In 2010, the Commonwealth raised the bar for all students when it adopted the Common Core State Standards and adapted them for Massachusetts. These standards, referred to as the Massachusetts Curriculum Frameworks, emphasize the critical thinking and problem solving skills necessary for success in higher education and the workforce and set a path for all students toward attaining a postsecondary career certificate or college degree.Whether the Common Core State Standards realize their potential as an effective tool in the preparation of students for the future will depend on the adoption of high quality assessments that align with standards and indicate readiness for college and career.
Key MBAE initiatives:
Protecting College and Career Ready Standards
MBAE, along with other leading business organizations and employers, supported the state’s adoption of the Common Core State Standards in 2010. We based our support on a non-ideological, side-by-side comparison of the Common Core and Massachusetts then-under-development K-12 English and math standards that concluded the two sets of standards were very much aligned, but the Common Core's stronger emphasis on strategic thinking and less on recall was an improvement over MA standards. Go to our Research & Reports section to find the full report, executive summary, press release, and appendices.A proposed ballot measure that would repeal the Common Core and force all schools to go back to using academic standards from 2001 and 2004 threatens student progress. MBAE is supporting an appeal of the Attorney General's decision to certify the ballot measure. To find out more about our position and the action we are taking, visit our MassEd Forum blog.” To understand more about why this is so important to the employers we represent, watch this 3-minute video from the Council of Great City Schools! Conversation: A Three-Minute Video on Common Core State Standards from CGCS Video Maker on Vimeo.
Ensuring A High Quality Assessment Aligned with the Demands of Higher Ed and the Workforce
Following two years of field testing of a next generation assessment system known as PARCC (Partnership for Assessment of College and Career Readiness), the Board of Elementary and Secondary Education voted in November 2015 to develop MCAS 2.0. MBAE will be closely following and weighing in on the development of MCAS 2.0. We’ll be advocating for the design principles that were the basis for our support for PARCC:
- Honest, valid measures of whether a student is on track for college work without the need for remediation;
- Assessment of applied knowledge and skills needed to be ready to meet workforce expectations;
- Computer generated test that advances equity in digital literacy and supports effective use of technology for instruction and learning; and
- Cost-effective assessment that reflects great teaching and learning, not test preparation.
“What Massachusetts chooses to assess inevitably influences what is taught in schools and how it is taught…the state must develop the capacity to assess a wider range of higher-order knowledge and skills.”