The 1993 Massachusetts Education Reform Law, state law M. G. L. Chapter 69, section 1I, mandates that all students in the tested grades who are educated with Massachusetts public funds participate in MCAS. This requirement includes the following groups of students:
Students in grades 3–8 and 10 must participate in MCAS tests only for the grade in which they are enrolled and reported in SIMS. Students must participate in the same grade for all of the subject area tests; otherwise, results will be invalidated. Also note that students must respond to at least one question in each test section to be counted as a participant for accountability purposes. For more information on grade 10 participation requirements, see the Student Participation Guidelines for the High School Tests.
For the small number of students who are enrolled in a school but are unable to physically attend school, and therefore receive tutoring services from their district, every effort must be made to administer the MCAS tests to these students in school. If this is not possible, school principals must submit a request to test the student in an alternate setting off-site by using the online form.
Principals are encouraged to submit requests at least one week prior to testing. Requests must be submitted for approval for each test administration, even if approved for a previous test administration.
For the small number of students who are enrolled in a school and are in the temporary custody of the Department of Youth Services (DYS) or are in a placement conducting an extended evaluation for a student with a disability, every effort must be made to administer the MCAS tests at the student's placement.
The principal of the sending school is responsible for the following steps, as well as additional steps listed in each administration-specific Principal's Administration Manual.
Last Updated: November 14, 2023
Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education
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