- The Massachusetts plan begins with a compelling and coherent vision of the state’s successes and challenges — resulting in the articulation of five overarching strategies that are meant to drive the state’s plan. The state’s Executive Summary is clear, understandable, and accessible for all audiences.
- Massachusetts is also noteworthy for its strong history of taking actions that have resulted in improvements in the state’s lowest-performing schools and districts. The plan offers useful research, experiences, and insights into what the state’s approaches are, and how and why they’ve worked in the past.
- The state’s plan for Supporting Excellent Educators is also a model worthy of study by other states. It emphasizes how educator supports for early literacy and middle school math, for example, will push the thinking and learning of teachers and principals.
- Massachusetts’ plan does not connect the dots between its long-term vision and how that vision will be embodied in its accountability system. As a result, it misses multiple opportunities to tie these together in meaningful and actionable ways.
- Massachusetts clearly spent a lot of time rethinking its performance index, indicators, and determinations. But due to the lack of data, simulations, and examples, this is still somewhat abstract rather than an actionable plan.
- The state proposes to include stakeholders as it continues refining and implementing its ESSA plan, but the state has not proposed a clear stakeholder engagement plan, and it lacks timelines around many critical decisions.