Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Translated Engage NY Math Documents

The New York State Education Department is working on an initiative to translate the Engage New York mathematics curriculum modules into the top 5 languages spoken in New York State, including Spanish, Chinese (Simplified and Traditional), Arabic, Bengali, and Haitian Creole. Although Portuguese is not included in this list, the other 5 languages are incredibly relevant for the students that we work with here in Massachusetts.

Please click here for a chart of all available translated mathematics modules. Additional translations will be posted as they become available.

Translated assessments are also now available for many of the Spanish modules, indicated with ***.

Lastly, are you interested in seeing the Common Core State Standards translated into another language?  Click here for access to this critical resource.

Friday, December 2, 2016

2011 Standards Review Update

The Board of Elementary and Secondary Education met Monday morning and unanimously voted to release the proposed ELA and math Frameworks for public comment.  The refinement process has involved a multitude of stakeholders over the last year or so.  The following website was created by the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education to try to address some of the questions you may have about the review process:

There are two Quick Reference Guides (one for ELA and one for math) that describe the proposed changes to the standards.  These and other resources such as dates and locations for regional office hour sessions can be found on the website listed above.  The Public Comment Survey is open until February 17th but the sooner we hear your feedback the better!

Saturday, November 5, 2016

Instructional Support Convening and More!

The Department of Elementary and Secondary Education's new Center for Instructional Support has combined the Annual Fall Summit and the Annual Spring Convening and replaced both of those with the new annual Instructional Support Convening, which will continue to feature topics relevant to your work and the initiatives of the Department.

Date:  February 14, 2017 and repeated on February 15, 2017
Time:  8:00 AM (onsite check-in opens)
Place:  Best Western Royal Plaza Hotel and Conference Center (Marlborough, MA)

Arts Literacy Conference:
This full-day conference will provide participants with varied opportunities to experience artistic literacies while engaging in different art forms and making connections to other subject areas. Although designed primarily for those who teach in the arts, educators are encouraged to invite teachers of other disciplines, administrators, and interested educational colleagues in their district to experience this interdisciplinary event.

Date: April 3, 2017
Time: 8:00 AM (onsite check-in opens)
Place: Devens Common Center (Devens, MA)

Civics Literacy Conference:
The Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (ESE) has partnered again with the Edward M. Kennedy Institute for the U.S. Senate to bring you the second annual Civics Literacy Conference. We will be working with educators to: understand the role civic learning plays in maintaining our democracy; increase civic knowledge and engagement among K-12 students; and build on the natural connections between civics and literacy.

Date: May 8, 2017
Time: 8:00 AM (onsite check-in opens)
Place: Edward M. Kennedy Institute (Boston, MA)

Saturday, October 15, 2016

2016-2017 U.S. Presidential Scholar Nominations

Do you want to highlight a particularly exceptional student?  Districts are invited to submit nominations for the U.S. Presidential Scholars Program, which recognizes students from across the country for their strong academic performance, demonstrated leadership, school and community involvement, and promise of future success. The Presidentially-appointed Commission on Presidential Scholars permits each chief state school officer to nominate up 25 students, including up to 5 from career and technical education. In Massachusetts, districts are permitted to nominate up to two students for the Commissioner’s consideration. Guidelines and forms to nominate a student can be found at: Presidential Scholars Information Nominations are due to ESE by October 31, 2016.

Thursday, September 8, 2016

Announcing DESE's Transition Plan for MCAS Science and Technology/Engineering (STE) Assessments

At its January 26, 2016, meeting, the Board of Elementary and Secondary Education voted to adopt the 2016 Massachusetts Science and Technology/Engineering Standards. These revised standards were incorporated into the 2016 Massachusetts Science and Technology/Engineering Curriculum Framework, published in April 2016.

Accordingly, over the next few years the MCAS STE program will be transitioning to assess the new standards, as described below. During this time, the STE tests will also be redesigned for computer-based administration, as part of the Commonwealth’s move to “next generation” MCAS assessments. This process will include the introduction of new test designs and new item types. The Department will be recruiting schools with grades 5 and 8 to participate in a voluntary tryout administration of new item types in late spring 2017, after the regular MCAS administration. The Department will provide more detailed information about the new test designs, item types, and tryout opportunities in a future update.

Grades 5 and 8 MCAS STE Transition
The MCAS STE tests at grades 5 and 8 currently assess grade spans. The grade 5 test assesses standards for grades 3, 4, and 5, and the grade 8 test assesses standards for grades 6, 7, and 8. These grade spans will continue to be assessed on the grade 5 and grade 8 tests.

Grades 5 and 8 MCAS STE Transition Timeline

*Over the next few months, the Department will provide additional information about the Grades 5 and 8 STE tests, including lists of the 2001/2006 standards that will be assessed on the 2017 tests. The 2017 STE tests will be paper-based.
**Items that will count toward student scores will be based on content that is covered in both the 2001/2006 standards and the 2016 standards. Additional information about which standards are eligible to be assessed in 2018 will be made available by February 2017.

High School MCAS STE Transition
Currently there are four high school STE tests: Biology, Chemistry, Introductory Physics, and Technology/Engineering, that can be taken at grade 9 or 10. The Department has yet to determine which high school STE tests will be included in the testing program going forward.

High School MCAS STE Transition Timeline

If you have questions, please call 781-338-3625 or send an email to

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Hurry! PARCC PRC Website Will Expire Soon.

Dear PRC Registered User:

Thank you very much for your use of the Partnership Resource Center's resources. Since the PRC's launch, free access to all of these resources has been made possible through a grant.

On July 31st, the grant funding will expire, so effective August 1st, your access will revert to public user. You can continue to visit the PRC portal as a public user and access a large number of resources, such as PDF versions of PARCC's released items and many of the resources in the Digital Library. In addition, visitors can use the "Ad Hoc" Technology Readiness Tool, some of the social sharing features of the Digital Library, and participate in open access Professional Learning Courses.

If you have any questions about PRC access or would like to refer us to the best contact in your district to explore options for preferred access, please write to us

Thank you.


The Parcc Inc. Team

Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Digital Literacy and Computer Science Standards

On June 28th, 2016, the Board of Elementary and Secondary Education approved the 2016 Digital Literacy and Computer Science Standards, updating digital literacy expectations and giving Massachusetts students their first statewide computer science curriculum framework.

Are you wondering who helped develop these next generation standards?  Feel free to check out a full list of contributing Massachusetts educators and industry representatives.  The new standards are intended to prepare all students to engage with technology in the context of civic life, college and work.

Districts could begin using the standards as soon as this September, and DESE will continue to collaborate with Massachusetts Computing Attainment Network (MassCAN) to help districts with implementation.  In addition, DESE is partnering with Education Development Center (EDC) on a $2.1 million, three-year National Science Foundation STEM+C Design and Development grant to develop elementary school curriculum units that integrate computational thinking in mathematics and science lessons.  

Thursday, June 2, 2016

Next Generation ESL Model Curriculum Unit Facilitator Training

The Department of Elementary and Secondary Education is proud to offer the much anticipated “Next Generation ESL Model Curriculum Unit Facilitator Training” (ESL MCU FacT) at no cost to districts.
Details for the five ESL MCU FacT sessions are in this flyer, including dates, times, locations, pre-requisites, PDPs, graduate credit options, and registration links.
We encourage you to attend with a district team. Registrations at this point are processed on a first come, first serve basis.  Don't miss this opportunity! 

For questions or comments, please contact

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

DESE's 2016-2017 Teacher and Principal Advisory Cabinets

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.

·         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 and are due May 31st. 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.

For questions, contact Kat Johnston at

Friday, April 22, 2016

District Collaboration to Support Transition to the 2016 MA Science & Technology/Engineering (STE) Standards

Bring a team of educators to collaborate with other districts in your region on identifying strategies and resources for transitioning to the 2016 STE standards. Participants will learn about key features of the 2016 STE standards, implications for curriculum and instruction, transition considerations, and examples of efforts already undertaken by some districts. Participants will engage in peer discussions to identify needs and resources that will inform their own transition process. Districts can identify continued opportunities to collaborate over the next several years.

The Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) and the Museum of Science (MOS), Boston, are hosting the same full-day event (9 a.m.-3:00 p.m.) in 2 locations:

·         June 14, 2016, Best Western, Marlborough

·         June 15, 2016, Museum of Science, Boston

Each district can bring a team of up to 5 educators, to include at least one person responsible for coordinating district science efforts. Space is limited; please register for only one event.

Registration will be available in early May.  

Please contact for any questions.


Tuesday, April 19, 2016

New Videos: Why Kids Today Learn Math a Better Way


Are you looking for a way to explain Common Core mathematics to families and community partners?  Look no further.  'The 74' has just created a series of six videos  that clarify the reasoning behind common core math and help families and communities better support students outside of the mathematics classrooms. 

Part 1 highlights the importance of subatizing and number sense in the early grades.  Part 2 is centered around new ways of looking at subtraction while Part 3 focuses on the use of array models when multiplying.  Part 4 interviews Bill McCallum, one of the three inventors of common core math and Part 5 gives us a teacher's perspective.  The final video explains how and why the assessments have changed.  These six videos use examples and manipulatives to highlight the most important shifts in common core math.  They are easy to understand and meant to be shared freely!

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Massachusetts Is Seeking Your Input

As the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education  (DESE) builds the MCAS 2.0, they are simultaneously seeking the input of educators and community stakeholders from across the state to refine the Massachusetts English language arts (ELA) and math standards.  To share your thoughts about how to improve the standards, please use DESE's feedback form.

If you have general questions or comments about the MCAS 2.0 project, please email DESE at

The Board of Elementary and Secondary Education (BESE) voted on Tuesday, January 26, 2016 to solicit public comment on the draft Digital Literacy and Computer Science (DLCS) standards.  Public input is an important part of developing state learning standards. Your input will help to refine the standards before BESE votes on adoption of the DLCS standards.

The public comment period is open through April 8, 2016.  The draft standards and a survey to submit comment can be accessed at: feel free to share this announcement with your colleagues. 

Monday, February 1, 2016

New Massachusetts Science Standards Approved

The Board of Elementary and Secondary Education voted on January 26th to adopt the 2016 Science and Technology/Engineering (STE) Standards. The Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) would like to thank all individuals and groups that provided input, reviewed comments, and suggested edits to the standards. DESE is grateful for the dedication and expertise of all the educators, scientists, scholars, and other participants who engaged in this endeavor. The Board of Early Education and Care (EEC) is scheduled to vote on the adoption of the Pre-Kindergarten STE standards on February 9th. DESE is expected to publish and post the completed 2016 STE Curriculum Framework, including the standards and a variety of additional guidance and supporting materials, in the early spring.

Thursday, January 7, 2016

Massachusetts On Top

Have you seen the recently released Education Week's annual Quality Counts report? Education Week ranks Massachusetts as first in the nation in K-12 achievement, chance for success and overall rating.  This is the 9th consecutive year that Massachusetts has earned this honor.  Wow!  For additional information on the Quality Counts report, click here.  In addition, Quality Counts includes an article highlights the Commonwealth's school turnaround initiatives in the article entitled, Massachusetts Enlists Districts in School Turnaround Efforts.  This link also includes a video out of Worcester Public Schools.
Congratulations to all of you for helping to make this accomplishment possible!