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Education Laws and Regulations

603 CMR 31.00:
Massachusetts Certificate of Mastery

Section:
31.02:
31.03:
31.04:
31.05:
31.06:
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31.01: Authority, Scope and Purposes

(1) 603 CMR 31.00 is promulgated pursuant to the authority of the Board of Education under M.G.L. c. 69, §§ 1B and 1D.

(2) 603 CMR 31.00 establishes the criteria for the Certificate of Mastery and for the Certificate of Mastery with Distinction.

(3) The purposes of the Certificate of Mastery and the Certificate of Mastery with Distinction are to:

(a) Recognize high academic achievement;
(b) Motivate students to perform to their best abilities on MCAS and other measures throughout high school;
(c) Recognize high academic achievement in areas not included in MCAS; and
(d) Recognize high academic achievement as identified by outside forums including competitions, student publications, and awards.

31.02: Definitions

Advanced Placement (AP) Exam shall mean an examination in subject matter produced by the College Board.

Arts/Humanities shall mean literature, composition, history, social science, foreign language and the arts.

Board shall mean the Massachusetts Board of Education, appointed in accordance with M.G.L. c. 15, § 1E.

Candidate for the Certificate of Mastery shall mean a Student who has met the criteria contained in 603 CMR 31.04.

Certificate of Mastery shall mean an award given to students demonstrating proficiency in English language arts and mathematics and completing coursework necessary for college and career readiness.

Certificate of Mastery with Distinction shall mean an award given to students demonstrating mastery across several content areas including arts/humanities and mathematics/science through performance on MCAS, other achievement tests, and other forms of high academic, literary, or artistic achievement.

College Board is a membership organization made up of high schools and colleges.

Department shall mean the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education.

Mathematics/Science shall mean mathematics, science, engineering and computer science.

MCAS shall mean the Massachusetts Comprehensive Assessment System, the statewide assessment of individual students' academic performance, as required by M.G.L. c. 69, § 1I.

Other Achievements shall mean recognition of high academic, literary, or artistic accomplishments as validated by activities outside the student's school, other than through standardized tests. The term is further defined in 603 CMR 31.04 (3) (c).

SAT II Exam shall mean an examination in subject matter produced by the College Board under the name SAT II.

Student shall mean a Massachusetts resident who attends secondary school.

31.03: Criteria for the Certificate of Mastery

(1) Beginning with the students in the Class of 2009, to be eligible for a Certificate of Mastery, a student must earn a competency determination and:

(a) Achieve a scaled score of at least 240 or its equivalent on the Grade 10 English Language Arts and Mathematics MCAS by February 1st of the year in which the student graduates. Alternate tests and equivalent scores may be determined by the Department in guidelines on the Certificate of Mastery.
(b) Complete high school with a grade point average equal to or greater than any minimum grade point average established by the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education in guidelines for the Certificate of Mastery.
(c) Achieve the passing standard on any test identified by the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education to establish proficiency in Algebra II or more advanced mathematics.
(d) Demonstrate proficiency in writing through an assessment identified for this purpose by the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education.
(e) Meet one of the following criteria:
1. Complete a high school curriculum designed to prepare students for college and career readiness, consistent with any standards established by the Board of Education.
2. Earn a Certificate of Occupational Proficiency, under the requirements found in 603 CMR 4.14(2)

31.04: Criteria for Candidacy for the Certificate of Mastery

In order to qualify as a Candidate for the Certificate of Mastery with Distinction, a Student must score "Advanced" on at least one grade 10 MCAS test subject, and score "Proficient" or "Advanced" on the remaining subjects tested in the grade 10 MCAS.

31.05: Criteria for the Certificate of Mastery with Distinction

(1) To be eligible for the Certificate of Mastery with Distinction, a Student must:

(a) qualify as a Candidate for the Certificate of Mastery with Distinction;
(b) demonstrate accomplishment in both Arts/Humanities and Mathematics/Science; and
(c) be in good standing to graduate from the high school in which the Student is enrolled.

(2) To qualify for the Certificate of Mastery with Distinction, a Candidate for the Certificate of Mastery with Distinction must submit evidence establishing that he or she met or surpassed the performance standards established in 603 CMR 31.05(3) in one of the following combinations of accomplishments, with at least one accomplishment in the fields of Art/Humanities if the Candidate did not score Advanced on the grade 10 English MCAS, and at least one accomplishment in the fields of Mathematics/Science if the Candidate did not score Advanced on the grade 10 Mathematics or Science and Technology MCAS:

(a) Two SAT II exams;
(b) Two AP exams;
(c) One SAT II exam and one AP exam;
(d) One SAT II exam and one Other Achievement; or
(e) One AP exam and one Other Achievement.

(3) To qualify as an accomplishment for the purposes of 603 CMR 31.05 (1) and (2), a Student must meet or exceed the following levels of performance:

(a) A score of three on an AP exam;
(b) A score on an SAT II exam determined by the Department to be comparable to a score of three on an AP exam where there exist SAT II and AP exams in the same subject area; provided that, in subject areas where there are no corresponding AP exams, a Student must achieve a score designated by the Department;
The Department shall review and publish the required minimum scores for all SAT II exams every three (3) years.
(c) A Candidate may not count both an AP exam score and an SAT II exam score in the same subject area as accomplishments for the purposes of 603 CMR 31.04(2).
(d) Other Achievements shall include, but are not limited to, the following:
(i) Intel Science Talent Search Competition winner;
(ii) Regional, State or National Science Fair winner;
(iii) Publication of writing in a competitive publication (e.g., The Concord Review);
(iv) Selection for activity, beyond local school level, based on excellence in artistic or literary achievement (e.g., Greater Boston Youth Symphony, Boston Ballet, prize in Art Competition);
(v) Additional achievements as approved by the Department.

(4) The Department shall issue guidelines to schools defining the Certificate of Mastery and Certificate of Mastery with Distinction application process. The Certificate of Mastery and Certificate of Mastery with Distinction will be awarded to students annually on a schedule to be determined by the Department.

31.06: Stanley Z. Koplik Certificate of Mastery with Distinction Award

A Student who fulfills the requirements of 603 CMR 31.05 will receive the Stanley Z. Koplik Certificate of Mastery with Distinction Award.

Regulatory Authority:
603 CMR 31.00 M.G.L. c. 69, §§ 1B and 1D.

For further information regarding this award, please see the Certificate of Mastery's home page.



Last Updated: February 27, 2007
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