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Massachusetts Comprehensive Assessment System

Student Assessment Update: August 26, 2013

Updates on MCAS Resources

  • The ELA MCAS transition plan has been updated to address the writing modes to be assessed in grades 4 and 7 and can be found at
  • The following MCAS Alternate Assessment (MCAS-Alt) publications are available at
    • The new Resource Guide to the 2011 Curriculum Frameworks for Students with Disabilities: English Language Arts and Literary
    • The updated Resource Guide to the 2011 Curriculum Frameworks for Students with Disabilities: Mathematics
    • The 2014 Educator's Manual for MCAS-Alt

Spring 2014 PARCC Field Test

Last Friday, August 23, ESE emailed superintendents and charter school leaders in districts where one or more of their schools were randomly selected to participate in this year's Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC) field test in English language arts/literacy and mathematics in grades 3-11. Pearson, the field test contractor, will follow up with a second email to those school leaders by September 4 to provide additional details about the test administration, including the names of individual schools selected to participate. The Department's expectation is that schools selected to participate in the field test will do so. In the event that some schools are excluded from the field test for extraordinary circumstances, Pearson will need to select additional replacement schools in September or October. Those replacement schools may come either from districts notified on August 23 or from districts that are not yet in the sample.

PARCC's goal in selecting districts and schools to participate was to draw a representative sample. For Massachusetts, nearly two-thirds of schools statewide (about 1,250 out of more than 1,800 schools) were chosen for the field test. The advantage of this sample size is that more schools and students are able to experience this new testing program while we limit the number of classrooms within each school that will have to participate. If you have any questions about the field test, please contact ESE at

New PARCC Sample Items

PARCC has released new sample test items for both English language arts/literacy and mathematics. To view the new sample items, go to PARCC will release additional paper-based items in October 2013. PARCC will also re-release all sample items on its technology platform in November 2013 to provide an early opportunity to experience the tools and functionality of PARCC's computer-based testing.

ACCESS for ELLs: Schedule for Release of Results

ACCESS for ELLs results will be posted to the Department's Security Portal according to the following schedule.

ACCESS for ELLs Data/ResultsWhere PostedWhen Posted
Student roster with "Making Progress" indicator (PDF)DropBox CentralEnd of August
Student data file with "Making Progress" indicator (Excel and CSV)DropBox CentralEnd of August
Student roster (interactive)Edwin AnalyticsEarly October
Summary of district/school proficiency levels (interactive)Edwin AnalyticsEarly October

Important Upcoming Dates

  • September 3: November retest enrollment window opens at 9:00 a.m.
  • September 13: November retest enrollment window closes at 5:00 p.m.
  • September 20: Printed Parent/Guardian Reports received by superintendents
  • Mid-September: Official MCAS and MCAS-Alt results and accountability reports released to the public

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: September 9, 2013
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