Massachusetts Comprehensive Assessment System

2010 Competency Determination (CD) Update-Individuals Who Were Originally Members of the Class of 2009 or an Earlier Class

To:Superintendents, High School Principals, and Directors of Charter Schools, Adult Diploma Programs, One-Stop Career Centers, Academic Support MCAS Programs, Approved Private Special Education Schools, Educational Collaboratives, and Institutional Programs
From:Mitchell D. Chester, Ed.D.
Commissioner of Elementary and Secondary Education
Date:June 11, 2010 (Supersedes May 5, 2010 Memorandum)

I am writing to inform you of an important policy change that applies to individuals who were originally members of the class of 2009 or an earlier class (e.g., entered high school in September 2005 or earlier as freshmen) who are continuing to strive to fulfill the state's Competency Determination (CD) requirements as a condition for receiving a high school diploma. As you are aware, beginning with the class of 2010, students must earn a score of 220 or higher on one of the four high school MCAS Science and Technology/Engineering (STE) tests and a score of 240 or higher in English Language Arts (ELA) and Mathematics in order to earn a CD in those areas. Students who do not score 240 or higher in ELA and/or Mathematics can earn a CD in those areas by scoring at least 220 and completing an Educational Proficiency Plan. To fairly implement the new CD requirements for the Class of 2010, I am using my authority as Commissioner to delay the implementation of the 2010 CD requirements for students who were originally in the class of 2009 or earlier and meet both of the following criteria:
  1. They have scored at the Needs Improvement level or higher on the MCAS grade 10 ELA and Mathematics tests (or have been granted an MCAS Performance Appeal).
  2. They have not taken an MCAS test or submitted an MCAS-Alt portfolio in Biology, Chemistry, Introductory Physics, or Technology/Engineering prior to February 2010.
This policy change will be in effect between now and July 1, 2012, after which time all students must meet the 2010 CD requirements. If you have any questions about the application of this policy, please contact the Office of Student Assessment at 781-338-3625.

Last Updated: June 11, 2010

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