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Teaching, Learning and Testing

Massachusetts was the first state in the nation to institute learning standards that outline what all students are expected to know and be able to do in each subject area and grade level.

These standards aren't classroom curriculum. Curriculum lesson plans, books, materials, and other resources are all selected locally by the school district, school, or individual teachers.

To find out how well students understand what is being taught, educators give students local and state tests. School districts and teachers use test results to identify areas where students need more help and where teachers should adjust the curriculum or their instruction to help students reach high expectations.

Each student learns differently, so the state supports a variety of educational options for K-12 students and adult learners.

In Massachusetts, we challenge our students in the classroom regardless of who they are or where they live. Learn how educators use statewide learning standards to improve their teaching and your child's learning.

Also, learn more about how state assessments help parents, students, educators, and other policymakers determine where districts, schools, and students are meeting the standards and where they need additional help.

Contact Us

Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education
75 Pleasant Street, Malden, MA 02148-4906

Voice: (781) 338-3000
TTY: (800) 439-2370


Disclaimer: A reference in this website to any specific commercial products, processes, or services, or the use of any trade, firm, or corporation name is for the information and convenience of the public and does not constitute endorsement or recommendation by the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education.