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For Immediate Release
Thursday, May 20, 2010
Contact:Heidi Guarino 781-338-3106 or JC Considine 781-338-3112

Statement from Education Commissioner Mitchell Chester on Massachusetts participation in the multi-state Partnership for the Assessment of Readiness for College and Career (PARCC) Consortium

MALDEN - "We remain committed to the high standards that have gotten us this far and we will not adopt new assessments that represent a lowering of expectations for the Commonwealth's students. Massachusetts has been openly participating for over a year in an unprecedented opportunity to secure federal funding for the development of a new multi-state student assessment program based on college and career-ready standards.

We are a leadership state in this effort, and are working to ensure that the assessments developed are rigorous and reflect the quality and high expectations that the MCAS program has provided for our state over the past 12 years. But let me be completely clear, we would not sign on to any new assessment program that did not match or exceed our current high standards.

Massachusetts's standards and assessments are second-to-none when compared to the other states, but we can't be complacent. We are taking advantage of the opportunity to develop next generation assessments that move beyond what students are able to demonstrate on a traditional, one-time test administration. We approach this from a position of strength and the best interests of our students will continue to serve as the sole measure of our decisions with respect to this or any initiative.

Our participation in the Partnership for the Assessment of Readiness for College and Career (PARCC) consortium has no immediate impact on the MCAS program nor does it imply any future decision. If we are successful in securing a federal grant, we will spend the next four years developing and field testing the new assessments. Assuming the new tests do not lower expectations for student achievement, we will determine if or how they may be used to improve our student's educational experience."

Last Updated: May 20, 2010
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