Sample Student Responses on MCAS Test are Released- Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education
For Immediate Release
Tuesday, December 22, 1998
Contact:Jan O'Keefe Feldman

Sample Student Responses on MCAS Test are Released

Malden - Massachusetts Education Commissioner David P. Driscoll has released sample student responses to essay questions in English language arts, and answers to mathematics and science/technology questions that required students to solve problems and show their work, from the MCAS tests given last May to public school students in grades 4, 8 and 10.

The publication, "MCAS Performance Levels: Sample Student Responses," contains anonymous examples of actual student responses, and illustrates the state's academic standards for student work at the four MCAS performance levels: Advanced; Proficient; Needs Improvement; and Failing.

Commissioner Driscoll said, "These examples of student work will help everyone to understand how to recognize the levels in which student work is categorized. That will build public understanding of what we are committed to achieve, and public confidence in this system of Education Reform. Together with the school, district and statewide results and actual test questions, these examples of real student work in English language arts, math and science/technology will aid teachers, parents and students in working together to improve instruction and curriculum."

Commissioner Driscoll and Chairman of the Board John Silber have stated that their goal within five years is for 75% of students to be performing in the Advanced and Proficient levels in all grades in all subjects. "Some schools will fail to reach this goal, while others will exceed it, but we are confident that all schools will improve substantially as they strive for this objective," said Chairman Silber.

All MCAS documents, results, information guides and test questions on which student scores were based, are available at local schools, and can be reviewed on the Massachusetts Department of Education website,

Last Updated: December 22, 1998

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