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Office of Literacy and Humanities


To ensure that all students graduate from high school prepared for the challenges of postsecondary education, careers, and citizenship in the 21st century, the Office of Literacy and Humanities supports schools and districts in implementing high-quality curriculum, instruction, and assessment aligned to the standards of the Massachusetts Curriculum Frameworks. The Office works in the areas of English language arts (ELA), history and the social sciences, the fine arts, foreign languages, and literacy across the curriculum to:

  • Develop and revise Massachusetts Curriculum Frameworks
  • Administer grants, develop policies and guidance documents, and sponsor professional development
  • Support all of ESE's Core Strategies with a focus on Core Strategy 1: Strengthening Curriculum, Instruction, and Assessment
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Curriculum and Instruction
The Office works to disseminate and refine the Frameworks and support implementation of high-quality, standards-based curriculum. In addition, it provides guidance documents such as Model Curriculum Units (MCUs) and the Early Literacy and Learning Action Plan (ELAP).

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Assessment
The Office collaborates with the Office of Student Assessment Services to develop high-quality, standards-based assessments-including benchmark and formative assessments-that support implementation of the Massachusetts Curriculum Frameworks.

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Policy, Planning, Research, and Reports
The Office develops and evaluates grant programs and develops statewide plans and policies related to curriculum, instruction, and assessment focused on ESE's goals and core strategies.

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Professional Development
The Office sponsors professional development, ranging from workshops on a particular topic to full courses that meet the standards for High Quality Professional Development (HQPD).

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Grants and Other Funding Opportunities
The Office administers grants for developing and implementing high-quality literacy and humanities programs.

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Student Assistance
The Office administers an academic scholarship program to support postsecondary education. It also links students to other opportunities, including a program offering financial assistance with Advanced Placement and International Baccalaureate exams.

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Councils and Networks
The Office participates in Board of Elementary and Secondary Education (BESE) Advisory Councils and convenes statewide network meetings for educators. Network meetings allow participants to share effective practices; obtain support in implementing high-quality curriculum, instruction, and assessment; and exchange information about various state initiatives.

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Technical Assistance
In addition to sharing effective practices and resources to support districts across the state, the Office also provides targeted technical assistance to schools and districts through a team of literacy specialists who work closely with staff in districts at Levels 3, 4, and 5 of the state's accountability and assistance system.

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Resources
The Office provides lists of professional organizations and documents relevant to ELA, history and the social sciences, the arts, foreign languages, and literacy across the curriculum. This section includes the Early Literacy and Learning Resource Center.

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Last Updated: January 23, 2017
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