Massachusetts Comprehensive Assessment System

Spring 2017 District Testing Mode Decisions (as of December 1, 2016)


The transition plan for statewide computer-based testing includes the following details for spring 2017:
  • Schools are expected to administer grades 4 and 8 computer-based MCAS ELA and Mathematics tests (with exceptions for students who have been determined to require a paper-and-pencil version of the assessment). For the small number of schools or grades unable to meet this expectation, districts submitted a waiver request.
  • For grades 3, 5, 6, and 7, districts chose to have their schools do either the computer-based or the paper-based tests. The decision to do CBT or PBT was made by school, grade, and subject area (e.g., paper-based testing for ELA and computer-based testing for Mathematics for school A for grade 6). Districts that administered PARCC computer-based tests in spring 2016 were strongly encouraged to implement computer-based testing at those same schools again in 2017. The more opportunities that students have to become familiar with the electronic format and the associated tools, the better prepared they will be in terms of digital literacy, as well as for future computer-based assessments.
  • The grade 10 ELA and Mathematics tests, as well as all Science and Technology/Engineering tests (grades 5, 8 and high school), remain paper-based only for spring 2017.
As you know, superintendents were asked this fall to indicate decisions that will be binding for 2017 for their districts for testing mode (computer-based or paper-based testing) for the spring MCAS ELA and Mathematics tests for grades 3-8. For public districts that did not respond, the Department has assigned schools the same testing mode that was administered in 2016, and has assumed that grades 4 and 8 will administer computer-based testing.

Districts' Decisions and Next Steps for Principals

The Department has now posted districts' decisions (listing by district and school Download MS EXCEL Document). Since principals may not be aware of the decisions that their superintendents made on their behalf, we are requesting that principals review the data for their school and make plans accordingly. Schools doing computer-based testing, which is expected for grades 4 and 8, should plan to participate in training sessions later this winter as part of their preparations (training sessions will be announced at a later date). After consulting with their superintendent, principals should contact the Department no later than December 9 with any questions or to inform us of any errors in the decision that is posted Download MS EXCEL Document. Principals should submit corrections by completing the table below for their school and emailing the table to
District CodeSchool CodeDistrict NameSchool NameGr. 3 ELAGr. 3 MathGr. 4 ELAGr. 4 MathGr. 5 ELAGr. 5 MathGr. 6 ELAGr. 6 MathGr. 7 ELAGr. 7 MathGr. 8 ELAGr. 8 Math

Last Updated: December 5, 2016

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