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Massachusetts Comprehensive Assessment System

ELA Item Alignment and Coding

All MCAS ELA items are coded to the College and Career Readiness (CCR) Anchor Standards for Reading, Writing, and Language. Grade-level standards are considered in developing and reviewing each test question; however, MCAS questions are written to assess the broader skills of reading and writing that students in all grades are working towards and that are defined by the anchor standards. Students are not expected to know grade-specific content beyond their grade level, but the tests will include items that reflect an understanding of all of the grade-level standards up to and including the grade level being assessed. Some standards, such as Speaking and Listening are assessable at the local level.

As noted in the 2017 Framework, "CCR and grade-specific standards are necessary complements-the former providing broad standards, the latter providing additional specificity-that together define the skills and understandings that all students must demonstrate."

For grades 3-10, each standard code consists of three components separated by periods (e.g., R.1.03):

R, W, or LReading, Writing, or Language anchor standard
1, 2, 3, or 4Cluster (e.g., Key Ideas and Details is cluster 1 for Reading)
01-10Standard number


Last Updated: November 9, 2017
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