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MCAS Performance Appeals

News Archives


September 2015

Dear Parents, High School Students, and Educators:

Welcome to the MCAS Performance Appeals website. The MCAS Performance Appeals process was established in 2002 to provide eligible high school students who have been unable to pass the required MCAS tests an additional opportunity to demonstrate through their course work that they meet or exceed the state's Competency Determination (CD) standard in order to earn a high school diploma.

To earn a CD, students must achieve a scaled score of at least 240 on the grade 10 MCAS English language arts (ELA) and mathematics tests, and earn a scaled score of at least 220 on a high school MCAS science and technology/engineering test in one of four subjects (biology, chemistry, introductory physics, or technology/ engineering). Students who receive a score between 220-238 on the grade 10 ELA and mathematics tests must successfully complete an Educational Proficiency Plan (EPP) developed for them by their school in order to earn a CD. Please refer to MCAS's H.S. Graduation Requirements page for more information about graduation requirements and College and Career Readiness' Educational Proficiency Plans page for more information about EPPs. For information about students in military families, please refer to MCAS' Participation Requirements for Students page. Submissions for students eligible for special consideration under the VALOR Act are due to the Department by the first Friday of each month in order to be reviewed that month.

A district may file an appeal for a student who is having difficulty passing one or more of the required high school MCAS tests, if the student meets all eligibility requirements. However, parents and students (if age 18 or over) may request that their child's district file an appeal on behalf of the student. If an appeal is granted, the student is deemed to have met the requirements for the CD in the subject of the appeal. More information about the appeals process is included in this website.

Earning a high school diploma is critical for success, and I am committed to ensuring that all high school students are given multiple opportunities to meet the state's graduation requirements. Although the vast majority of Massachusetts high school graduates have met the state standard by earning the required scores on the high school MCAS tests or retests, more than 4,000 students since 2003 have earned a CD through the MCAS Performance Appeals process.

It is my intention to ensure that eligible high school students are given the opportunity to have MCAS Performance Appeals filed on their behalf. I appreciate your efforts on behalf of all students who have yet to meet the high school standards.

Sincerely,

Mitchell D. Chester, Ed.D.
Commissioner of Elementary and Secondary Education



Last Updated: July 27, 2015
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