Educational Proficiency Plan: Update- Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education

College and Career Readiness

Educational Proficiency Plan: Update

To:Superintendents, High School Principals, and Directors of Charter Schools, Approved Private Special Education Schools, and Educational Collaboratives
From:Mitchell D. Chester, Ed.D.
Commissioner of Elementary and Secondary Education
Date:June 25, 2008


On February 5, 2008 the Department provided you with preliminary information and resources to assist in planning for the implementation of the new Competency Determination (CD) standard that is a requirement for the class of 2010 and beyond. Since then the Department has made available additional resources to help you implement Educational Proficiency Plan (EPP) requirements. (See

EPP Intent for School Year 2008-09

  • The purpose of the requirement is to increase the likelihood that students graduating from high school will have the requisite skills needed for success in college and a career.
  • The EPP is not intended to promote test prep or remedial courses for the junior and senior years of high school. Students should be encouraged and supported to take challenging courses that will better prepare them for postsecondary education and careers.
  • " School districts must develop an EPP for a student in the class of 2010 who does not score at 240 or above on the grade 10 ELA and Mathematics MCAS tests. The EPP must identify the student's strengths and weaknesses, based on MCAS and other assessment results, coursework, grades, and teacher, student, and counselor input. It must also include the courses (ELA and/or mathematics) the student will be required to take in grades 11 and 12.

School Year 2008-2009 Assessment Options

    School districts will have four assessment options during next year's EPP phase-in period to determine if a student is making progress toward proficiency:

  • Locally developed end-of-course assessment in English language arts and/or mathematics
  • Grade 10 MCAS test forms designed for the EPP in which scoring will be done at the local level
  • The College Board's Accuplacer test. Accuplacer is required for students entering Massachusetts public colleges and the University of Massachusetts and is used to determine placement into developmental non-credit bearing courses
  • State Algebra II end-of-course test being developed by Pearson under the direction of Achieve, Inc.

The Department will offer regional forums in the fall on the use of EPP assessment options and continue to seek the input of districts, schools and professional organizations in the phase-in of the EPP over the next year. We are also planning to collect student performance data based on the School Year 2008-2009 assessments and, with the field's input, provide additional guidance on assessment options for School Year 2009-2010.

I would encourage each school district to take the following steps to emphasize the importance of the EPP.

  • Communicate with students, parents/guardians, and the community regarding the need for students to strive toward proficiency and to continue to take challenging courses to better prepare themselves for postsecondary education and the workplace
  • Examine the strengths and weaknesses of each student to determine the best possible supports for student success
  • Examine high school academic course offerings to ensure that every student has access to and is taking challenging English language arts and mathematics coursework in the 11th and 12th grades

Thank you for your ongoing efforts to increase the college and career readiness of students in the Commonwealth. Questions about Educational Proficiency Plans should be directed to Nyal Fuentes at 781-338-3593 /

Last Updated: July 11, 2008

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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