Dear Colleague,

The Massachusetts Department of Higher Education and Department of Elementary and Secondary Education are seeking feedback from educators, parents, students, communities, employers, workers, the general public and all related stakeholders on a DRAFT definition for Massachusetts on what it means to be College and Career Ready. Our goal is to capture the broadest possible feedback across Massachusetts’ P-16 environment while arriving at a definition that is clear, reflects our educational goals and values, and is workable for stakeholders.

We thank each campus and partnering school for the work of the P-16 Campus Engagement Teams who contributed to the definition of college readiness in Massachusetts. All of the Campus Engagement Reports, which were submitted in June 2012, are posted on the PARCC Massachusetts Campus Engagement Center website. We also thank the Commonwealth's Regional Readiness Centers for their support of this work.

During the same time that the P-16 Campus Engagement Teams were discussing college readiness, the Board of Elementary and Secondary Education convened the Integrating College and Career Readiness Task Force. The Task Force was charged to develop a clear, measurable definition of career readiness. The Board approved the Task Force Report on June 26, 2012, and the report is posted on the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education website.

The definitions submitted by the Campus Engagement Teams and the Task Force Report stated clear support for the integration of college and career readiness in Massachusetts’ work to develop a statewide definition. Further, the results of both initiatives shared a common emphasis in two areas: essential learning competencies and learning qualities and strategies. The draft definition flows from the engagement work and task force recommendations.

At this time we are sharing the Draft Definition of College and Career Readiness with you to begin the process of review, feedback and synthesis. This review will continue into the Fall so that we will reach the broadest P-16 community possible. After you have reviewed the draft definition which follows, please respond to the survey's twelve questions. The deadline for responses is 5:00 pm ET on October 31, 2012.

Mitchell Chester, Commissioner
Department of Elementary and Secondary Education

Richard Freeland, Commissioner
Department of Higher Education