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The Massachusetts Board of Elementary and Secondary Education

Proposed Revisions to Massachusetts Curriculum Frameworks in English Language Arts/Literacy and Mathematics

To:
Members of the Board of Elementary and Secondary Education
From:
Mitchell D. Chester, Ed.D., Commissioner
Date:
October 14, 2016

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This memo updates the Board on the progress of the review of the 2011 Massachusetts Frameworks for English Language Arts and Literacy (ELA/Literacy) and Mathematics. As a reminder, in September the Board heard from Senior Associate Commissioner Heather Peske and members of her team about the three phases of the review process that commenced in January 2016 and will culminate with ELA/Literacy and Mathematics Curriculum Frameworks in the spring of 2017:

  • Phase 1 (January-July 2016): Engage stakeholders and gather recommendations for revisions;
  • Phase 2 (July-October 2016): Engage content advisors and refine revisions for public comment draft; bring a progress report to the Board for discussion in October;
  • Phase 3 (November 2016-Spring 2017): Draft the proposed revisions; bring them to the Board for review and a vote to release the revisions for public comment; conduct public comment period, synthesize public comment; make final revisions and bring the final standards to the Board for adoption.

Below is an outline of the progress report Department staff will provide at the special meeting on Monday, October 24th as part of Phase 2 of the review.

  1. Report on the Massachusetts ELA/Literacy and Mathematics Curriculum Frameworks Review by Abt Associates
    In June 2016, Abt Associates was retained by the Executive Office of Education (EOE) to provide independent documentation of the review process and to supplement ESE's internal capacity. As part of Phase 2, Abt Associates has completed a comprehensive report of the standards review process to date. Please see the attached report.

  2. Summary of Proposed Changes to ELA/Literacy and Mathematics Standards
    Phase 2 of the standards review process entailed thoughtfully incorporating stakeholder feedback from Phase 1, followed by a systematic approach to refining the proposed revisions. Susan Wheltle, retired Director of Literacy and Humanities has served as a consultant to the Department on this project, working with Rachel Bradshaw, ELA/literacy specialist. Barbara Libby, retired Director of STEM has served as a consultant to the Department on the mathematics curriculum revisions, collaborating with Connie Varoudakis, mathematics specialist. Wheltle and Bradshaw, along with Varoudakis, will present a summary of the proposed revisions to the standards, focusing first on key topics of interest to the Board and then additional revisions designed to improve clarity, focus, rigor, and coherence.

Key Topics of Interest:

  • ELA/Literacy: Reading closely and writing about complex texts and literacy concepts
  • Mathematics: Offering of high school Algebra I Model Course in middle school and options for course sequences and pathways

Over the next several weeks, ESE's ELA/literacy and mathematics standards review teams will continue to synthesize the feedback received from the content advisors and incorporate any feedback from the Board in preparation of a final draft of the proposed revisions. Based on our current timetable, I expect to present the final draft of the proposed revisions to the Board at the November 2016 meeting for discussion and a vote to solicit public comment through January 2017.

Senior Associate Commissioner Peske and the standards review team will engage with you in a discussion about the proposed revisions on Monday, October 24 at the Special Board meeting (5:00-7:00pm).

Enclosures:

Download PDF Document
Abt Associates, "Final Report: Massachusetts ELA/Literacy and Mathematics Curriculum Frameworks Review"
Download PDF Document  Download Word Document
Overview of Major Recommendations: Massachusetts Curriculum Frameworks for English Language Arts and Literacy Standards Review 2016
Download PDF Document  Download Word Document
English Language Arts-Literacy Grade-by-Grade Proposed Revisions
Download PDF Document  Download Word Document
Overview of Major Recommendations: Massachusetts Curriculum Frameworks for Mathematics Standards Review 2016
Download PDF Document  Download Word Document
Mathematics Grade-by-Grade Proposed Revisions
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2011 ELA-Literacy and Mathematics Curriculum Frameworks
Download PDF Document  Download PowerPoint File
Standards Review Update ELA and Math, October 2016


Last Updated: October 18, 2016
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