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For Immediate Release
Monday, April 28, 2003
Contact:Heidi B. Perlman 781-338-3106

Additional 400 Students Granted MCAS Appeals In Round Four

MALDEN - A total of 404 of the 724 MCAS performance appeals reviewed last week from 103 districts for students in the class of 2003 have been granted, education officials announced on Monday. In all, 236 of the 385 math appeals submitted were granted, and 168 of the 225 English Language Arts appeals submitted were granted.

Decisions were made on 610 appeals of the 724 appeals reviewed. The remaining 114 are portfolios that will be reviewed separately, or are being held for additional information.

This is the fourth round of appeals to be granted this year. To date, nearly 1,800 performance appeals have been submitted from more than 250 districts. In all, 578 math and 342 English appeals have been granted, bringing the pass rate for the class of 2003 to more than 91 percent.

Education Commissioner David P. Driscoll congratulated the students whose appeals have been granted, but urged those who were denied not to give up and to spend the next few weeks preparing for the May administration of the MCAS retest. Results from that exam will be released in late summer.

“I’m very pleased that so many students have been able to show us through our appeals process that they are meeting the standard we have set for them in the classroom every day,” he said. “Our focus now turns to those who have not yet passed, and I am hopeful that through the May retest, our summer remediation programs, and the various Pathways we have put in place for these students, the passing rate for this class will only continue to rise.”

This was the largest group of appeals to be considered since the process began late last year. In March, the Appeals Board approved 146 of the 250 appeals submitted, 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 60 were denied and 89 were given a ruling of “No Determination.” In English, 25 were denied and no determination was found for 32. 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.

Only students who meet their local graduation requirements and who either passed or earned an appeal on the English and math exams will receive a state-endorsed high school diploma in June. For more information on the MCAS appeals process, look online at

Last Updated: April 28, 2003
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