Massachusetts Subject Matter Knowledge Guidelines

Everyone who has an interest in public education may follow up on the announcement below. The quality of education greatly depends on the professional level of teachers. Massachusetts Department of Education has developed new Subject Matter Knowledge Guidelines for teacher licensing procedure. These Guidelines will define the quality of teacher preparation for years ahead. Public is welcome to comment on the draft, which is available until November 3, 2017.

To education community.

We are pleased to announce the release of draft Subject Matter Knowledge (SMK) Guidelines for a period of public comment.  As you know, in June 2012 the Board of Elementary and Secondary Education approved revisions to Regulations for Educator Licensure and Preparation Program Approval, 603 CMR 7.00, and included in these revisions was the shift of SMK requirements from Regulations to Guidelines. 

These draft SMKs were developed with working groups representing educators from K-12 and institutions of higher education.  The SMK requirements were revised to align to the following updated MA Curriculum Frameworks:

2017 English Language Arts and Literacy Framework:

2017 Mathematics Curriculum Framework:

2016 Massachusetts Science and Technology/Engineering Curriculum Framework: 

2016 Massachusetts Digital Literacy and Computer Science Curriculum Framework: 

Please use the following survey: (this survey link will also be available on the website at: share your feedback on the draft SMK Guidelines. 

Public comment will be open through Friday, November 3, 2017.  ESE will use the feedback from the public comment period to make additional revisions, as needed, to the SMK requirements.  The final SMK Guidelines will be released in December 2017 for full implementation beginning July 1, 2019.  The final draft of these Guidelines will include the subject matter knowledge requirements for all licenses included in the Regulations, 603 CMR 7.00, however, for the purposes of this period of public comment, we are only including licenses with proposed revisions.

Marianne Dunne

Science Education Specialist

Center for Instructional Support Department of Elementary & Secondary Education

75 Pleasant Street

Malden, MA  02148


Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education


75 Pleasant Street, Malden, Massachusetts 02148-4906                          

Telephone: (781) 338-3000


October 2, 2017


Dear Valentin,


We are writing to express our gratitude and appreciation for supporting the revisions of the Science subject matter knowledge requirements for the Subject Matter Knowledge (SMK) Guidelines. The work that you participated in has allowed the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (ESE) to align the SMK Guidelines that set expectations for our educator preparation programs and Massachusetts Tests for Educator Licensure (MTEL) with the 2016 STE Curriculum Frameworks.


We know your top priority is providing the best education possible to the students in your district and at your colleges and universities.


Your collaborative effort with the working groups at WPI after working hours is invaluable to ESE as we move forward with revising the multiple K-12 science licenses. Our hope is that the work, in turn, provided you with new insight and ideas that are essential for the implementation of the more rigorous and relevant 2016 MA STE standards that not only strengthen your instruction, but also support your science initiatives in your districts and at your institutions.


We will be releasing the SMK Guidelines for public comment the week of October 2nd.  The SMKs may look different than when you last worked on them as edits were made to align across license areas.  We will be including additional details as a resource appendix in the SMK Guidelines so you will likely see some of the detail included in the original templates in this resource section.


Please contact us with any questions and thank you again for all your work with us.





Elizabeth C. Losee                          Marianne Dunne    

Director for Educator Preparation and Educator Assessment Science Education Specialist    

Center for Instructional Support

Department of Elementary and Secondary Education

75 Pleasant Street

Malden, MA 02148

Phone: 781-338-3264                                        Phone: 781-338-3529