Department of Elementary and Secondary Education Logo
Massachusetts Comprehensive Assessment System

2024 MCAS-Alt Score Appeals Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Q. What is an MCAS-Alt Score Appeal?

A. The MCAS-Alt Score Appeal is a process by which the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education ("the Department") addresses a claim of a perceived scoring inaccuracy in one or more areas of a student's MCAS-Alt from the previous school year; or a miscalculation of a student's achievement level on the MCAS-Alt. An appeal may be submitted to the Department by a school, educational collaborative, or approved private special education school requesting that the Department review the MCAS-Alt strand in question, and if warranted, recalculate the student's score.

Q. Who may request an MCAS-Alt Score Appeal?

A. A request for an MCAS-Alt Score Appeal may only be filed with the Department by one of the following administrators of a school or program in which the affected student is enrolled:

  • principal
  • superintendent
  • director of an educational collaborative
  • director or principal of an approved private special education school

Q. How does a school determine whether an MCAS-Alt score appeal should be requested?

A. Before submitting a score appeal, the school administrator and teacher of the student whose MCAS-Alt is in question must:

  • review the MCAS-Alt Feedback Form, including the scores in each rubric area,
  • review the scorers' comments on the Feedback Form, and
  • review the photocopy (or scanned copy) of the student's MCAS-Alt strand that was maintained by the school.*

In mid-June, MCAS-Alt Feedback Forms will be made available in the school's Dropbox on the Department's secure portal. If, after the review, the school administrator believes a discrepancy exists between the actual evidence included in the student's MCAS-Alt and the reported score, the school administrator may request an appeal.

* Note: The school must have maintained a copy of the assessment prior to its submission in order to request an MCAS-Alt Score Appeal.

Q. How is a request made for an MCAS-Alt Score Appeal?

A. The appropriate school official must complete the 2024 MCAS-Alt Score Appeal Form. A link will be posted in June to the Department's MCAS-Alt website. No student work or other materials should be included with the appeal.

Q. Which students are eligible to request an MCAS-Alt Score Appeal?

A. The MCAS-Alt Score Appeal may be filed on behalf of any student for whom an MCAS-Alt was submitted in spring 2024, provided the school has maintained a copy.

Q. Which scores may be appealed?

A. Scores in the following rubric areas may be appealed:

  • Level of Complexity
  • Demonstration of Skills and Concepts
  • Independence

Scores in the following rubric areas may not be appealed since these scores do not affect the student's overall achievement level:

  • Self-Evaluation
  • Generalized Performance

Information on scoring the MCAS-Alt is available in the 2024 Educator's Manual for MCAS-Alt and in the Guidelines for Scoring MCAS-Alt.

Q. Once the MCAS-Alt Score Appeal is submitted, who will conduct the actual review?

A. After reviewing the information in the Score Appeal Form (available in June) and in the original MCAS-Alt, expert scorers under the supervision of the Department will review and, if necessary, rescore the assessment of the student for whom the appeal was requested.

Q. When will schools be notified of the outcome of their score appeal?

A. The Department will send written determinations to the superintendent (or director) and principal of the school or program attended by the student.

Parent/Guardian Reports, School Rosters, and District Rosters sent to districts in September will reflect the adjusted scores.

In late fall, all MCAS-Alt submissions, including those for which a score appeal was submitted, will be returned to the school with print copies of the Feedback Form. The Feedback Form will only reflect the original scores, not scores that have been readjusted based on an appeal.

Q. When would it be unacceptable to submit an MCAS-Alt Score Appeal?

A. The MCAS-Alt Score Appeal process should not be used to report any of the following:

  • Evidence or information that should have been, but was not, included in the assessment;
  • Discrepancies or irregularities on a standard MCAS test or on the MCAS-Alt;
  • Score appeals for a standard MCAS test;
  • Students whose results were incorrectly attributed to a school or program;
  • MCAS Performance Appeals for students seeking to earn a Competency Determination.

Last Updated: May 16, 2024

Contact Us

Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education
135 Santilli Highway, Everett, MA 02149

Voice: (781) 338-3000
TTY: (800) 439-2370


Disclaimer: A reference in this website to any specific commercial products, processes, or services, or the use of any trade, firm, or corporation name is for the information and convenience of the public and does not constitute endorsement or recommendation by the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education.