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The Massachusetts Board of Elementary and Secondary Education

Special Meeting on College and Career Readiness

To:
Members of the Board of Elementary and Secondary Education
From:
Mitchell D. Chester, Ed.D., Commissioner
Date:
March 11, 2011

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At the special meeting of the Board of Elementary and Secondary Education on Monday, March 21, 2011, we will discuss our initiatives to improve college and career readiness statewide. Our goals related to college and career readiness include:

  • increasing the five-year high school graduation rate to 88.3 percent for the graduating cohort of 2014 (from 84.0 percent today), and
  • increasing the MassCore completion rate to 82.5 percent (from 70.0 percent today).

MassCore is the recommended program of high school studies adopted by the Board in November 2007. Students who complete MassCore take four years of English and mathematics (including Algebra II), three years of history/social science, three years of lab sciences, two years of foreign language, one year of arts, physical education, and additional core courses and electives. MassCore also encourages learning opportunities such as Advanced Placement classes, a senior project, dual enrollment for high school and college credit, online courses, service learning, and work-based learning.

We have selected seven key strategies to accomplish these goals:

  1. Strengthening academic support programs for secondary school students;
  2. Creating an Early Warning Indicator System to identify students at risk of dropping out;
  3. Improving graduation rates in high schools that trail the statewide rate, using our $15 million federal High School Graduation Initiative grant;
  4. Turning around the lowest performing high schools;
  5. Strengthening state policy around MassCore and fostering its implementation;
  6. Implementing the Massachusetts Model for School Counseling, a collaborative leadership model developed by the Massachusetts School Counselor Association in collaboration with our Department and others, to promote student achievement in the academic/technical, workplace readiness and personal/social domains; and
  7. Focusing our School-to-Career Connecting Activities more closely on the students in greatest need.

I have enclosed a copy of our College and Career Readiness plan. Deputy Commissioner Jeff Nellhaus and colleagues from our Office of College and Career Readiness will present more details on the plan at the March 21st meeting. The plan was developed using a systematic process for driving progress and delivering results in the public sector. Carrie Conaway from our Office of Planning and Research will provide more details about this process as part of the presentation.

We are pleased that Higher Education Commissioner Richard Freeland and Aundrea Kelley, Deputy Commissioner for P-16 Policy and Collaborative Initiatives at the Department of Higher Education, will join us at the special meeting to discuss policy initiatives in higher education that help support our college and career readiness goals.

Enclosure:

Download PDF Document  Download Word Document
College and Career Readiness Delivery Plan


Last Updated: March 15, 2011
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