Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Tell DESE How You Really Feel About PARCC

With the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC) Performance Based Assessment in your rearview mirror, I'm sure you have a lot of feedback for the PARCC team.  I have good news for you; the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) is holding a series of forums across the state this spring and summer, to provide more extensive opportunity for public comment on PARCC.  Even if you can't attend one of the forums, DESE still wants to hear your voice! Feel free to write a testimony and send your thoughts to boe@doe.mass.edu.

In addition to hearing from members of the public, DESE is also setting aside the first portion of each forum to hear invited expert testimony on specific topics, from educators who are familiar with the PARCC assessments. The dates and topics for this portion of the forums are as follows:

Tuesday, April 28, 2015, Fitchburg State University, Hammond Hall, 3pm

Topic: Test administration (non-technology) issues, including:

·         Ease of administration of PARCC paper test compared to MCAS

·         Use of timed tests

·         Splitting test into two parts (PBA and EOY)

·         Responsiveness of DESE and Pearson call centers

·         Special accommodations

Monday, May 18, 2015, Bunker Hill Community College, A300 Auditorium, 4pm

Topic: Test administration – technology issues, including:

·         Issues and problems with delivering the online test

·         Studentsadjustment to online test

·         Advantages/disadvantages of moving to an online platform

·         District readiness for online tests

Wednesday, June 10, 2015, Bridgewater State University, Rondileau Campus Center Ballroom, 4pm

Topic: Test content – English language arts, including:

·         Alignment of test content to curriculum frameworks

·         Clarity of test items

·         Grade appropriateness of test items

·         Comparison of MCAS and PARCC test content

Monday, June 22, 2015, North Shore Community College – Lynn Campus, Gymnasium, 4pm

Topic: Test content – mathematics, including:

·         Alignment of test content to curriculum frameworks

·         Clarity of test items

·         Grade appropriateness of test items

·         Comparison of MCAS and PARCC test content

Tuesday, July 7, 2015, Springfield Technical Community College, Top of Our City Conference Center, 4pm

Topic: College/career readiness – high school tests, including:

·         Alignment with expected proficiency levels for credit-bearing college coursework

·         Usefulness as a tool for college placement
·         Relationship to competency determination

Thursday, April 9, 2015

Brand New Statistics Model Curriculum Unit

The first ever statistics Model Curriculum Unit (MCU) was just released to the public.  We are very pleased with the final product.  This MCU includes all of the 6th grade statistics standards from the 2011 Massachusetts Curriculum Frameworks for Mathematics. Many of these standards are new to the 6th grade.  The Curriculum Embedded Performance Assessment (CEPA) is incredibly hands-on and requires students to explore and analyze data from the United States Census Bureau Website.

MCUs were developed by teachers as curriculum tools and/or resources for use by educators in classrooms across the state of Massachusetts.  As we have said from the beginning, we want to educators to take these units and make them their own.  For a full list of current available MCUs, you must fill out a few pieces of information at DESE's Model Curriculum Website.