Initiatives

Alignment of English Language Arts K-12 Curriculum to 2011 Framework Standards

Overview of Key Features of the Standards in Each Strand

Reading: Text Complexity and the Growth of Comprehension

The Reading standards place equal emphasis on the sophistication of what students read and the skill with which they read. Standard 10 defines a grade-by-grade “staircase” of increasing text complexity that rises from beginning reading to the college and career readiness level. Whatever they are reading, students must also show a steadily growing ability to discern more from and make fuller use of text, including making an increasing number of connections among ideas and between texts; considering a wider range of textual evidence; and becoming more sensitive to inconsistencies, ambiguities, and poor reasoning in texts.

Writing: Text Types, Responding to Reading, and Research

The Writing standards acknowledge the fact that whereas some writing skills, such as the ability to plan, revise, edit, and publish, are applicable to many types of writing, other skills are more properly defined in terms of specific writing types: arguments, informative/explanatory texts, and narratives. Standard 9 stresses the importance of the writing-reading connection by requiring students to draw upon and write about evidence from literary and informational texts. Because of the centrality of writing to most forms of inquiry, research standards are prominently included in this strand, though skills important to research are infused throughout the document.

Speaking and Listening: Flexible Communication and Collaboration

The Speaking and Listening standards require students to develop a range of broadly useful oral communication and interpersonal skills, including but not limited to skills necessary for formal presentations. Students must learn to work together; express and listen carefully to ideas; integrate information from oral, visual, quantitative, and media sources; evaluate what they hear; use media and visual displays strategically to help achieve communicative purposes; and adapt speech to context and task.

Language: Conventions, Effective Use, and Vocabulary

The Language standards include the essential “rules” of standard written and spoken English, but they also approach language as a matter of craft and informed choice among alternatives. The vocabulary standards focus on understanding words and phrases, their relationships, and their nuances, and on acquiring new vocabulary, particularly general academic and domain-specific words and phrases.

Alignment of K-12 Mathematics Curriculum to 2011 Framework Standards

Overview of Key Features of the Standards 

The following six Guiding Principles are philosophical statements that underlie the Standards for Mathematical Practice, Standards for Mathematical Content, and other resources in the mathematics curriculum framework. The Standards for Mathematical Practice describe ways in which developing student practitioners of the discipline of mathematics increasingly ought to engage with the subject matter as they grow in mathematical maturity and expertise throughout the elementary, middle, and high school years.

 Guiding Principles
 Guiding Principle 1: Learning  Mathematical ideas should be explored in ways that stimulate curiosity, create enjoyment of mathematics, and develop depth of understanding.
 Guiding Principle 2: Teaching  An effective mathematics program is based on a carefully designed set of content standards that are clear and specific, focused, and articulated over time as a coherent sequence.
 Guiding Principle 3: Technology  Technology is an essential tool that should be used strategically in mathematics education.
 Guiding Principle 4: Equity  All students should have a high quality mathematics program that prepares them for college and a career.
 Guiding Principle 5: Literacy Across the Content Areas  An effective mathematics program builds upon and develops students’ literacy skills and knowledge.
 Guiding Principle 6: Assessment  Assessment of student learning in mathematics should take many forms to inform instruction and learning.
 Standards for Mathematical Practice  
Practice 1: Problem Solving  Make sense of problems and persevere in solving them.
 Practice 2:  Reasoning Reason abstractly and quantitatively.
 Practice 3:  Constructing Arguments Construct viable arguments and critique the reasoning of others.
 Practice 4:  Modeling Model with mathematics.
 Practice 5:  Use of Tools Use appropriate tools strategically.
 Practice 6:  Precision Attend to precision.
 Practice 7:  Structure  Look for and make use of structure.
 Practice 8:  Reasoning and Expression  Look for and express regularity in repeated reasoning.

 

Implementation of Educator Evaluation System

On June 28, 2011, the Board of Elementary and Secondary Education adopted new regulations for the evaluation of all Massachusetts educators. The regulations, which apply to both administrators and teachers throughout the state, are designed to:

  • Promote growth and development amongst leaders and teachers,
  • Place student learning at the center, using multiple measures of student learning, growth, and achievement,
  • Recognize excellence in teaching and leading,
  • Set a high bar for professional teaching status, and
  • Shorten timelines for improvement.

For more information, please visit:  http://www.doe.mass.edu/edeval/