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The Massachusetts Board of Elementary and Secondary Education

Student Assessment and Competency Determination for Class of 2020

Members of the Board of Elementary and Secondary Education
Mitchell D. Chester, Ed.D., Commissioner
October 14, 2016


As we discussed at last month's Board meeting, I am recommending that we extend the legacy 10th grade MCAS tests for one additional year, to encompass the class of 2020. The Board previously voted, in June 2014, to use the legacy tests through the class of 2019. However, the additional transition year required by the decision to develop a next-generation MCAS argues for an additional year to prepare high school students for a new high-stakes test. The class of 2021, this year's eighth graders, will experience the new, computer-based test this coming spring. If you adopt my recommendation, this class will then be the first to take the next-generation test for their competency determination.

We have discussed this recommendation with our stakeholder groups, and I have not heard any disagreements. A motion for your consideration is attached.

We are currently developing a detailed set of policy recommendations for the new high school tests. We will be informally reviewing these proposals with our stakeholders over the next two months. We will have an initial discussion at our January 2017 meeting.

Deputy Commissioner Jeff Wulfson, Associate Commissioner Michol Stapel, and Associate General Counsel Lucy Wall will join us on October 25 to answer any questions you may have.


Last Updated: October 18, 2016
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