Wednesday, May 31, 2017

VISTA 2017 Educator Survey Results Now Available

Superintendents from 57% of MA districts and principals from 52% of schools participated in this year's VISTA survey.  The survey provides valuable feedback to the Department on a range of areas, including resources, grants and support to districts and schools.  An executive summary and full results are now available online.  A webinar discussing the survey results will take place June 8th at 3:30pm.  To participate in the webinar, send an email to with the subject line "VISTA 2017 Webinar."

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Massachusetts Survey on Personalized Learning:

The Department is partnering with the LearnLaunch Institute on the Massachusetts Personalized Learning Edtech Consortium (MAPLE) to catalyze the adoption of personalized learning in the Commonwealth. To that end, MAPLE is surveying districts to get a general overview of where they stand with respect to personalized learning.

The voluntary survey will be open through May 31 and should take no more than 20 minutes. The consortium is hoping for a significant participation rate in order to understand needs and opportunities to support districts' work. Respondents are asked to fill out as much as they have time to complete. Answers will be kept anonymous, and responses will be summarized. No district will be identified in reports.

Monday, May 22, 2017

Equity Plan Update

The Department has released an update to its 2015 equity plan. The 2017 Massachusetts State Plan to Ensure Equitable Access to Excellent Educators includes data the state must report under federal law and is designed to address gaps in students' access to strong educators, particularly students who are economically disadvantaged, students of color, English learners and students with disabilities.

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Update on Summer Standard-Setting Panel

As a reminder, ESE is looking for panelists with content expertise, familiarity with the Massachusetts curriculum frameworks, and, in most cases, direct teaching experience in the grade and subject matter chosen.  More information, including details on stipends and reimbursements, is available online. Applications are due Friday, May 19

Stipends will be offered to all panelists selected to serve during the standard-setting event this summer. 

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

ESE Research Update, released April 2017

An update of recent research conducted by the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education is now available on their website and includes:

  • Turnaround Practices Field Guide
  • Results from a 2016 educators survey
  • Low-Income student calculation study
  • and research on Massachusetts' education policy.

Wednesday, May 3, 2017

Next Generation MCAS Testing Update

The April update of the Next Generation MCAS is now available online.  The update differs from the Student Assessment Newsletter, and includes a teacher video on testing, an update on the administration of the assessment, and information on Rhode Island's review of the new MCAS assessment as a possibility to replace their own state summative assessment.

Monday, May 1, 2017

Educators Needed for MCAS Standard Setting Panel

Beginning August 14, 2017, the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education will conduct a week-long standard setting event for the next-generation MCAS tests in grades 3–8 ELA and mathematics. The standard setting will be conducted by panels of Massachusetts educators and other stakeholders, working in coordination with expert facilitators. We are pleased to invite educators and stakeholders from across the state to apply to participate on one of these panels.

Panelists will be organized into six committees: grades 3–4 ELA, grades 5–6 ELA, grades 7–8 ELA, grades 3–4 mathematics, grades 5–6 mathematics, and grades 7–8 mathematics. Each panel will consist of 20–24 members, divided into tables of 4–5 panelists, one of which will serve as a table leader.

More information, including the application and online survey, can be found here: