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Focus of Our Work

Readiness Centers represent a new step forward in the Governors Education Action Agenda. The core work of education is classroom interaction between teacher and student in the presence of content. Readiness Centers will help improve every aspect of that work.
–Paul Reville, Massachusetts Secretary of Education

Readiness Centers and DSACs are sharing information and planning together at the state and regional levels. The distinctions between the two entities are outlined below:

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State Initiatives Coming Together

Currently, the work of the Readiness Centers across the state focuses on three major areas: the Common Core at both the Pre-K and K-12 level, transitions within the Pre-K – Grade 16 continuum (one between Pre-K and K-12 and one between K-12 and higher ed.), and helping prepare students for post secondary life either in the workforce or in institutions of higher learning. In addition to these areas, each Center has identified regional needs and is in the process of developing plans to address them.

Evaluation System Serves as Link

The newly designed K-12 Educator Evaluation System, while not an identified major focus of EOE for the Readiness Centers, has the potential to be the unifying initiative for the entire body of the Readiness Centers work. Knowledge of the Common Core by all educators PreK-16 is potentially the driving force in curriculum development, instruction, supervision and evaluation. The K-12 Common Core will be the basis of our future statewide assessments. With the Pre-K Common Core as the foundation for the K-12 standards, students will enter Kindergarten with a better understanding of science and math concepts and more familiarity with the conventions of reading and writing as a result of it. Unlike in the past, and in some areas what is unfortunately still the practice, when driving down the upper elementary curriculum into the early elementary grades and the early elementary curriculum into the Kindergarten and Pre-K years, was the practice to improve student performance. The Common Core will foster a thoughtful, comprehensive series of learning experiences that will build in each student a level of understanding that will be sustained and enhanced through their formal schooling and beyond.

Concurrently, higher education will be preparing our future teachers for service in our Pre-K – grade 12 programs. Pre-service teacher training will mirror the work for in-service teachers and highlight the importance of the Common Core. In addition it use will provided examples of effective instruction and demonstrate the artful use of formative assessments. Higher education will also be expected to assume a key role in the professional development of our current and future teachers and administrators. Keeping them abreast of research, effective practice and emerging strategies that will improve the collective functioning of schools and districts. With the Common Core as a base, ongoing communication among and within Pre-K, K-12, and Higher Education will be easier.

In the Evaluation System, teachers are expected to reflect on their personal practice to build on strengths and improve in weaker areas. The Common Core and related instruction serve as standards for self-reflection and later as the measure of student and teacher progress and success. Administrators also will rely on their working knowledge of the Common Core and related instruction to assess teacher effectiveness, identifying with the teachers goals and priorities in their personal professional development plan.

The implementation of the Educator Evaluation System is probably the most important initiative in education today. It will have a significant impact on the daily practice of all educators and, if done well, will have a number of positive and powerful outcomes in districts beyond evaluation. Communication and collaboration to gain agreement on what good instruction and assessment look and sound like, a working knowledge and application of SMART goals, and an individual and collective focus on student and self improvement will all serve the students and the district well in areas other than evaluation.

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CMRC and Brain Building in Progress

Brain Building in Progress Brain Building in Progress is a coordinated effort to raise visibility and change the conversation about children’s issues in Massachusetts. This statewide,public-private partnership, led by the Massachusetts Department of Early Education and Care and United Way, aims to raise awareness of the importance of the first few years of a child’s development to their future success – and our region’s future workforce and prosperity.

The campaign aims to provide lift and visibility to the many innovative movements and organizations that are happening across the state around early childhood development and serve as an overall frame for why all of this work is critical to the future of Massachusetts. Its ultimate goal is to change the way the public thinks about early childhood and its link to our future success, and the critical role that all of us play to ensure that every child’s social, emotional and academic development is nurtured from birth through age five.

The Brain Building in Progress website promotes programs, activities, and sites where early education innovation is happening and will offer individuals, families, community organizations, policy makers and business leaders tangible ways they can get involved and take action.

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