College and Career Readiness

Educational Proficiency Plan (EPP) and Spring 2012 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, 2012

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 (Needs Improvement) on either the grade 10 MCAS English Language Arts (ELA) or Mathematics test, and to provide additional information on the spring 2012 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. All students in 11th and 12th grades who have yet to score Proficient on the 10th grade Mathematics and/or ELA MCAS tests should have Educational Proficiency Plans to meet their competency determinations (CD). 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, state universities, 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 CD standard in Mathematics.
  • The March 2012 MCAS ELA retest can be used to certify that students have met the CD standard in ELA.

MCAS ELA Retest Opportunity

Students in grades 11 and 12 who have not yet earned a scaled score of at least 240 (Proficient) on the MCAS ELA test and who are attempting to earn a CD in ELA may participate in the March 2012 MCAS ELA retest. 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. The administration window for the school year 2011-2012 Mathematics MCAS/EPP test is April 23-May 4, 2012. 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 Mathematics MCAS/EPP Test forms may NOT be used for practice or review. The Mathematics MCAS/EPP Test is aligned with 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. Students on a Mathematics EPP (i.e., students scoring between 220 and 238) CANNOT participate in the March 2012 MCAS Mathematics retest.

Spring Mathematics MCAS/EPP Test Administration Schedule

The following table shows important dates for the spring 2012 Mathematics 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 16, 2012
Mathematics MCAS/EPP Test forms (This release date affords time to print test forms, however, they must be stored in a secure central location until test administration begins.)April 12, 2012
Answers and raw-to-scaled score conversion tables May 7, 2012
(will be removed May 18, 2012)

Scoring Mathematics MCAS/EPP Tests

District staff members are responsible for scoring Mathematics MCAS/EPP Tests between May 7 and May 18, 2012. 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 Mathematics 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: February 15, 2012

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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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