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Teachers' Top Three from ESE - October 19, 2017

  1. In the News: Assessment and Accountability Results
    By now you've probably heard that the results of the spring 2017 MCAS, including the next-generation MCAS, became public yesterday, as did this year's accountability results. The Eagle-Tribune's headline captured it well: "Superintendents hit 'reset' button with new MCAS scores."

    This year's next-generation MCAS results in grades 3-8 in English language arts and math are indeed a reset, a baseline year. There is also an accountability "pause" for elementary and middle schools in light of the new test and because the state is moving toward a new accountability system that will start in fall 2018 and was outlined in the state plan we were required to develop under the federal Every Student Succeeds Act.

    As you talk to parents about the assessment results, you might find our MCAS parent page useful. The resources there include an interactive parent guide to the next-generation MCAS, annotated parent/guardian reports, and more. We plan to post additional materials on the page as they become available.

  2. New Resource: Special Education Professional Development Series
    The Department's Office of Special Education Planning and Policy Professional Development Series (formerly known as Special Education Summer Institutes) offers free training opportunities for Massachusetts educators, paraeducators, related service providers, and administrators throughout the year. The 17 courses have varying start dates and focus on topics ranging from educational equity to integrating social and emotional learning. More information, including course descriptions, dates, and enrollment information, is available online.

  3. Get Involved: Recent Changes to Educator Licensure and Preparation Program Regulations
    In June, the Board of Elementary and Secondary Education approved a set of changes to the regulations for Educator Licensure and Preparation Program Approval (603 CMR 7.00). The Department has drafted documents in support of the approved revisions and is seeking feedback on the following topics:

    • Subject Matter Knowledge Guidelines - These detail the content topics for each license, and sponsoring organizations use the guidelines to design their teacher preparation programs. The Department uses the guidelines when it reviews programs seeking state approval and as the basis for the Massachusetts Tests for Educator Licensure (MTEL). The Department is seeking broad input on these guidelines, particularly from content specialists in digital literacy and computer science (a new license area), English language arts/literacy, mathematics, and science and technology/engineering. Public comment will be open until November 3.
    • Foreign Teacher Panel Guidelines - The Board approved a formal process in which ESE can license educators who were prepared outside the United States via a panel review rather than having to make a special appeal to the commissioner. The guidelines outline the types of candidates who could be licensed via this process and provide a checklist of the documents they will need. Public comment will be open until November 3.
    • Provisional Validity Period Guidelines - The Provisional license, formerly called a Preliminary license, will be valid for five years of employment as of July 1, 2019, regardless of how many different fields and grade levels of Provisional licenses an educator possesses. The guidelines provide different scenarios of educators who hold multiple Provisional licenses and how many years of employment they may have remaining under their license when the change takes effect. Public comment will be open until December 8.
    • Pre-Practicum Guidelines: The Department is developing guidelines on the pre-practicum component of educator preparation and has released a set of policy proposals for public comment. The policy proposals address the time, content, and feedback and assessment required in the pre-practicum. Public comment will be open until October 31.

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If you have suggestions for content or questions or comments, you can reach a member of our staff at Top3fromESE@doe.mass.edu.



Last Updated: October 20, 2017
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