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The Massachusetts Board of Elementary and Secondary Education

VISTA Statewide Survey of Superintendents and Principals

To:
Members of the Board of Elementary and Secondary Education
From:
Mitchell D. Chester, Ed.D., Commissioner
Date:
June 16, 2017

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For the second year in a row, the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (ESE) has sponsored a statewide survey of superintendents and principals called VISTA: Views of Instruction, State Standards, Teaching, and Assessment. Educators were asked to share their views on the implementation of five statewide initiatives: the Massachusetts curriculum frameworks, educator growth and development, educator evaluation, social and emotional learning, and ESE supports. Superintendents from 57% of the state's districts and principals from 52% of the state's schools responded to the survey, a substantial increase in participation from last year.

Some highlights include:

  • Over 90% of superintendents and principals somewhat or strongly agree that the state curriculum frameworks in English language arts, mathematics, and science and technology/engineering set appropriate expectations for learning and positively affect preparedness for college and career.

  • Respondents were more likely to report that they had sufficient resources for implementing the English language arts and mathematics curriculum frameworks than for the science and technology/engineering frameworks-understandable since the science and technology/engineering framework was just updated in 2016.

  • Respondents also indicated needs for more support related to social-emotional learning and to helping teachers to implement inclusive practices to support the needs of all learners.

  • Over 90% of superintendents and principals somewhat or strongly agree that the educator evaluation system used in their district generates fair results. Large majorities also agree that the system is effective for helping educators identify specific areas where they can improve their practice and improve student learning.

  • About two-thirds of superintendents and principals agree that their staff are proficient in providing core social-emotional learning (SEL) instruction to all students; somewhat smaller percentages agree that their staff are proficient in providing supplemental and intensive SEL supports.

  • 72% of superintendents and 73% of principals agree that ESE is effective in its efforts to improve the overall quality of K-12 public education, about steady from last year's results.

Executive summaries of the two reports are attached and are also posted on our website, along with full reports of all results, at VISTA Survey Project.

Enclosures:

Download Word Document
Superintendent 2017 Executive Summary
Download Word Document
Principal 2017 Executive Summary


Last Updated: June 21, 2017
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