|For Immediate Release|
|Monday, October 7, 2002|
|Contact:||Heidi B. Perlman 781-338-3106|
Free On-Line MCAS Tutorial For Classes Of 2003, 2004 & 2005 Launched
MALDEN - Students in the classes of 2003, 2004 and 2005 will be able to help themselves prepare for the MCAS exam anytime, day or night, over the next eight months using a free, online tutorial program launched by the Department of Education on Monday.
The tutorial will allow students to hone the English and math skills needed to do well on the statewide assessment tests. Now in its second year, the tutorial will be available for use by up to 80,000 students at a time until June, 2003. The program is operated by the Princeton Review through their Homeroom.com program, and is made available through the state’s Virtual Education Space portal.
Education Commissioner David P. Driscoll lauded the program and said he is hopeful all students will take advantage of the opportunity to help them prepare. The next MCAS retest will be given in December, and the 2003 spring exams will be given in April and May.
“This tutorial does away with the common complaint that extra help programs are not available at times that are convenient for students,” he said. “This will allow our students to log on anytime, day or night, and ensures that each one has every possible opportunity to work on their problem areas, and as a result, boost their performance on the MCAS exam.”
This is the second year the state has signed a $300,000 contract with Princeton Review to operate the program. Last year more than 12,000 students used the on-line tutorial both during the school day, in community centers, libraries and at home.
The program uses a database of more than 120,000 multiple choice test items and 10,000 skill-specific lessons, lesson plans, activities and additional educational resources aligned to the state’s curriculum frameworks.
To use the tutorial, students will first take a pre-unit test online to determine their weakest areas. Results from that test will be used to determine which online practice exercises they need to complete. Once the exercises are complete, before moving onto the next unit they will take a post-unit exam to ensure they’ve mastered the initial set of skills.
Educators can use the program to track student performance, to pull questions for in-class practice quizzes, and to assess overall score and level of skill master for their students.
All students in the classes of 2003, 2004 and 2005 are eligible to participate, and the tutorial can be accessed from any computer linked to the Internet at any time. The student in each school who uses the tutorial program the most will win a season movie pass, and the one who uses it most across the state will win a Microsoft X-Box game console.
To get started, log in at http://mcas.doe.mass.edu.