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For Immediate Release
Monday, March 24, 2003
Contact:Heidi B. Perlman 781-338-3106

146 MCAS Performance Appeals Granted In Third Round

MALDEN - A total of 146 of the nearly 250 MCAS performance appeals reviewed last week from 64 districts for students in the class of 2003 have been granted, education officials announced on Monday. In all, 100 of the 175 math appeals submitted were granted, and 46 of the 71 English Language Arts appeals submitted were granted.

In all, 403 appeals were submitted for the third round of reviews, 301 in math and 102 in English. Of that group, 66 are portfolios and have not been reviewed yet, and 75 were withdrawn by superintendents because the students passed the December retest.

Education Commissioner David P. Driscoll said he is pleased to be able to award this latest round of appeals, and urged those who have not yet passed the math or English MCAS exams to commit to trying their best on the upcoming retest in May.

“This is an option for students who don’t test well, yet perform at a 220 level or higher every day in the classroom,” he said. “The appeals process is not a back door route to a diploma, or an easy out for students who just don’t want to try. It allows us to maintain our standards with a full sense of fairness to all students.”

This is the third round of appeals to be granted this year. To date, nearly 1,000 performance appeals have been submitted from 150 districts. In all, 342 math and 117 English appeals have been granted.

In February, 112 of the 196 appeals submitted were granted, and in December, 201 of the 392 appeals submitted were approved.

Of the appeals submitted in this round, in math 35 were denied and 40 were given a ruling of “No Determination.” In English, 18 were denied and no determination was found for seven. Appeals are given that ruling when the applications are incomplete, or there is not enough 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: March 24, 2003
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