Student Assessment Update July 31, 2013- Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education

Massachusetts Comprehensive Assessment System

Student Assessment Update July 31, 2013

MCAS and Accountability Reporting Teleconferences-August 7 and 8

If you haven't done so already, please remember to register for the upcoming reporting conference calls on August 7 from 2:00 to 3:00 p.m. and August 8 from 10:00 to 11:00 a.m. Department staff will share important information regarding the spring 2013 MCAS test results, and participants will have an opportunity to ask questions at the end of the call. You must register at MCAS Service Center. Instructions for accessing the conference call will be emailed to registrants on or before August 6.

2013 MCAS and MCAS-Alt Results

Full preliminary MCAS and MCAS-Alt results are scheduled to be available in the MCAS 2013 Data Dropbox at the Department's Security Portal and in Edwin Analytics by 5:00 p.m. on August 7, 2013. These preliminary results should be used to verify the accuracy of student information and student test status data, and to identify potential discrepancies to report to the Department. However, since these are preliminary data, you may NOT release any aggregate data to the public until the official release of school and district results in September.

2013 MCAS Discrepancy Reporting

The Department's online discrepancy reporting period for MCAS data is August 7 through August 13, 2013. It is essential that principals and school leaders review their preliminary results during this period, or delegate this task to a designee, as discrepancies reported after 5:00 p.m. on August 13 will not be corrected in time for the official September release of results. The online MCAS discrepancy reporting tool will be available at the MCAS Service Center website at MCAS Service Center. Detailed instructions for reporting MCAS data discrepancies will be posted at the MCAS Service Center website and in the MCAS 2013 Data Dropbox at the Department's Security Portal.

PARCC Updates

The Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC) recently released two major policy documents that were first released for public comment in the spring and have been revised based on extensive public feedback. Both documents were approved by the PARCC Governing Board last month.

PARCC Accessibility Features and Accommodations Manual: This comprehensive policy document will support local educators in the selection, administration, and evaluation of accommodations for the assessment of students with disabilities and English language learners in the PARCC assessments, currently under development. The manual also describes supports and accessibility features that all students are entitled to receive as part of the computer-based testing. The manual, FAQs, a PowerPoint presentation explaining the manual, and brochures for parents and teachers of students with disabilities are available at

PARCC Performance Level Descriptors: Performance levels, sometimes referred to as "achievement levels," are the broad, categorical levels used to report student performance on an assessment. The PARCC grade- and subject specific performance level descriptors (PLDs) in English language arts/literacy and mathematics articulate the knowledge, skills, and practices that students performing at a given level should be able to demonstrate in each content area at each grade level on the PARCC assessments. To view the PLDs, as well as FAQs, go to

Important Upcoming Dates

  • August 7 (2:00 to 3:00 p.m.) and August 8 (10:00 to 11:00 a.m.):
    Accountability reporting teleconferences
  • August 7:
    • MCAS and MCAS-Alt full preliminary results in all subjects, including Mathematics and Science and Technology/Engineering (STE), will be posted electronically in DropBox Central in the Department's Security Portal.
    • The MCAS and accountability discrepancy reporting window opens. (The online application for reporting MCAS discrepancies is available at MCAS Service Center.)
  • August 13: The MCAS and accountability discrepancy reporting window closes at 5:00 p.m.

About this Update

The Student Assessment Services Update provides important information about the state's testing programs. Please email your feedback to

Principals, heads of school, MCAS test coordinators, and ELL directors received this email based on contact information that was submitted to the Department. To change your email address, please follow the instructions below:

  • Public schools: Submit updates to your District-Level Directory Administrator, who is responsible for submitting updates to the Department. A listing of Directory Administrators is posted at
  • Non-public schools and collaboratives: Submit updates (along with your District & School Code) to the Department via email at

Last Updated: August 5, 2013

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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