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For Immediate Release
Friday, April 14, 2017
Contact:Jacqueline Reis, 781-338-3115

Rhode Island in Talks to Adopt Next-Generation MCAS

Neighboring State Would Use the Tests in Grades 3-8 in 2018

MALDEN - The Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education announced today that the Rhode Island Department of Education is in talks to use the next-generation MCAS for its students in grades 3-8 starting in spring 2018.

Rhode Island's interest comes as Massachusetts, a national leader in education, debuts the next-generation MCAS, an updated version of its Massachusetts Comprehensive Assessment System (MCAS), which was well-regarded for its high expectations, including its writing requirements. This spring, Massachusetts students in grades 3-8 are taking next-generation MCAS assessments in English language arts and math, and a high school version is under development.

Both Massachusetts and Rhode Island participated in the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC) consortium, which developed the PARCC test that both Massachusetts and Rhode Island administered to their students. Massachusetts ultimately decided to create its own test. The next-generation MCAS incorporates PARCC items, legacy MCAS items and newly developed items, all in a format that is designed to be given on a computer but which is also available in a paper-and-pencil version.

"The fact that Rhode Island is interested in using our assessment is a strong endorsement of all the work that Massachusetts educators and the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education did to build a high-quality assessment," said Massachusetts Elementary and Secondary Education Commissioner Mitchell Chester.

Massachusetts' and Rhode Island's learning standards are not identical, but there are significant areas of overlap. The next-generation MCAS is based solely on the Massachusetts standards.

More information about the next-generation MCAS, including its contractors and practice questions, is available online.

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Last Updated: April 14, 2017
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