Mass.gov
Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education
Go to Selected Program Area
 Massachusetts State Seal
 News  School/District Profiles  School/District Administration  Educator Services  Assessment/Accountability  Family & Community  
 Student Assessment  Accountability, Partnership, & Assistance  Compliance/Monitoring >  
>
>
>
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
>

Massachusetts Comprehensive Assessment System

Overview

The Massachusetts Comprehensive Assessment System (MCAS) is designed to meet the requirements of the Education Reform Law of 1993. This law specifies that the testing program must

  • test all public school students in Massachusetts, including students with disabilities and English Language Learner students;
  • measure performance based on the Massachusetts Curriculum Framework learning standards;
  • report on the performance of individual students, schools, and districts.

As required by the Education Reform Law, students must pass the grade 10 tests in English Language Arts (ELA), Mathematics and one of the four high school Science and Technology Engineering tests as one condition of eligibility for a high school diploma (in addition to fulfilling local requirements).

In addition, the MCAS program is used to hold schools and districts accountable, on a yearly basis, for the progress they have made toward the objective of the No Child Left Behind Law that all students be proficient in Reading and Mathematics by 2014.

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. What subjects does MCAS test?
  2. What types of questions are used on MCAS tests?
  3. How are test results reported?
  4. How are test results used?
  5. Is a ranking of district and town by MCAS scores available?
  6. Are all students required to participate?
  7. Can parents refuse their child's participation in the MCAS tests?
  8. How do students with disabilities participate in the MCAS tests?
  9. How do English Language Learners participate in the MCAS tests?
  10. What types of state-funded academic support programs are available for high school students or young adults who left high school without receiving a high school diploma?

    View all

stopline

9. How do English Language Learners participate in the MCAS tests?

Students who have been identified as limited English proficient (LEP) by their districts participate in all MCAS tests scheduled for their grades, regardless of whether the student's parents have declined language programs or services or the amount of time the student has been in the United States. The only exception applies to first-year LEP students to whom schools have the option of administering the MCAS English Language Arts test.

ELL students who are reported, or have been reported in the past, as LEP may use an approved bilingual word-to-word dictionary Download PDF Document  Download MS WORD Document on MCAS tests.



Last Updated: March 5, 2013
E-mail this page| Print View| Print Pdf  
Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education Search · Site Index · Policies · Site Info · Contact ESE