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Massachusetts Comprehensive Assessment System

Eligibility for MCAS High School Science and Technology/Engineering Tests in School Year 2019-2020

To:Principals, Charter School Leaders, Approved Private Special Education School Directors, and Interested Educators
From:Michol Stapel, Associate Commissioner for Student Assessment
Date:June 13, 2019

The purpose of this memo is to clarify the policies around the MCAS high school Science and Technology/Engineering (STE) tests in February and June 2020.

February Biology 2020 Test Eligibility

A legacy, paper-based Biology test based on "overlapping" standards from both the 2006 and 2016 STE frameworks will be offered to eligible students. Individuals eligible to participate include:

  • students in grade 9 or 10 (class of 2023 or 2022) who have completed a biology course by the time of testing and who have not yet earned a scaled score of at least 220 on an STE test
  • students in grade 11 or 12 (class of 2021 or 2020) who meet either of the following requirements:
    • have not yet earned a scaled score of at least 220 on one of the STE tests; or
    • want to attempt to qualify for the Koplik Certificate of Mastery with Distinction Award
  • adults who have exited high school and are attempting to earn a scaled score of at least 220 on an STE test

June 2020 STE Tests and Eligibility

Schools will administer next-generation, computer-based (CBT) MCAS high school tests in Biology and Introductory Physics for the first time in June 2020. Ninth graders in school year 2019-2020 (the class of 2023) will be the first class eligible to take these new tests. A paper version (PBT) will be available for students who require this accommodation. The Department will also offer legacy, paper-based tests in Biology, Introductory Physics, Chemistry, and Technology/Engineering. Testing information about the June 2020 STE tests is provided in the table below.

June 2020 STE Test Information

STE TestEligibilityAdministration ModeStandards Assessed
Next-Generation Biology and Introductory Physics
  • grade 9 students who are enrolled in a biology or introductory physics course
computer-based (paper-based accommodation available)2016 STE framework
Legacy Chemistry and Technology/Engineering
  • grade 9 students who are enrolled in a chemistry or technology/engineering course
  • grades 10-12 students and adult learners who have not yet earned a scaled score of at least 220 on an STE test
  • grade 11 or 12 students who want to attempt to qualify for the Koplik Certificate of Mastery with Distinction Award
paper-based2006 STE framework
Legacy Biology and Introductory Physics
  • grades 10-12 students and adult learners who have not yet earned a scaled score of at least 220 on an STE test
  • grade 11 or 12 students who want to attempt to qualify for the Koplik Certificate of Mastery with Distinction Award
paper-based"overlapping" standards from both the 2006 and 2016 STE frameworks

Achievement Levels

The next-generation MCAS Biology and Introductory Physics tests will have different achievement levels and scores than the legacy STE tests. However, for the classes of 2023 and 2024, students will need to reach the score corresponding to 220 on the legacy Biology and Introductory Physics tests to qualify for a high school diploma. In other words, the passing standard remains the same as previous years as the state introduces these new assessments. The Chemistry, Technology/ Engineering, and February 2020 Biology tests will continue to be reported on the legacy scale.

Additional information about the MCAS STE tests, including the next-generation Biology and Introductory Physics test designs, can be found here.

Thank you for your attention to this information. Please direct questions to the Office of Student Assessment Services or 781-338-3625.





Last Updated: June 14, 2019



 
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