Background on Next-Gen MCAS
The Role of the Board of Elementary and Secondary Education
Massachusetts has four independent educational "systems": the Department of Early Education and Care, the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education, the Department of Higher Education, and the University of Massachusetts. Each system has its own board of directors, which is responsible for policy and fiscal oversight.
The secretary of education, who leads the Executive Office of Education and is appointed by the governor, oversees all four systems and is a voting member of each board.
BESE oversees ESE, which is responsible for developing and/or implementing all statewide K-12 policies and regulations, ranging from student testing to teacher licensure.
BESE voted on November 17, 2015, to approve the development of Massachusetts's next-generation assessment, which will include test questions from MCAS and PARCC, as well as new questions that will be developed by teams of testing experts and educators.
BESE also established an oversight committee that is monitoring the development of the new test to ensure its quality and production schedule.