Student Assessment Update: May 2, 2016- Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education

Massachusetts Comprehensive Assessment System

Student Assessment Update: May 2, 2016

Customer Service Contacts for Spring 2016 Test Administrations

Logistics and Administration Support
MCAS Service Center
Phone: 800-737-5103
PARCC Support Center
Phone: 888-493-9888

Policy Questions (MCAS and PARCC)
Student Assessment Services
Phone: 781-338-3625

Latest Updates from Student Assessment Services

Release of 2016-2017 Testing Schedule

We are pleased to inform you that the 2016-2017 testing schedule will be posted this week. This schedule includes testing dates for MCAS and ACCESS for ELLs, as well as the submission deadline for the MCAS Alternate Assessment (MCAS-Alt). The dates for test administration deadlines (e.g., ordering and shipping materials) will be provided at a later time.

Accountability and Assistance System Feedback Opportunity

The Department is in the early phases of gathering input from stakeholders on the state's school and district accountability and assistance system. Coming changes in statewide assessments and federal law have provided an opportunity to reconsider the principles of the current system, the data used to measure school and district progress, and the types of supports and assistance available.

Feedback is being gathered through an online statewide feedback form. The survey includes closed-ended questions about various priorities for the system as well as the opportunity to provide open-ended feedback on a number of guiding questions. The form will remain open for feedback through the end of the school year. The Department intends to reengage with stakeholders in the fall to solicit input on proposals developed over the summer based on the gathered input.

Spring 2016 PARCC

Not Tested Reason Codes

Students who are required, but not able, to participate in the Spring 2016 PARCC Assessment will need to have a Not Tested reason provided in the student's test record in PearsonAccess Next. The Department will be posting the 2016 Not Tested Reason Codes this week. Codes apply to both PBT and CBT and can be entered in PearsonAccess Next through the end of the administration window. Please be aware of the following information:

  • Students who are refusing to participate in testing should be marked as Not Tested, Absent.
  • If a student has already started a computer-based test, but will not be completing all sessions within the testing window, the test will need to be marked complete and a reason code will need to be manually entered.

PARCC Test Booklets and Answer Documents

This year, PARCC has separate test booklets and answer documents for grades 4–8. Answer documents are designed to specifically match each test booklet form number. Please ensure that test administrators are matching the form number on the test booklet and the answer document before passing out the materials to students. Please call Student Assessment at 781-338-3625 with any questions.

Additional Orders for PARCC

Please keep in mind when ordering additional materials for PARCC that each order takes 4–5 business days to arrive after it has been requested and approved.

Note on Spanish-Language Edition Tests for PARCC

PARCC tests are not permitted to be administered in Spanish; please return any Spanish materials you may have received as nonscorable and conduct all computer-based testing in English. Tests that are administered in Spanish will be invalidated.

PARCC Office Hours Call

The recording from the April 25 PARCC Office Hours call held by the Department is now available. Slides that were presented on the call are attached to this email.

Important Dates

  • April 25–May 27: PARCC administration window for paper-based testing (PBT)
  • April 25–June 6: PARCC administration window for computer-based testing (PBT)
  • April 25–May 5: MCAS schools with grades 3–8 complete the PCPA, report packing discrepancies, and order additional materials if necessary
  • May 3: High schools receive MCAS mathematics test materials for grade 10
  • May 3–May 13: High schools complete the MCAS PCPA, report packing discrepancies, and order additional materials if necessary
  • May 9–24: MCAS Mathematics test sessions for grades 3–8
  • May 10: Parent/Guardian Reports for MCAS February Biology and March retest delivered to school districts
  • May 10–24: MCAS Science and Technology/Engineering test sessions for grades 5 and 8

Additional Resources

View External Link
PARCC Highlighter and Stray Marks Guidance for Spring 2016
Guidelines for Filling in Gridded Response Items for PARCC PBT Mathematics
Guidance for Testing Transfer Students


Subscriber Information

Principals, MCAS test coordinators, PARCC test coordinators, special education directors, and ELL directors receive this update based on contact information submitted to the Department. To change your email address or to add another staff member, please follow the instructions below:

  • Public school districts, public schools, charter public schools, collaboratives, approved private special education schools: submit the new email address to your District-Level Directory Administrator.
  • Test sites, adult education programs, out-of-state schools, SEIS-DYS programs: go online to the EOE Information Technology web page (select "District/School Information Update" as the subject) to submit your update (be sure to include your District and School Code).

We welcome your feedback at

Last Updated: May 9, 2016

Contact Us

Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education
75 Pleasant Street, Malden, MA 02148-4906

Voice: (781) 338-3000
TTY: (800) 439-2370


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