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For Immediate Release
Monday, November 16, 1998
Contact:Jan O'Keefe Feldman

State Education Commissioner Releases Student Test Questions

Boston - Massachusetts Commissioner of Education David P. Driscoll today released the questions from the state's first student MCAS (Massachusetts Comprehensive Assessment System) test that was given to all fourth-, eighth-, and tenth- grade students in May 1998.

There were approximately 380 questions released including multiple-choice, short-answer and questions requiring a longer written answer. These are all of the questions on which student scores are based.

There were other questions on the first MCAS, called "matrix questions," that appeared the same to students but did not count in their scores. This is the pool of questions from which next year's MCAS will be designed.

"The public release of the student test questions so soon after the test was given is a clear signal by Massachusetts that we want full public understanding of this process," said Commissioner Driscoll.

The tests of student performance in English language arts, mathematics and science/technology were given for the first time last spring to 210,000 fourth-, eighth- and tenth-grade students in all Massachusetts public schools. Required by the Education Reform Act of 1993, the tests are designed to measure student achievement of the new statewide academic learning standards in the curriculum frameworks.

In the spring of 1999, the MCAS will include a test of history/social science for students in grades eight and ten, and fourth-grade students will be given a question-tryout in history/social science. In the future, a foreign language test will be added to the MCAS.

Last Updated: November 16, 1998
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