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The Massachusetts Board of Elementary and Secondary Education

Joint Initiatives with Higher Education to Promote College and Career Readiness

To:
Members of the Board of Elementary and Secondary Education
From:
Mitchell D. Chester, Ed.D., Commissioner
Date:
January 18, 2013

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In December 2011, Richard Freeland, Commissioner of the Massachusetts Department of Higher Education, and I initiated development of a definition of "college readiness" that could be used by both the Departments of Elementary and Secondary Education and Higher Education. Commissioner Freeland organized Campus Engagement Teams in partnership with K-12 educators from the regions served by those campuses, to develop a shared definition of college readiness. The college presidents met and submitted their team reports on defining college readiness in June 2012.

On a parallel track, the Board of Elementary and Secondary Education launched a broadly-based task force of educator, employers, and academic and labor experts: the Task Force for the Integration of College and Career Readiness (ICCR), chaired by Board member Gerald Chertavian. In June 2012 the Board received and discussed the Task Force report, which includes a definition of career readiness as follows: Career readiness means an individual has the requisite knowledge, skills and experiences in the academic, workplace readiness and personal/social domains to successfully navigate to completion an economically viable career pathway in a 21st century economy.

Throughout these processes, Commissioner Freeland and I have worked to knit together these and other initiatives to develop an integrated college and career readiness agenda to be embraced by both the Boards of Elementary and Secondary Education and Higher Education. Among the initiatives that are both agencies are collaborating on, and for which we will update the Board, include:

  • implementation of the Task Force for the Integration of College and Career Readiness (ICCR) recommendations;
  • implementation of MassCore;
  • new Mathematics and English Language Arts curriculum frameworks;
  • the Partnership for the Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC); and
  • the shared definition of readiness that emerged from the campus-based joint K-12 and higher education teams.

The shared definition that emerged from the Campus Engagement Teams is designed to align the K-12 and higher education efforts by providing an umbrella under which each of the previously-mentioned initiatives are knitted together. The January 28 special meeting is an opportunity for the Board of Elementary and Secondary Education to review the work that resulted from the Campus Engagement Teams in light of the ICCR Task Force recommendations, MassCore, new curriculum frameworks, and PARCC.

On January 29, the Boards of Elementary and Secondary Education and Higher Education will meet in joint session to discuss the proposed common definition and next steps, including possible adoption of the definition by each board at a future meeting.

Attachment:

(1) "Defining College and Career Readiness in Massachusetts"



Last Updated: January 24, 2013
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