The Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) used the 2016 calendar year to plan for its transition to the requirements of the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), and prepare the ESSA consolidated state plan. With a few exceptions, ESSA took effect at the beginning of the 2017-18 school year.
For Massachusetts schools and districts, the most notable changes under the ESSA law related to the design of the state's school and district accountability and assistance system.
ESSA Transition Overview
DESE began its transition to ESSA by focusing on changes to its current school and district accountability and assistance system. The work was organized into four phases:
Modifications to the accountability and assistance system was implemented at the beginning of the 2017-18 school year.
Memo to the Board of Elementary and Secondary Education, June 2016
ESSA Stakeholder Outreach Plan
In November and December 2016, DESE hosted a series of public community forums on ESSA.
In spring 2016, DESE launched an online feedback form to gather high-level feedback from a variety of stakeholders about Massachusetts' school and district accountability and assistance system. DESE heard from approximately 2,200 groups and individuals on issues such as priorities for the system, specific accountability measures used, and the types of supports and assistance that schools and district should receive.
In fall 2016, DESE developed specific proposals based on the input collected during the initial listening phase and shared draft proposals with stakeholders for additional feedback.
In fall 2016 DESE notified stakeholders about different ways to provide input and feedback on Massachusetts' overall consolidated state plan under ESSA.
Massachusetts School and District Accountability System
Understanding Massachusetts' Accountability Measures: A Brochure for District and School Staff
Last Updated: June 1, 2022
Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education
75 Pleasant Street, Malden, MA 02148-4906
Voice: (781) 338-3000
TTY: (800) 439-2370
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