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Commissioner's Weekly Update - September 13, 2013

Public Release of MCAS Results and Accountability Data:

On Monday, Sept. 16, we will provide additional details on the date and time of the release(s) of spring 2013 MCAS results and accountability data. As a reminder, district and school leaders must keep all spring 2013 MCAS and accountability data strictly confidential until the time that ESE releases it publicly.

Congratulations to Worcester Tech Principal Sheila Harrity:

This week, the National Association of Secondary School Principals named Sheila Harrity, principal of Worcester Technical High School, the 2014 National High School Principal of the Year. Since her arrival to the school in 2006, Principal Harrity has provided tremendous leadership around improving student outcomes and developing workplace readiness habits so all students are prepared for success after graduation. For more info on the announcement, go to www.mass.gov/governor/pressoffice/pressreleases/2013/0910-governor-patrick-honors-principal-of-year.html.

Exemplar DDMs Now Posted:

As a follow up to an item in the Sept. 6 Weekly Update, ESE has posted exemplar District-Determined Measures (DDMs) at www.doe.mass.edu/edeval/ddm/example/. Each of the more than 600 options, covering over 100 high incidence grades/subjects and courses, includes a one-page summary for informing decision making and key links to additional information. Districts may use this resource to select and implement DDMs (with or without modifications) or to serve as a model for developing local measures. Districts may also use other assessments as DDMs. The collection of exemplar DDMs is not exhaustive, and ESE will continue to revise and add to the selection. We encourage you to contact us at educatorevaluation@doe.mass.edu to share promising DDMs, including assessments developed locally.

Appointment of Early Education and Care Commissioner:

Education Secretary Matthew Malone today formally appointed Tom Weber as the Commissioner of the Department Early Education and Care (EEC). Tom had been serving as acting commissioner since March 2013. We look forward to continuing to collaborate with Commissioner Weber and EEC on a number of joint initiatives to enhance the preparedness of all students from birth to grade 3.

Curriculum, Instruction, and Assessment Summit - Save the Date:

ESE will host the sixth Annual Summit on Curriculum, Instruction, and Assessment, Creating Cohesion between Curriculum Frameworks and Educator Evaluation Implementation, on Nov. 6 and 7 in Marlborough. The summit will focus on the Model Curriculum Units and using the Curriculum Embedded Performance Assessments in District-Determined Measures, as part of the Educator Evaluation system. Superintendents and charter school leaders may send teams of up to eight representatives. Educational collaboratives and publicly funded private special education schools may send up to three representatives.

For Your Info:

  • High School Quiz Show - Season 5: WGBH is inviting all public high schools in Massachusetts to sign up for the High School Quiz Show Super Sunday qualifying event. Only the first 100 schools to register may take part in the Super Sunday event. Based on that event, 16 schools will compete for the title of state champion in head-to-head, televised matches. If interested, schools must email their intent to form a team by Monday, Sept. 23 to highschoolquizshow@wgbh.org. By Monday, Oct. 14, schools must submit the names of team members, including alternates, to WGBH. Super Sunday, the qualifying quiz, will take place at WGBH's Brighton studios on Sunday, Nov. 3.
  • 180-Day and Structured Student Learning Time Requirements: To view ESE's policy statement on the 180-day requirement and answers to common questions about student learning time, go to www.doe.mass.edu/news/news.aspx?id=6682.
  • National Poetry Out Loud Competition: Schools interested in registering for this year's Poetry Out Loud competition must do so by Friday, Dec. 20. The program encourages students in grades 9-12 to learn about great poetry through memorization and performance, while helping them master public speaking skills, build self-confidence, and internalize their rich literacy heritage. A program of the National Endowment for the Arts and the Poetry Foundation, Poetry Out Loud is run locally by the Massachusetts Cultural Council and The Huntington Theatre Company. For more info, go to www.huntingtontheatre.org/poetryoutloud?gclid=CLrmgeCtwbkCFRRk7Aodsy8Axg. Please email Meg O'Brien at mobrien@huntingontheatre.bu.edu with any questions.
  • Constitution Day and Citizenship Day: September 17th is Constitution Day and Citizenship Day to commemorate the signing of the U.S. Constitution in 1787. Each educational institution that receives Federal funds from the U.S. Department of Education is required to hold an educational program about the U.S. Constitution for its students. Go to www2.ed.gov/policy/fund/guid/constitutionday.html for more info.

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Last Updated: September 20, 2013
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