the standard-setting process, and the new parent/guardian reports that will debut this year. 

The session will be recorded and available online a few days after the conclusion of the session and will be emailed directly to registrants within 24 hours.  Registration for the session is currently open.

Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Schedule for Releasing Results from the 2017 MCAS Tests

The MA Department of Elementary and Secondary Education plans to publicly release official MCAS results the week of October 17. This will include school, district, and state MCAS scores as well as grade 10 accountability results. Printed Parent/Guardian Reports will arrive in district offices on October 24. The Board will receive a full briefing on the results at the October Board meeting.

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
REGISTRATION: contact nscola@doe.mass.edu

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)  

Time:
9am12:30pm

Questions:
Nicole Scola, nscola@doe.mass.edu

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.

Time:
9am3pm

Questions:
Craig Waterman, cwaterman@doe.mass.edu 


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
REGISTRATION: contact marianne.dunne@doe.mass.edu


Who should attend:
Urban science leaders

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

Time:
9am12:30pm

Questions:
Marianne Dunne, marianne.dunne@doe.mass.edu

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. 

Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Updated EWIS Website Now Available

The EWIS website has been updated to allow for greater usability and access to resources. The site now includes an on-demand e-learning module, a step-by-step guide to the Early Warning Implementation Cycle, and tools and examples from the field. This module may be useful for educators to use alone, to enhance their knowledge of EWIS, or with their professional learning communities.

Additionally, the EWIS team will be holding a full day workshop on September 18th on Maximizing EWIS to Improve Student Achievement

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

EWIS Workshop- September 18th

The Department of Elementary and Secondary Education is offering a no-cost, full-day workshop, "Maximizing EWIS to Improve Student Achievement", on September 18, 2017. Leaders, data specialists, counselors, and/or program specialists may register as a teamif possible to get the full impact of the sessions. For more information, email ewis@doe.mass.edu

Sunday, August 27, 2017

Early Warning Indicator System (EWIS) Reports coming to Edwin

This week, EWIS reports for the 2017-18 school year will be available in Edwin. This year, districts will have access to two new Postsecondary EWIS reports. These are useful in understanding students' college-going risk and planning student-centered supports. Training material, videos and other resources are available on the EWIS website. For districts that did not report data by the due dates, EWIS data will be available in mid-September.


Wednesday, August 23, 2017

New ESE Literacy Networks

Literacy Networks
Early Grades Literacy Grant (Pre-K–3):
Promoting Integrated Pre-K–3 Literacy Learning Across Strands and Content Areas
REGISTRATION: apply for the grant at http://www.doe.mass.edu/grants/2018/734/

Districts participating in ESE’s Early Grades Literacy Grant (fund code 734) comprise a statewide network and set of regional networks focused on literacy instruction in grades pre-K–3.

Questions:
For more information about this competitive grant opportunity, contact Lauren McBride (lmcbride@doe.mass.edu) or Tracey Martineau (tmartineau@doe.mass.edu).

The Early Grades Literacy Grant challenges early grade literacy educators to promote integration across the reading, writing, speaking and listening, and language strands of the ELA/Literacy Framework and across content areas. Through a series of professional learning opportunities at the state, regional, and school levels, network members will develop, test, and refine ambitious tasks, lessons, and units that provide students with opportunities to read, write, think, and talk about what they are learning. Districts join the network through a competitive grant process that offers two different levels of participation: all members attend statewide literacy institutes and follow-up regional meetings, and some members receive additional school-based support. 


Middle and Secondary Literacy Network (grades 4–12):
Promoting Integrated Literacy Learning in Grades 412

Who should attend:
District literacy teams that include at least one district literacy leader and a team of grades 412 lead teachers who will lead colleagues in developing and refining literacy lessons that strategically integrate ELA/literacy strands

Locations and dates:
Group 1: Holyoke (9/26, 11/28, 1/16, 3/6)
Group 2: Bridgewater (10/3, 11/30, 1/23, 3/13)

Time:
9am12:30pm
*meeting space will be available until 3:00pm for facilitated planning and networking

Questions:
Susan Kazeroid, skazeroid@doe.mass.edu
Helene Levine, hlevine@doe.mass.edu
Tracey Martineau, tmartineau@doe.mass.edu








The 2017 English Language Arts and Literacy Framework emphasizes an integrated model of literacy in which the strands of reading (R), writing (W), speaking and listening (SL), and language (L) are closely connected. The new Framework includes cross-references among these four strands, and numerous examples that demonstrate how R/W/SL/L standards may be combined for effective instruction. This network focuses on what standards-based literacy instruction looks and sounds like when students are engaged in learning across all strands. The network engages district literacy teams (literacy leader, coach, and/or teachers) in the development, testing, and refinement of integrated literacy lessons that strategically link standards-based student discourse to standards-based reading and/or writing objectives. The goal of the network is to build the capacity of district literacy teams to promote integrated literacy instruction within their schools.


Secondary Literacy Network (grades 9–12):
Promoting Variety and Flexibility in Student Writing  

Who should attend:
District teams, ideally composed of ELA/literacy curriculum director and/or department heads; high school teachers  

Locations and dates:
Fitchburg (10/13, 11/13, 1/10, 3/20)

Time:
9am12:30pm

Questions:
Lauren McBride, lmcbride@doe.mass.edu




The 2017 English Language Arts and Literacy Framework emphasizes flexibility and variety in student writing. This network for high school literacy leaders aims to expand the kinds of writing high school students do. The network challenges school leaders to assess their schools' current writing landscapes and develop plans for diversifying their schools' writing tasks. Network members will evaluate and generate writing tasks that vary across and within writing types. Network members will begin by focusing solely on writing tasks within ELA/humanities courses, and then have the option to look more broadly at writing tasks across content areas.




Urban Literacy Leaders Network:
Designing Complex Literacy Tasks
REGISTRATION: contact hlevine@doe.mass.edu  


Who should attend:
Urban literacy leaders

Location and dates:
Devens (10/19, 12/14, 2/7, 4/12, 6/6)

Time:
9am12:30pm

Questions:
Helene Levine, hlevine@doe.mass.edu

In 2017–18, the ongoing Urban Literacy Leaders Network will focus on supports for educators to design and implement complex and engaging student tasks/assignments. The Network will use the Four Domains of the Literacy Assignment Analysis Framework and corresponding indicators created by The Education Trust to guide its work throughout the year. In the first meeting, participants will be introduced to the framework. Each subsequent meeting will focus on one of the four domains of the framework: (1) alignment to standards, (2) centrality of texts, (3) cognitive challenge, and (4) motivation and engagement. Participants will collaboratively review tasks/assignments and samples of student work in an effort to develop new strategies for improving the quality of instruction in their districts.