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Commissioner's Weekly Update - Preliminary MCAS Results, Commissioner Search, Network Opportunity - August 18, 2017

Preliminary 2017 MCAS Results

Earlier this week, ESE provided districts and schools with embargoed access to their preliminary MCAS and MCAS-Alt results in English language arts, mathematics, and science and technology/engineering, including aggregated student participation results, via the MCAS 2017 Data Drop Box in Drop Box Central in the Security Portal. Interactive reports in Edwin Analytics are scheduled to be available via the Security Portal by 5:00 p.m. on Monday, August 21, 2017.

As a reminder, standards for next-generation tests in grades 3-8 in ELA and mathematics are in the process of being set; as such, scaled scores, achievement levels, and transitional student growth percentiles for those tests will first become available with the release of official results in October.

Preliminary MCAS data are strictly confidential and embargoed until ESE officially releases them in late October. The intent of sharing preliminary results is to assist district and school leaders with educational planning and to allow for the reporting of potential data discrepancies. The MCAS discrepancy reporting window will close at 5:00 p.m. on Thursday, August 24. It is essential that principals and school leaders review their preliminary results before that time or delegate this task to a designee. The Department will not be able to correct discrepancies reported after the deadline in time for the official public release in October, and any unreported discrepancies may negatively impact accountability results. The online MCAS discrepancy reporting tool is available at, as are detailed instructions for reporting discrepancies. Instructions can also be found in the MCAS 2017 Data Drop Box in the Security Portal.

The Department anticipates making preliminary accountability data available to district and school leaders by the end of the day on Tuesday, August 22. See the updated 2017 assessment and accountability data review and release schedule for more details. Anyone with questions about MCAS results is asked to e-mail or call (781) 338-3625. For help with questions about accountability reporting, please email or call (781) 338-3550.

Board of Elementary and Secondary Education Special Meeting:

The Board of Elementary and Secondary Education held a special meeting on August 15 that focused on the process to find the state's next commissioner of elementary and secondary education. The Board plans to hire a search firm and will interview finalists in open session before forwarding a recommended individual to Secretary of Education James Peyser for approval.

Also at Tuesday's meeting, the Board heard an update on the plan the state is submitting under the federal Every Student Succeeds Act, an update on the Southbridge Public Schools, and an update on ESE's budget.

Educator Network Opportunity:

The Department welcomes educators from across the state to join our 2017–2018 mathematics, literacy, and science educator networks. These networks are designed to drive implementation of the 2017 Massachusetts Mathematics and English Language Arts/Literacy Frameworks and the 2016 Science and Technology/Engineering (STE) Framework. The Department is calling on classroom leaders, school leaders, and district leaders to partner across districts to learn, test, and refine tools and strategies, and to innovate.

Celebration of Commissioner Chester's Life:

There will be a public celebration of the late Commissioner Mitchell D. Chester's life at 3 p.m. Monday, Aug. 28, 2017 at Harvard University's Memorial Church. Individuals who would like to attend are asked to RSVP online. A map of the campus is also available online. Many people have asked if the family has established a memorial fund, and one has been established in Commissioner Chester's name at The Boston Foundation.

For Your Info:

  • New STEM and literacy and humanities leaders: The Department has filled two key leadership positions in the Center for Instructional Support: Dr. Erin A. Hashimoto-Martell is ESE's new director of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics, and Dr. Jennifer Soalt is the new director of literacy and humanities. Dr. Hashimoto-Martell has 17 years of teaching experience in science content at the K-8 levels, as well as experience in instructional coaching. Dr. Soalt has over 25 years of experience in urban and suburban schools at both the elementary and secondary levels as a teacher, literacy coach, reading specialist, sheltered English immersion teacher, evaluator and curriculum coordinator. Both will start September 5.
  • Webinar on emergency planning: On August 25, the Readiness and Emergency Management for Schools Technical Assistance Center, on behalf of the U.S. Department of Education's Office of Safe and Healthy Students, will host a webinar on how schools and districts can better prepare for and recover from emergencies. Throughout the webinar, presenters will focus on four recovery components: academic; physical and structural; business functions; and social, emotional, and behavioral.

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: August 18, 2017
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