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For Immediate Release
Monday, March 7, 2016
Contact:Jacqueline Reis, 781-338-3115

Public Invited to Propose Changes to Curriculum Frameworks

MALDEN - The Department of Elementary and Secondary Education, as part of its review of the Massachusetts curriculum frameworks for English language arts and math, has created an online tool to let people make suggestions about specific aspects of the frameworks.

"I hope educators, as well as parents and other individuals and organizations, will use this tool to communicate specific recommendations for improving the current curriculum frameworks," said Elementary and Secondary Education Commissioner Mitchell D. Chester. "Groups of educators are working with us on this review, and this tool will allow us to solicit proposals from a wider range of educators, educational experts and advocates, as well as the broader public."

The input gathered through this outreach will help focus and direct the attention of the working groups to areas of common concern.

The frameworks, also called learning standards, lay out what students should know and be able to do at each grade level. They are not a curriculum; educators and school committees make curricular decisions at the local level in Massachusetts. The creation and regular updating of curriculum frameworks is a central feature of Massachusetts' standards-based education system, which was created by the Massachusetts Education Reform Act of 1993 and has propelled the Commonwealth to the top of the list on many measures of educational excellence and achievement.

The Department is identifying suggestions for improving the frameworks based on the Commonwealth's five years of implementing the 2010 learning standards. The review comes after the Board of Elementary and Secondary Education voted on November 17, 2015 to both create a next-generation MCAS assessment and to convene review panels of K-12 teachers and higher education faculty to review the English language arts and mathematics curriculum frameworks and identify any modifications needed to ensure "a course of study that best prepares students for the 21st century."

After the review committees have considered all proposed changes to the current frameworks, they will make recommendations to the Board of Elementary and Secondary Education.

The Board will make any changes it deems appropriate and put its draft proposal out for public comment. After making any additional changes based on that final public review of the proposed frameworks, the Board would then adopt a revised set of Massachusetts curriculum frameworks in English language arts and math.

The online tool at http://www.doe.mass.edu/mcas/nextgen/feedback.html will be available through May 2016.

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Last Updated: March 7, 2016
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