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College and Career Readiness

Educational Proficiency Plan (EPP) and Spring 2011 Assessments

To:Superintendents, High School Principals, Guidance Directors, and Directors of Charter Schools, Approved Private Special Education Schools, Institutional Schools, and Educational Collaboratives
From:Mitchell D. Chester, Ed.D.
Commissioner of Elementary and Secondary Education
Date:January 25, 2011


The purpose of this memorandum is to clarify the Educational Proficiency Plan (EPP) assessment options for students who have earned a score of 220-238 on either the grade 10 MCAS English Language Arts (ELA) or Mathematics test, and to provide additional information on the spring 2011 MCAS/EPP test administration.

Students with EPPs must continue to receive instruction in the subject(s) in which they are not yet proficient and participate in assessments to determine their progress toward meeting the proficiency standard.

Below are the four EPP assessment options for this school year:

  • A locally developed end-of-course assessment can be used to measure progress toward proficiency.
  • Accuplacer, a placement test used by Massachusetts public colleges and the University of Massachusetts, can be used to measure progress toward proficiency.
  • The Mathematics MCAS/EPP Test can be used to certify that students have met the Competency Determination (CD) standard in Mathematics.
  • The March 2011 MCAS ELA retest can be used to certify that students have met the CD standard in ELA.

Note: The policy regarding EPP assessment options for the 2011-2012 school year will be posted on the Department's website later this year.

MCAS ELA Retest Opportunity

Students in grades 11 and 12 who have not yet earned a scaled score of at least 240 on the MCAS ELA test and who are attempting to earn a CD in ELA may participate in the March 2011 MCAS ELA retest. Only students who score below 220 are eligible to participate in MCAS Mathematics retest opportunities. Eligibility guidelines are posted at: Student Participation Guidelines for the High School Tests and Retests.

Mathematics MCAS/EPP Test

The Mathematics MCAS/EPP Test is an option (a locally scored assessment option) for students to successfully complete the mathematics assessment portion of their EPPs.

There will be one test administration period for school year 2010-2011: April 25-May 6, 2011.

A test administration manual will be posted to the Department's Security Portal (see below for instructions to access the Security Portal). The manual provides information about testing windows and test security and ethics requirements.

The MCAS/EPP test forms may NOT be used for practice or review.

The mathematics MCAS/EPP Test is aligned to the Massachusetts Curriculum Framework content standards. The Mathematics MCAS/EPP Test includes only multiple-choice questions (no short-answer or open-response questions).

The MCAS/EPP Test consists of two sessions of 30 questions each: one is a calculator session and one is a non-calculator session.

Spring Mathematics MCAS/EPP Test Administration Schedule

The following table shows important dates for the spring 2011 MCAS/EPP test administration.

Mathematics MCAS/EPP DocumentsExpected Date of Posting to Security Portal
Test Administrator's Manual, Principal's Instructions, and Principal's Assurance of Proper Test Administration (to be completed and kept on file locally)March 17, 2011
Mathematics MCAS/EPP test formsApril 14, 2011
Answers and raw-to-scaled score conversion tablesMay 9, 2011
(will be removed May 18, 2011)

Scoring Mathematics MCAS/EPP Tests

District staff members are responsible for scoring MCAS/EPP tests between May 9 and May 18, 2011. To assist schools in their scoring activities, the Department will post the answers to all multiple-choice questions and raw-to-scaled score conversion tables for the MCAS/EPP Test.

Accessing the MCAS EPP DropBox in the Security Portal

The Mathematics MCAS/EPP test-related materials will be posted to each high school's MCAS EPP DropBox, accessible via the Security Portal's DropBox Central. High school principals or their designees responsible for coordinating the administration of the MCAS/EPP Test need to contact their district's Directory Administrator for assignment to their school's MCAS EPP DropBox role. See the Department's Directory Administrator website for general guidelines about providing access to another school district or high school staff member. To access the test materials follow the instructions below:

  • Go to the Security Portal
  • Log in with your user name and password
  • Select "DropBox Central" under DropBox
  • Select "MCAS EPP" and "next"

EPP Resources

Information about EPPs can be found on the Department's website at Educational Proficiency Plans.

Please contact the College and Career Readiness unit with any questions via email at or telephone at 781-338-3010.

Thank you for your cooperation.

Last Updated: January 25, 2011
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