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Massachusetts Comprehensive Assessment System

History and Social Science Grade 8 Civics Assessment Development Committee (ADC) Recruitment

To:Massachusetts Public School Educators
From:Michol Stapel, Associate Commissioner for Student Assessment
Date:January 22, 2019

The Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) is seeking educators to serve as members of the History and Social Science Assessment Development Committee for Grade 8 Civics. Committee members will be directly involved in assisting the Department with the process of developing performance-based assessment tasks for civics. DESE is looking to select from a diverse pool of candidates. We strongly encourage educators who have diverse backgrounds and who teach groups of diverse students to apply.

For the Grade 8 Civics ADC, we are looking for candidates with content expertise in civics, government, and/or U.S. history; familiarity with the newly revised Massachusetts History and Social Science Curriculum Framework; and teaching experience in middle school history and social science, especially in civics. We are also interested in receiving applications from educators who teach or have taught civics content at other grade levels, including high school. Priority consideration will be given to educators who are able to pilot a performance task in their classroom, school, or district this May or June. We estimate that the pilot tasks will take approximately two 45-minute class sessions.

Committee Members' Roles and Responsibilities

Grade 8 Civics ADC members will assist the Department in the development and review of performance-based assessment tasks, including scoring notes and rubrics. When possible, educators will also participate in a grade 8 civics assessment pilot this spring, as noted above. Members will generate ideas for assessment tasks, review and edit pilot tasks and associated materials, analyze results, and make suggestions for refinements. Members will review tasks for

  • content accuracy and alignment with the standards in the Massachusetts History and Social Science Curriculum Framework;
  • cognitive complexity;
  • developmental appropriateness; and
  • instructional worthiness.

Reimbursement of Expenses

The Department will reimburse districts for substitute teacher costs up to $150/day. Committee members are reimbursed for mileage and tolls, and overnight accommodations are provided to members who live 55 or more miles away from the meeting site. In addition, committee members receive professional development points for their service. For summer meetings, committee members are awarded a small honorarium, and are not required to live more than 55 miles from the meeting site to be provided with overnight accommodations.

Membership Structure and Number of Meeting Days

The Grade 8 Civics ADC will consist of approximately 12 educators. The membership term will run for 2 years, from February 2019 through December 2020. Committee members are required to attend all scheduled meetings, which run from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.

Meeting Dates and Location

The dates for the first three Grade 8 Civics ADC meetings are as follows:

  • February 27, 2019
  • April 2, 2019
  • May 2, 2019

It is anticipated that the committee will meet in summer 2019 (1 day), fall 2019 (2 days), spring 2020 (2 days), and summer 2020 (2 days) on dates to be determined.

Application Procedure

  1. Send a statement of interest and a current résumé to . When sending the email, include in the subject line your last name, first name and Grade 8 Civics. For example: Smith, Bob, Grade 8 Civics.

    • The statement of interest should be a brief summary of why the applicant wishes to serve on this committee, their experience teaching civics/government, and how the applicant may bring a diverse perspective to the committee, including the applicant's background, working with students from diverse backgrounds, or any other relevant experiences.
    • The résumé should include a description of
      • the applicant's current position (including roles and responsibilities)
      • any degrees in relevant content areas and/or other content expertise training and experience
      • any experience working with special populations, including English learners and special needs students
  2. Complete the online application.

The deadline for completion of the online application and the submission of all materials is Friday, February 1, 2019. Notifications will be sent February 8, 2019. Upon selection, successful applicants will be sent the meeting dates and locations and be asked to confirm attendance. Additionally, successful applicants will be asked to submit a confirmation of support for attendance at all meetings from their supervisor.

If applicants have any questions, please contact Ann Marie Gleeson at .

Thank you for your commitment to Massachusetts students and your interest in serving on this committee.

Last Updated: January 22, 2019

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