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Commissioner's Weekly Update - June 2, 2017

First Year of Next-Generation MCAS Testing Completed:

The Department would like to thank everyone for their cooperation and assistance in administering the first year of the next-generation MCAS tests in English language arts and math in grades 3-8, including the use of computer-based tests in at least fourth and eighth grades. Close to 250,000 students took computer-based tests in both English language arts and math.

The Department appreciates the continued contributions of educators as the work moves into the standard-setting phase and beyond.

Provide Feedback on the Emerging High Quality College and Career Pathways Designations:

The Executive Office of Education, ESE, and the Department of Higher Education are developing criteria that programs will have to meet to be designated an Early College Program or Innovation Career Pathway. (Both initiatives fall under the broad category of high quality college and career pathways.) The executive office and departments would appreciate educators' input to inform this work and will hold two focus group sessions: one on June 8, 2017 at Holyoke Community College's Kittredge Center, and another on June 9, 2017 at MassBay Community College in the Atrium Library. Both meetings will run from 10:00 a.m. until noon. Please register online in advance. More information will be posted on the College and Career Readiness homepage.

Sharing Practices Related to Students Who Are Above Grade Level:

The state Board of Elementary and Secondary Education would like to learn more about how districts serve their students who perform above grade level academically. To that end, ESE is collecting information from all districts about their programs and supports for advanced students. The Department would appreciate it if districts leaders or their designee would complete this short form, which should take seven minutes or less no later than June 5. The Department hopes to report findings to the Board at their June 27 meeting.

VISTA: Educator Voices Were Heard, and the Results Are In:

As a follow-up to the VISTA 2017 survey of superintendents and principals, all educators are invited to ESE's VISTA 2017 Webinar at 3:30 p.m. Thursday, June 8. The Office of Planning and Research and survey partner Westat will share data from this year's survey. To register, please send an email to with the subject line "VISTA 2017 Webinar", and Westat will send login details. The survey results are also available online.

District Induction and Mentoring Reports due July 31:

For the second year, ESE is collecting statewide data about induction and mentoring practices through standardized reports from districts and collaboratives.

Reports are due July 31 and must be submitted via an online form. Each district's designated induction and mentoring contact has now received the report questions and a link to the submission form. Districts should ensure that their local directory administrator has provided updated contact information for the "induction and mentoring" function so that the correct person in each district receives communications about the report.

In October, ESE released the first Statewide Induction and Mentoring Report using data gathered from districts' and collaboratives' survey responses. The report contains quantitative and qualitative data about induction practices statewide, strategies that district use, and resources on specific induction topics.

The Educator Development Team looks forward to learning more about existing induction and mentoring programs and sharing promising practices statewide. Please contact with any questions.

For Your Info:

Subscriber Information: Superintendents, assistant 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) Leave the subject line blank. 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: June 4, 2017
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