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For Immediate Release
Wednesday, February 5, 2003
Contact:Heidi B. Perlman 781-338-3106

112 MCAS Appeals Granted In Second Round

MALDEN - A total of 112 of the 196 MCAS appeals submitted from 28 districts for students in the class of 2003 have been granted, education officials announced on Wednesday. In all, 82 of the 137 math appeals submitted were granted, and 30 of the 59 English Language Arts appeals submitted were granted.

This is the second round of appeals to be announced. In the first round, released in December, 201 of the 392 MCAS appeals submitted from 63 districts were approved.

Education Commissioner David P. Driscoll congratulated the students who were granted appeals and encouraged those who have not yet passed to participated in extra help programs and on-line tutorials to prepare for the next retest, which will be given in May.

“The appeals process lets us stand firm on our standard, but makes allowances for students who don’t test well yet perform at a 220 level or higher every day in the classroom,” he said. “To me this is, and always has been, an issue of fairness.”

Of the appeals submitted in this round, 29 were denied (19 in math and 10 in English) and a ruling of “No Determination” was found for 55. Appeals are given that ruling when the applications are incomplete, or insufficient evidence provided to make a fair decision.

To be eligible for an appeal, a student must have taken the grade 10 MCAS in either English or math at least three times, scored a 216 or above at least once, maintained at least a 95 percent attendance record, and participated in tutoring and academic support programs in school.

Once deemed eligible, the performance appeal is filed by the student's district superintendent, and contains evidence of the student's knowledge and skills in the subject area, including teacher recommendations, the student's grades in courses taken in the subject area and work samples. The appeal must also contain grades and MCAS scores of other students in the school who took the same courses.

The only appeals given serious consideration were for students who met both the eligibility and academic performance requirements.

Twelve Massachusetts public high school educators, including a principal, guidance counselors and English and mathematics teachers and supervisors, were appointed by Commissioner Driscoll to serve on the MCAS Appeals Board. They examined all appeals for eligibility and performance requirements as outlined in the MCAS appeals regulations and made recommendations to the Commissioner on whether to grant the appeals, deny them or find no determination.

Students who meet their local graduation requirements and who either passed or earned an appeal in both the English and math exams will receive a Competency Determination in June.

For more information on the MCAS appeals process, look online at www.doe.mass.edu/mcasappeals.



Last Updated: February 5, 2003
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