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Commissioner's Weekly Update - May 31, 2013

Educator Evaluation Spring Convening:

This week, ESE hosted a one-day convening in Sturbridge on the new educator evaluation system that brought together more than 700 practitioners from school districts across the Commonwealth. Participants included district and school leaders, local union leaders, and representatives from educator preparation programs. Commissioner Chester and Fitchburg Public Schools Superintendent Andre Ravenelle provided opening remarks on the importance of this initiative to the state's larger reform efforts. Local district and union leaders also led 14 breakout sessions on emerging best practices in implementing the new system. ESE will post materials from the convening at in the coming weeks. We are grateful for the collaborative spirit on display at the convening and the commitment to successfully implementing and sustaining this critical initiative.

Update on Edwin Teaching & Learning System:

Thirty-four school districts across the Commonwealth are now piloting the new Edwin Teaching & Learning system that provides online tools for educators to create standards-based curriculum maps, curriculum units and lesson plans, and the ability to build and deliver interim and formative assessments. Educators can also access an array of digital materials and resources to aid in classroom instruction. All materials in Edwin Teaching & Learning will be aligned to the current MA Curriculum Frameworks for all academic subjects (including English Language Arts and Literacy Download PDF Document  Download MS WORD Document and Mathematics Download PDF Document  Download MS WORD Document that incorporate the Common Core State Standards) as well as standards for Career Vocational/Technical Education.

The goal is to roll out the new system to all Race to the Top (RTTT) districts by March 2014. ESE will launch the new system in 45 districts between July and Sept. 2013 and in an additional 45 districts between Oct. and Dec. 2013. If you are one of the 170 RTTT districts that committed to implementing the new Edwin Teaching & Learning system through RTTT projects 5A-5E, please contact ESE at edwint& to specify your preferred roll out timeframe (summer 2013, fall 2013, or winter/spring 2014).

Survey on Model Curriculum Units:

As part of the our Race to the Top grant, ESE is developing model curriculum units focused on the MA Curriculum Frameworks for English language arts (ELA) and mathematics as well as our frameworks in U.S. history/social studies (HSS) and science and technology/engineering (STE). The units highlight the key shifts in the MA Curriculum Frameworks for ELA and mathematics that incorporate the Common Core State Standards. The HSS and STE units are aligned to their corresponding standards. Educators can use the units as exemplars or starting points for their own curriculum unit development. Educators can also use the curriculum-embedded performance assessments in the units as one measure of student growth in the educator evaluation system. Currently, there are four released units, one each in ELA, mathematics, HSS, and STE. Beginning this fall, there will be 35 released units available to all districts.

To assist in our ongoing development of these model units, ESE would like to hear from educators who are using these units in their classrooms. To respond to our short survey on the units, go to We ask that you complete the survey by June 29, 2013.

For Your Info:

  • Preliminary 2013 MCAS Results and Accountability Data: On June 18, ESE will provide schools and districts with embargoed access to their full preliminary results in English language arts and multiple-choice results in mathematics and grades 5 and 8 science and technology/engineering. The intent of sharing preliminary results is to assist school and district leaders in using the data for educational planning purposes. Under no circumstances are schools and districts permitted to release their preliminary data prior to ESE's official release of final MCAS results in Sept. 2013.

    ESE will hold two teleconferences on August 7-8 to provide guidance on the review of preliminary 2013 MCAS results and accountability data for school and district leaders. For more info on those sessions, or to see the complete MCAS and Accountability Data review and release schedule, go to


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Last Updated: June 4, 2013
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