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The Massachusetts Board of Elementary and Secondary Education

Revised Definition of College and Career Readiness, Incorporating Civic Learning

To:
Members of the Board of Elementary and Secondary Education
From:
Mitchell D. Chester, Ed.D., Commissioner
Date:
February 12, 2016

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In the past year, both the Board of Elementary and Secondary Education (BESE) and the Board of Higher Education (BHE) have taken steps to incorporate civic learning and engagement in the definition of college and career readiness. This memorandum summarizes the steps taken to date and background for the proposed vote to adopt a revised definition of college and career readiness to include that focus.

In 2013 the Board of Elementary and Secondary Education and Board of Higher Education came together to discuss, and later adopt, the Joint Definition of College and Career Readiness, as part of a larger body of collaborative work. In March 2014, the Study Group on Civic Learning and Engagement for the Board of Higher Education recommended the inclusion of civic learning as an expected outcome for their students. The BHE later adopted a statewide policy directing public colleges and universities to incorporate civic learning as an expected outcome for undergraduate students.

At the BESE's June 24, 2015 meeting, the Working Group on Civic Learning and Engagement presented a set of recommendations, which the Board endorsed. In the fall of 2015, the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education presented an action plan on civic learning, which included the development of a revised definition of college and career readiness. Since then, representatives from each department have worked together to draft a revised definition of college and career readiness that includes readiness for civic life.

At the January 26, 2016 joint BESE/BHE meeting, the two boards discussed the revised definition and some possible amendments to it. The BHE subsequently voted to approve the revised definition, as amended based on that discussion. The definition that the BHE adopted is enclosed with this memo. At the February 23, 2016 meeting, the BESE will discuss and vote on the revised definition.

Enclosure:

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Revised definition of college and career readiness including readiness for civic life, as approved by the BHE
 
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Last Updated: February 19, 2016
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