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Commissioner's Weekly Update - March 29, 2013

Financial Literacy Pilot Program Grants Awarded:

This week, Massachusetts Treasurer Steven Grossman and Commissioner Chester awarded state-funded grants to 11 high schools from 10 Gateway City school districts to help equip students with the knowledge and skills necessary to become self-supporting and make critical decisions regarding personal finances. These first-year planning grants will help teams of educators and their partners to develop pilot financial literacy units of study that are aligned with the 2011 Massachusetts Curriculum Frameworks for Mathematics and the Economic Education Council's National Standards for Financial Literacy. For more info, go to

Board Meeting Recap:

The Board of Elementary and Secondary Education met on March 26 in Malden. While there were no major votes taken, the Board engaged in important discussions around a number of key initiatives. Acting Early Education and Care (EEC) Commissioner Tom Weber led a presentation on that agency's Early Learning Challenge grant and joint work between EEC and ESE aimed at ensuring that all students are on the pathway to early school success. Board members also heard presentations on progress in implementing the recommendations Download PDF Document  Download MS WORD Document of the Task Force on Integrating College and Career Readiness (ICCR), the development of the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC), and state initiatives to assist schools and districts in using student data to improve instruction. The Board also heard an update on the state and federal education budgets.

Fiscal Year 2014 Budget:

We anticipate that the House Committee on Ways & Means will release its Fiscal Year 2014 budget recommendation around April 10. In addition, we expect to hear further detail on reductions in federal education grants for the next school year during April. We will provide further information as we receive additional updates.

This Week's School Visits:

Commissioner Chester visited Crocker Elementary School and Fitchburg High School in Fitchburg.

For Your Info:

  • High School Students in Military Families: ESE recently posted guidelines to assist high school students who are members of military families in meeting the state's Competency Determination graduation requirement in English language arts, mathematics, and science and technology/engineering and graduating on-time. The guidelines pertain to students in military families who move to Massachusetts from another state and enroll in a Massachusetts public high school in grade 11 or 12. The guidelines and a request form are available at


Subscriber Information: Superintendents, principals, and charter school leaders will receive the update automatically. For others wishing to subscribe, send an email to with the following information in the body of the email: subscribe ESEUpdate Your Name. (Example: subscribe ESEUpdate John Smith) To unsubscribe, send an email to the same address with the following information in the body: unsubscribe ESEUpdate Your Name. (Example: unsubscribe ESEUpdate John Smith)

Last Updated: March 29, 2013
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