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Committee Opportunity: DESE

17 Sep 2021 3:45 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

The Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) is seeking educators to serve as members of the MCAS Assessment Development Committees (ADC) in the following content areas: English Language Arts (ELA), Mathematics, Science, Civics and of the Bias and Sensitivity Committee (BSC). This is a rewarding professional development opportunity for educators who are interested in learning about large-scale, standards-based assessment. Committee members are directly involved in assisting the Department with the process of developing MCAS test items.

Committee Requirements

DESE is looking to select from a diverse pool of candidates that have experience working with racially, ethnically, linguistically, and socioeconomically diverse students. We are especially interested in recruiting educators of color to serve on our committees.

 For the content Assessment Development Committees, candidates should have content expertise, familiarity with the Massachusetts curriculum frameworks, and teaching experience in the grade and subject matter indicated on the application.

 For the Bias and Sensitivity Committee, candidates should have experience and understanding of bias and sensitivity issues, especially as they relate to K-12 education, familiarity with the Massachusetts curriculum framework, and experience in the K-12 education environment.

Educators who previously served or who currently serve as ADC members may reapply. Committee Members’ Roles and Responsibilities ADC members assist the Department in the review of MCAS passages (ELA only), test questions, and scoring materials. Members review all test questions in their content area and grade level prior to field testing and make suggestions for refinements based on content accuracy, alignment to the Massachusetts curriculum frameworks, cognitive complexity, grade-level appropriateness, and instructional worthiness. After field testing, committee members review the questions again with their field-test performance data.


BSC members assist the Department with the review of all MCAS test questions, scoring notes and rubrics, and ELA passages. All test questions are reviewed before they are field tested, and again with their field-test performance data. Members will review items for bias and sensitivity concerns based on considerations of age, culture, ethnicity, gender, geography, languages spoken, race, religion, sexual orientation, and socioeconomic status. Members identify and make recommendations for passages and test questions with potential bias or sensitivity issues.

Membership Structure and Number of Meeting Days

Each committee consists of approximately 12 educators. The membership term will run for 2 years, from January 2022 through December 2023. Committee members are required to attend all scheduled meetings, which run from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., during late winter/spring, summer, and fall. DESE expects all meetings in 2022 and 2023 to be in-person. Any necessary safety protocols regarding COVID (such as social distancing and mask wearing) will be taken. The approximate number of meeting days per committee is listed below.

Content Area Grade Approximate

Number of Meetings per Year

English Language Arts 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, and 8 6 days

English Language Arts 10 10 days

Mathematics 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, and 8 5 days

Mathematics 10 10 days

Science and Technology/Engineering 5 and 8 6 days

Biology High School 5 days in 2022 8 days in 2023

Introductory Physics High School 5 days in 2022 8 days in 2023

Civics 8 9

Bias and Sensitivity all 7 days/member*

*There are typically 15-20 days of Bias and Sensitivity meetings. Each BSC member will be required to attend 7 meeting days per calendar year.


The Department will reimburse districts for substitute teacher costs up to $150/day. Committee members are reimbursed for mileage and tolls, and overnight accommodations are provided to members who live 55 or more miles away from the meeting site. In addition, committee members receive professional development points for their service. For summer meetings, committee members are provided an honorarium, and are not required to live more than 55 miles from the meeting site to be provided with overnight accommodations.


Application Procedure

1. Request permission from your supervisor to apply to and serve on a committee. (If selected as a member, you will be expected to attend all meetings.)

2. Send a short statement of interest and a current résumé to adc@doe.mass.edu.

When sending the email, include in the subject line your last name, first name and first choice committee. For example: Last name, First name, Grade 6 ELA.

 The statement of interest should be a brief summary of why the applicant wishes to serve on a committee and how the applicant may bring a diverse perspective to the committee, including the applicant's background, experience working with racially, ethnically, linguistically, and socioeconomically diverse communities, or any other relevant experiences.

 The résumé should include

o the applicant's current position (including roles and responsibilities),

o any degrees in relevant content areas and/or other content expertise training and experience,


o any experience working with special populations, including English learners and special needs students.

3. Complete the online application here.

Please apply by Thursday, September 30, 2021 at 5:00 PM. We expect notifications to be sent in November.

After applicants are selected for the committees, they will be sent additional meeting information, including dates and locations.

If applicants have any questions, please contact the appropriate staff below:

 ELA: Amy Carithers, Amy.E.Carithers@mass.gov

 Mathematics: Simone Johnson, Simone.Johnson@mass.gov

 Science: Isadel Eddy, Isadel.Eddy@mass.gov

 Civics: Ann Marie Gleeson, AnnMarie.Gleeson@mass.gov

 Bias and Sensitivity: Katie Bowler, Catherine.Bowler@mass.gov

 General Questions: ADC@doe.mass.edu

Thank you for your commitment to Massachusetts students and your interest in serving on these committees.

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