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Massachusetts Curriculum Frameworks

Update on English Language Arts and Mathematics standards for grades 3, 5, and 7

To:Superintendents, Principals, Charter School Directors, Collaborative Directors, Directors of Approved Private Special Education Schools, PreK-12 English Language Arts and Mathematics Coordinators and Teachers
From:David P. Driscoll, Commissioner of Education
Date:March 5, 2004

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Superintendents, Principals, Charter School Directors, David P. Driscoll, Commissioner of Education

In September 2003 the Board of Education reviewed initial drafts of grade level standards in reading and mathematics for grades 3, 5, and 7. Developed by Department staff and local educators, these new standards respond to the No Child Left Behind (NCLB) Act, which requires states to assess reading and mathematics in each of the grades 3 through 8. The draft standards for reading and mathematics were sent out for public comment between October and December of 2003. The drafts were posted on the Department website and were mailed to superintendents, principals, directors of collaboratives, 766 approved private schools, and heads of educator preparation programs. We received public comment from 94 people in 40 public school districts for both English language arts and mathematics.

English Language Arts

In February 2004, the Board of Education voted to accept the English language arts standards for grades 3, 5 and 7 in the document called Supplement to the English Language Arts Curriculum Framework. This document is designed to be a companion piece to the Massachusetts English Language Arts Curriculum Framework published in 2001. The Supplement contains grade level standards for the 12 key language, reading, and literature standards that are the basis for MCAS reading assessments. The prepublication edition of the Supplement to the English Language Arts Curriculum Framework approved by the Board of Education can be found at http://www.doe.mass.edu/frameworks/current.html. Please note that copy editing is in progress but edits will not change the substance of the Supplement.

Mathematics

Department staff are currently working with a committee of teachers and mathematics content experts to revise the draft grade level standards for grades 3, 5, and 7 to incorporate the public comment received. The Supplement to the Mathematics Curriculum Framework includes all of the standards for grades 3, 5 and 7 in each of the five strands: number sense and operations; patterns, relations, and algebra; geometry; measurement; and data analysis, statistics, and probability. A final draft of the revised mathematics standards will be presented to the Board of Education at the March 30, 2004 meeting.

Distribution of the Supplementary Documents

The Supplement to the English Language Arts Curriculum Framework can be found on our website at http://www.doe.mass.edu/frameworks/current.html. We will post the Supplement to the Mathematics Curriculum Framework on our website once it is approved by the Board of Education. In addition, the Department plans to mail copies of the Supplementary Documents to superintendents, principals, directors of collaboratives, 766 approved private schools, and heads of educator preparation programs in May after the documents have been copy-edited.

If you have questions about these Supplement documents, please contact Joan McNeil at 781-338-6227 or jmcneil@doe.mass.edu.



Last Updated: March 5, 2004
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