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The Massachusetts Board of Elementary and Secondary Education

Transforming Educator Preparation

Members of the Board of Elementary and Secondary Education
Mitchell D. Chester, Ed.D., Commissioner
May 9, 2014


In June 2012, the Board of Elementary and Secondary Education adopted new regulations governing educator preparation programs and the Department's review and approval of these programs. At the special meeting of the Board on May 19, 2014, I will present a progress report on implementation of the 2012 regulations, including data on preparation programs, revised procedures for reviewing and approving the programs, and new performance measures under development.

In collaboration with the Department of Higher Education, we are participating in a seven-state Network for Transforming Educator Preparation, a two-year grant through the Council of Chief State School Officers, focusing on licensure, program approval, and data. We have invited Higher Education Commissioner Richard Freeland and Susan Lane, Director of Engagement from the Department of Higher Education, to join us for the presentation and discussion at the special meeting on May 19.


The Department's Educator Preparation team supports, evaluates and grants authority to organizations that wish to prepare educators for Massachusetts licensure. There are 80 sponsoring organizations (educator preparation providers) in Massachusetts. Organizations vary in type and size, from traditional institutions of higher education to alternative providers such as district-based programs, non-profits, or educational collaboratives. This wide array of organizations prepares educators in all license areas, including teachers, administrators, and professional support personnel. On average, these 80 organizations endorse over 6,500 program completers for educator licensure each year. The Department's Educator Preparation team conducts 11-13 formal reviews a year. The new standards and processes outlined above will be fully implemented for the first time in the 2014-2015 academic year.

Transforming Educator Preparation in Massachusetts

The mission of the Department's Educator Preparation team is to ensure that preparation in Massachusetts results in effective educators ready to support the success of all students. To this end, the team has launched a five-pronged approach to achieving this mission:

  • New program approval standards as of June 2012;
  • Outcome data linked to programs for the purposes of evaluating program effectiveness;
  • Articulated actionable, concrete criteria on which programs will be evaluated;
  • Redesign of recruitment, selection and training of reviewers;
  • Systematized, streamlined and standardized program review and approval process to ensure that organizations experience an effective, efficient and consistent review.

We will discuss these approaches in more detail at the special meeting.

Along with our colleagues from the Department of Higher Education, Associate Commissioner Heather Peske, Liz Losee, Rob Curtin, and Meagan Comb of our staff will be at the May 19 special meeting to respond to your questions.

Last Updated: May 15, 2014
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