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Massachusetts English Language Arts and Mathematics Curriculum Review


  • Massachusetts wanted to revise the state’s common core standards
  • Abt examined revisions to standards in nine other states
  • Abt’s report informed the board’s decisions about the Massachusetts standards
The Challenge

In 2016, Massachusetts wanted to review and revise the state’s common core state standards in English language arts/literacy (ELA) and mathematics. The state also was developing a new state assessment. Ensuring the new standards informed the assessment required a condensed process for revising the standards.

The Approach

Abt guided Massachusetts’ stakeholder engagement process, documenting and summarizing input gathered from a statewide survey, a statewide educator review panel, two groups of content experts, and other community stakeholders. To help state leaders place the proposed revisions in a larger context, Abt examined revisions to ELA and math standards in nine other states. Abt used an iterative, three-phase process, which included the incorporation of Board of Education feedback before release of the report for public comment.

The Results

Abt summarized the standards review process, stakeholder feedback, and the analysis of revisions to other state standards in a final report to the board.The report served as documentation of the rigor and transparency of the process and informed the board’s decisions about revisions to the Massachusetts standards.