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The Massachusetts Board of Elementary and Secondary Education

2011-12 Achievement and Accountability Overview

To:
Members of the Board of Elementary and Secondary Education
From:
Mitchell D. Chester, Ed.D., Commissioner
Date:
September 14, 2012

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At the Board's special meeting on Monday, September 24, 2012 and regular meeting on Tuesday, September 25, 2012, I will present (1) the statewide results from the 2012 administration of the Massachusetts Comprehensive Assessment System (MCAS) exams, and (2) the school and district report cards based on No Child Left Behind waiver criteria. This year's release marks the 15th annual administration of MCAS. This year marks the first year that we are presenting new report cards based on the waiver criteria.

As you know, Massachusetts was granted a waiver from certain provisions of the federal No Child Left Behind (NCLB) Act in February 2012. Our objectives in seeking a waiver were to: (1) create a unified state and federal accountability and assistance system; (2) maintain our track record in setting high standards and expectations while establishing goals that are both ambitious and attainable; (3) incentivize student achievement in all schools; (4) identify schools that need the most assistance in the aggregate and for student subgroups; (5) recognize high achieving and improving schools; and (6) incorporate a measure of student growth in school and district accountability determinations. Our waiver submission built on the state's five-level Framework for District and School Accountability and Assistance by bringing together state and federal requirements and focusing more deliberately on proficiency gaps.

Under the state's waiver, two NCLB requirements have been replaced:

  • the NCLB goal of 100 percent proficient by 2014 is replaced by the expectation that each school and district cut their proficiency gap in half in six years; and
  • the NCLB accountability status labels are replaced by the Commonwealth's five-level classification framework.

Under our waiver system, we incorporate student growth and other indicators of school and district success.

The Department anticipates releasing the statewide results of the 2012 MCAS exams on Monday, September 17, 2012 and the school and district MCAS results and accountability reports on Wednesday, September 19, 2012. I will forward those results to you upon their release and in anticipation of our discussion later this month.



Last Updated: September 20, 2012
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