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The Massachusetts Board of Elementary and Secondary Education

Proposed Revised Science and Technology/Engineering Standards

To:
Members of the Board of Elementary and Secondary Education
From:
Mitchell D. Chester, Ed.D., Commissioner
Date:
October 9, 2015

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At the meeting of the Board of Elementary and Secondary Education on October 20, 2015, I will ask the Board to vote to solicit public comment on the revised Science and Technology/ Engineering (STE) Standards. This request follows refinements that we made to the standards in response to Board input at your meeting on May 19th and continued discussion at your September 22nd meeting. With the Board's approval, we will invite broad public input through November, make any necessary edits, and then bring the final revised STE standards to the Board for adoption in January 2016.

Resources to Aid Public Review

The Department will make available a number of resources to aid public review of the revised STE standards:

  • An overview explicating the background and goals of revising the STE standards (attached)
  • A summary of content changes by grade span and discipline (attached)
  • A survey for the public to submit comments on the revised STE standards (survey questions attached)
  • Crosswalks detailing specific standard-by-standard changes, organized by current (2001/2006) or revised STE standards
  • Strand maps showing the progression and interconnections of concepts in the standards over time, including connections to mathematics and ELA standards
  • A tracked-changes document comparing the edits made to the December 2013 draft with the October 2015 public comment draft
  • A science and engineering practices matrix outlining specific skills associated with each practice by grade span
  • A Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) document answering questions the Department has received since December 2013

Drafts of many of these materials have been posted on the ESE website since December 2013. They will be updated as needed following the October 20th Board meeting.

Anticipated Timeline

We will collect public input through mid-November, using a state-wide survey and hosting regional sessions for school district staff and focus groups for targeted audiences, including higher education faculty. We will reconvene the STE Review Panel in late November and make necessary edits. I will bring the final revised STE standards to the Board for an adoption vote in January. At that time, we will also have the full STE Curriculum Framework for your review and I will present an implementation plan that includes a timeline for transitioning the STE MCAS tests. Final copyediting and publication of the revised STE Curriculum Framework would be completed by early spring 2016.

To support districts during the transition to revised STE standards, the Department has launched or is planning support in three key areas:

  1. The development and support of a cadre of "Science Ambassadors" who will be available to help educators across the state become familiar with the revised STE standards and how they affect curriculum and instruction;

  2. The development and support of regional district collaboration networks that will support districts in transition planning and encourage districts to share resources and strategies; and

  3. The identification and sharing of resources related to the implementation of curriculum and instruction aligned to the revised standards, such as sample curriculum maps, Model Curriculum Units, common assessments, and professional development on science and engineering practices.

Senior Associate Commissioner Brooke Clenchy and other members of the Department who have been engaged in this work will be at the Board meeting to answer your questions.

Attachments:

Download PDF Document  Download MS WORD Document
Revised Massachusetts Science and Technology/Engineering Standards for Public Comment
Download PDF Document  Download MS WORD Document
Background and Goals for Revising the Massachusetts Science and Technology/Engineering Standards
Download PDF Document  Download MS WORD Document
Summary of Science and Technology/Engineering Content Changes by Grade Span and Discipline
Download PDF Document  Download MS WORD Document
Revised STE Standards Public Comment Survey Questions
  
Motion to Solicit Public Comment


Last Updated: October 13, 2015
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