Massachusetts Comprehensive Assessment System

Student Assessment Update: September 3, 2019

Contact Information

for logistical support, including tech support for PearsonAccess Next and TestNav

for policy questions, including student participation

Latest Updates from Student Assessment Services

  1. Welcome Back to School
    We welcome everyone back to the new school year. This first edition of the Student Assessment Update for the 2019-2020 school year provides information on upcoming training sessions and other time-sensitive information. Our annual back-to-school edition with more detailed information about the coming year will be sent out in the next update.

  2. About This Update
    The Department automatically sends the Student Assessment Update biweekly to principals, MCAS test coordinators, special education directors, and EL program directors based on contact information submitted to the Department.

    We encourage you to share this update with your test administration teams or develop a plan for communicating relevant information to them. Individuals who would like to receive the update directly can subscribe by following the instructions at the bottom of this newsletter.

  3. Grade 10 ELA and Mathematics Scaled Scores for Interim Competency Determination Requirement
    For the classes of 2021 and 2022, students must earn a next-generation MCAS scaled score that is equivalent to a legacy MCAS scaled score of at least 240 on the grade 10 ELA and Mathematics tests or earn the next-generation MCAS equivalent of a legacy scaled score between 220 and 238 and fulfill the requirements of an Educational Proficiency Plan (EPP).

    The interim passing standard, which is being used for the classes of 2021 and 2022, defines a level of achievement on the next-generation tests that is equivalent to the current standard on the legacy tests. The table below (from the Raw-to-Scaled Score Conversion Table) shows the grade 10 next-generation scaled score ranges and the corresponding legacy MCAS achievement levels, CPI points, and Competency Determination (CD) status.

    Grade 10 ELA NextGen Scaled Score RangeGrade 10 Math NextGen Scaled Score RangeLegacy-equivalent Scaled Score RangeLegacy-equivalent Achievement LevelCPICD status codeCD status
    440 – 446440 – 453200 – 208F00Did not pass
    447 – 454454 – 468210 – 218F250Did not pass
    455 – 462469 – 476220 – 228NI501Passed, requires EPP
    463 – 471477 – 485230 – 238NI751Passed, requires EPP
    472 – 500486 – 503240 – 258P1002Passed
    501 – 560504 – 560260 – 280A1002Passed

    On September 4, interactive reports become available in Edwin Analytics, which include students' updated CD status using the MCAS Student Item Analysis Roster (IT616), in the Security Portal.

    The CD status codes for high school MCAS subject area tests are as follows:
    0 or blank = did not pass
    1 = passed and requires an EPP (ELA and Mathematics)
    1 = passed (STE)
    2 = passed (ELA and Mathematics)

    Additional information about the high school graduation requirements is available.

    Additional details about upcoming releases are available on the 2019 Assessment and Accountability Reporting Schedule at: Accountability Lists, Materials, and Tools web page.

    If you have any questions, please contact Student Assessment Services (see contact information in the header of this update).

  4. Fall Training Sessions on MCAS and MCAS-Alt
    Fall training sessions for MCAS and MCAS-Alt are now posted on Student Assessment's Training Opportunities web page. Below are the sessions to be held this month:

    Test(s)SessionsTraining Dates and Registration LinkAudience
    MCAS November Retests Overview of the Student Registration/Personal Needs (SR/PNP) Profile for the MCAS November Retests
    Information about the SR/PNP process for ordering test materials and updating selected accommodations
    Thursday, September 19, 10:00–11:30 a.m.

    Note: Email by September 12 with requests for specific topics or demonstrations.
    Principals, test coordinators, technology coordinators

    For new staff or those who want a full refresher
    MCAS Tests (grades 3–8 and high school) MCAS Reporting
    Information for principals and their teams about the release of spring 2019 MCAS results
    Friday, September 20, 10:00–11:30 a.m. Principals and their teams
  5. ACCESS for ELLs: Assign Contacts by September 13
    Principals may either serve as the ACCESS for ELLs School Test Coordinator or designate a staff person to fill that role. The district should assign a District Test Coordinator and a District Technology Coordinator. Designations should be made as soon as possible and communicated to your district's Directory Administrator, who will need to update your school's DESE Profile by Friday, September 13. The designated individuals will receive important communications from WIDA and Data Recognition Corporation (DRC), the testing contractor, throughout the year.

    Please contact Student Assessment Services with any questions about ACCESS for ELLs testing at or 781-338-3625.

  6. MCAS Testing Contractor's New Name
    Following the 2018 merger of AdvancED with Measured Progress (the MCAS testing contractor), the combined organization recently adopted a new name: Cognia. The level of service for Massachusetts remains the same, and Department staff are working closely with the testing contractor to make the transition as seamless as possible for schools. Schools will continue calling 800-737-5103 to reach the MCAS Service Center. The Measured Progress email address for the Service Center will still work, but the new email address ( is preferred. Schools will see a transition in the name change this fall: some shipments may arrive in cartons labeled with the Measured Progress name, and other materials may be labeled with the Cognia name.

Additional Resources

View HTML Page
Spring 2019 student work samples and scoring guides
Download Word Document
MCAS Alternate Assessment back-to-school newsletter
View HTML Page
2019-2020 MCAS testing schedule

Subscriber Information

Principals, MCAS test coordinators, special education directors, and EL program 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, educational collaboratives, and 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).

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."

In addition, ESE sends occasional communications regarding state policies that affect educators, parents, and other community stakeholders, as well as opportunities for community members to participate in state initiatives. Please visit our newsletter sign-up page if you are interested in receiving other news and information from the Department.

We welcome your questions and feedback at Thank you.

Last Updated: September 4, 2019

Contact Us

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

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


Disclaimer: A reference in this website to any specific commercial products, processes, or services, or the use of any trade, firm, or corporation name is for the information and convenience of the public and does not constitute endorsement or recommendation by the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education.