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Curriculum and Instruction

Reviewing the Massachusetts Academic Learning Standards

Standards Review Process

The Department reviews each set of academic standards periodically, updating and upgrading them in response to lessons learned in implementation, emerging research in education and the content areas, and feedback from the higher education and business communities. Every review process includes a wide variety of stakeholders from across the Commonwealth: teachers and instructional coaches, school and district administrators, instructors at public and private colleges, employers and community leaders, and other educational and content-area experts.

Stakeholder input is captured most formally through the convening of a review panel, though feedback from educators, parents, and others is also solicited through online surveys and public comment opportunities. The names and professional affiliations of review panel members are published online as well as in the Frameworks themselves. The Department works to ensure that each panel includes representatives from all grade spans; from urban, suburban, and rural districts; and from traditional, charter, vocational, and other types of schools.

Most review processes take between 1.5 and 3 years and consider all aspects and assumptions of the standards under review. The three phases described at right are typical of a standards review process.

PhaseActionsTypical Time Frame
1
  • Review panel is convened
  • All interested stakeholders provide feedback on current standards through a survey
  • Panel analyzes survey data and current research and best practices in the field in order to make recommendations for editing standards
6 months
2
  • Department works with panel to make agreed-upon edits to standards
  • Department presents new draft standards to BESE, which votes on releasing them for public comment
6 months
3
  • Draft standards become available for public comment
  • Public comment is solicited
  • Panel and ESE make additional edits to standards in response to public comment
  • Standards are adopted by BESE vote
4–6 months


Active Reviews — Get Involved!


What are Academic Learning Standards?

What is the history of learning standards in Massachusetts?

What is a Standards-Based System?

Where can I find more information about past standards review processes?



Last Updated: February 21, 2017
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