Massachusetts Comprehensive Assessment System

Student Assessment Update: June 9, 2017

Contact Information

MCAS Service Center
Phone: 800-737-5103
for logistical support, including tech support for PearsonAccess Next and TestNav

Student Assessment Services
Phone: 781-338-3625
for policy questions, including student participation

Latest Updates from Student Assessment Services

Release of the 2017-2018 Testing Schedule

We are pleased to release the 2017-2018 testing schedule for MCAS tests and ACCESS for ELLs, as well as the submission deadline for the MCAS Alternate Assessment (MCAS-Alt).

Preliminary MCAS-Alt Results

Portfolio Feedback Forms (PFFs) containing preliminary MCAS-Alt results are currently available in PDF format in each school's DropBox in the Security Portal. These should be shared by the principal or test coordinator with the teacher who compiled the MCAS-Alt portfolio. If you need assistance logging in, please see your district or organization Directory Administrator.

MCAS-Alt Score Appeals

The deadline for submitting MCAS-Alt score appeals is Friday, June 23, at 5:00 p.m. To file a score appeal, you must have kept a photocopy of the portfolio at the school to compare with the reported results on the Portfolio Feedback Form. Please refer to the online score appeal application (available on June 12), frequently asked questions, and the Principal's Manual for MCAS-Alt for additional information regarding MCAS-Alt score appeals.

ACCESS for ELLs Results

Schools and districts received their printed ACCESS results on May 31. Electronic results are available in WIDA AMS. Additional resources and interpretive information are described in the Department's May 12 ELL Assessment Update. Below is the timetable for the Department's release of additional information about the performance of ELL students on the ACCESS tests (all dates are tentative):
  • A CSV data file containing students' test status, scores, and proficiency levels is now available in the Gateway Portal (DropBox Central - ACCESS Data 2017 folder).
  • The Student Roster (EL627) and the aggregate District and School Summary, including the participation rate (EL327), will be available in Edwin Analytics in the Gateway Portal on June 16. (Note: The percentage of students in the district making progress will not appear in this report.)
  • The final data file with Student Growth Percentiles for ACCESS (SGPAs), Progress indicators (Yes or No), and Attainment indicators (Yes or No) for each student will be available in a CSV file in DropBox Central the week of August 28 and in Edwin Analytics the week of September 4.
  • The percentage of students in the district who have met their growth-to-proficiency targets will be reported in October on the ESE website.
Information about changes to the 2017 ACCESS score scale and the likely effects on students' scores is located at 2017 ACCESS for ELLs 2.0 Score Changes.

Spring 2017 MCAS Release of Raw Data in June and July

Later this month, the Department will release preliminary ("raw") data for the spring 2017 MCAS tests in English Language Arts (ELA), Mathematics, and grades 5 and 8 Science and Technology/ Engineering (STE). This first release will include full preliminary results for grade 10 ELA only; for all other grades and subjects, only selected-response items will be reported. Constructed-response and essay items will be included with full preliminary results in August; student growth will be available with the release of official embargoed results in October. As in previous years, the Department is prioritizing the early delivery of partial results so that educators may develop remediation plans, as needed, to help students prepare for the 2017-2018 school year. These partial results should be used with caution since they have not gone through the discrepancy reporting period. In your review, you may contact the Department with questions and may formally report any potential errors during the mid-August discrepancy reporting window. Because standard setting for the new next-generation MCAS tests in grades 3-8 will occur in mid-August, raw data released in June, and full preliminary data released in August, will not include scaled scores and achievement levels, and will not include student growth for any grades. Official embargoed results, scheduled for release in mid-October, will include Next-Generation scaled scores, achievement levels, and student growth for grades 4-8 and 10. See the attached table for more information.

Assistive Technology Survey for Students with Disabilities Participating in MCAS Testing

The Department is seeking more information about the use of speech-to-text Assistive Technology (AT) programs for MCAS testing. Speech-to-text programs convert dictation into text and can be used by students with written language challenges. If your school uses speech-to-text programs, please complete the short (i.e., five questions) AT for MCAS Testing Survey. Your participation will help the Department develop guidance for the future use of speech-to-text AT programs for next-generation MCAS testing.

Reminder: Opportunity to Recommend Changes to a Department-Approved ELA Graphic Organizer or Supplemental Mathematics Reference Sheet

The deadline for submitting recommendations for revising an ELA graphic organizer or supplemental mathematics reference sheet is June 30, 2017. The Department is seeking proposals to add or change information listed on the current version of the pre-approved ELA graphic organizers or supplemental mathematics reference sheets. For more information, and to submit a recommendation, please visit our website.

Important Dates

  • June 9, 3:00 p.m.: Last day to complete the PCPA and schedule UPS pickup for high school STE
  • June 12: Last day for UPS pickup for high school STE

Subscriber Information

Principals, MCAS test coordinators, special education directors, and ELL directors automatically receive this Student Assessment Update based on contact information submitted to the Department. To change your email address or to add another staff member who serves in one of these roles, please follow the instructions below:
  • Public school districts, public schools, charter public schools: submit the new email address to your District-Level Directory Administrator.
  • Educational collaboratives, approved private special education schools, 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).
For others who wish to subscribe, email with the following information in the body of the email: "subscribe SASUpdate Your_Name" (Example: subscribe SASUpdate John_Smith). To unsubscribe, send an email to the same address with the following information in the body: "unsubscribe SASUpdate." We welcome your questions and feedback at Thank you.

Last Updated: June 9, 2017

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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