Archive for the ‘Education Policy’ Category

imagesMany districts are in the process of aligning their curriculum to the Massachusetts Curriculum Frameworks incorporating the Common Core Standards. Districts are both reviewing materials and developing their own curriculum units. So how do you assess materials for alignment to the CCSS?

The Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (ESE) had the same question when it began the Model Curriculum Project.  To answer it, the Department partnered with Rhode Island and New York to develop a quality review rubric for materials aligned to the Common Core State Standards.

Now, any district or school can use the EQuIP rubrics and resources to evaluate the alignment and quality of curricular materials.


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indexIn an article from Usable Knowledgeable News at the Harvard Graduate School of Education, “Getting to Excellence With Equity,” an interview with Professor Ronald Ferguson, who has long led the call for closing achievement gaps, emphasizes the need to raise the bar for all students.  In addition to Professor Ferguson’s insights on a subject that encompasses opportunity and achievement, you can also learn about (more…)

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As teachers work daily to prepare and work with students, curriculum development — however important — can seem overwhelming. Giving background information on the Model Curriculum Unit Project and showing how they’re created, this video highlights the backward design process used to create MCUs and discusses how teachers use first-hand knowledge of student needs in the process.

WGBH, in partnership with the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education, wants you to know that whether you’re adapting or implementing the MCU Model or creating your own curriculum materials locally, the DESE has tools  (more…)

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Watch this endearing and thought-provoking trailer of a documentary by Julie Akeret presented by WGBY and coming later in 2014, pending  funding. The film documents classes conducted at Martin Luther King Charter School in Springfield MA. by Mount Holyoke College with a diverse group of second graders who learn to love books and reading as they argue about some of life’s headiest issues using picture books as a starting point for their discussions.


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Les 10 Clip 1 Still_largeBlack History Month begins and throughout February you’ll find resources here to spark students’ curiosity. This one considers the 21st century demand for a new way of approaching education policy and practice — a “whole child” approach to learning, teaching, and community engagement.  Such an approach requires that policymakers make decisions about education by first asking:   What works best for children? (more…)

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WGBH EducationAs part of a Race to the Top proposal, the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (ESE) is developing 100+ Model Curriculum Units (MCUs)to help you use the Massachusetts Curriculum Frameworks (incorporating the Common Core State Standards).  They span PreK-12 in English language arts, Mathematics, U.S. History/Social Studies, and Science and Technology Engineering.

Each unit identifies the standard(s) to be taught, big understandings, essential questions, a Curriculum Embedded Performance Assessment (CEPA), an outline of lessons, possible digital resources to use, and detailed lesson plans. As media partner for this project, WGBH in Boston will provide digital resources via PBS LearningMedia.

Units are posted on the ESE website at the link below. Many are in draft form and ready for a Try-Out phase. Follow these steps to access the MCUs for a 2-week period, after which you can continue to request access for an unlimited number of times.

1)   Visit http://www.doe.mass.edu/candi/model/download_form.aspx

2)   Complete the short form. An access link will be sent to your email address.

3)   Check your email inbox for a message from “ESE Administration”

4)   Open the message and click the link to the website.

5)   Select a unit of interest to you.

You can also visit  www.mass.pbslearningmedia.org for updates on the units and links to thousands of free digital learning resources.

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CompSci2_ResizedNews for more integrated computer science education have increased in recent years as studies show that computer science degrees lead to high-paying jobs that help boost the economy. In fact, many school districts now give math credits to students for successful completion of computer science courses, so reports Laura Devaney, managing editor of eSchool News, in their October 30 edition.

To read the entire article, please click this link.

To learn more about teaching computer science and to access lesson plans and other classroom resources, please click this link.

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