Massachusetts Comprehensive Assessment System

Updates for 2021–22

Early Return Deadline for Paper-based Testing (PBT) (3/29/2022)

For grades 3–8 ELA, grade 10 Mathematics, and high school STE, in order for students' results to be included in the early-reporting data, schools will need to return paper-based testing materials before the scheduled automatic UPS pickup date for certain administrations. Materials returned after the early-reporting deadline will be included in the regular reporting of results. See the March 29, 2022 edition of the Student Assessment Update for the early return deadlines and more information.

"Web Extension" Compatibility with iPads for Students with Accommodations (3/29/2022)

The "web extensions" for the use of speech-to-text and word prediction accommodations are now supported on iOS (iPad), in addition to Windows, Mac, and Chromebook operating systems. The web extensions are not currently supported on Android. See the March 29, 2022 edition of the Student Assessment Update for more information.

Desmos Calculator Update on the Introductory Physics Computer-Based Test (3/29/2022)

The Desmos scientific calculator embedded in the computer-based Introductory Physics MCAS practice test is not working properly when solving equations for Newton's law of gravitation and Coulomb's law. This issue will also occur on the June 2022 test. See the March 29, 2022 edition of the Student Assessment Update for more information.

Updates to Operating Systems (3/29/2022)

Schools that are considering updating the operating systems on their testing devices should first confirm that the update is supported by TestNav. Schools using Chromebooks for MCAS testing should see this additional technical bulletin. See the March 1, 2022 edition and the March 29, 2022 edition of the Student Assessment Update for more information.

Update on Returning Materials for Paper-Based Testing (PBT) (3/15/2022)

Schools doing PBT will receive small, flat boxes for the return of materials. Instead of using the original shipping cartons to return materials as instructed in the Principal's Administration Manual, schools should use the small, flat boxes. In addition, schools will notice that a UPS Return Service label has been placed on each Return Envelope, in which used booklets are packed (and returned in the new small boxes). See the March 15, 2022 edition of the Student Assessment Update for more information.

New Dashboards Feature in PAN (3/15/2022)

A Dashboards feature is now available in PAN. Dashboards provide a visual display of information available elsewhere in PAN, including the status of student tests and PAN Sessions. See the March 15, 2022 edition of the Student Assessment Update for more information.

Biology and Introductory Physics MCAS Standard Setting Panels (2/15/2022)

DESE is recruiting educators to participate in standard setting in summer 2022 for the high school Biology and Introductory Physics MCAS tests. See the February 15, 2022 edition of the Student Assessment Update for more information.

Phasing Out the MCAS Chemistry and Technology/Engineering Tests (2/15/2022)

The Board of Elementary and Secondary Education voted to phase out the legacy, PBT MCAS Chemistry and Technology/Engineering tests. These tests will be offered in June 2022. The last administration will be in June 2023, and only students in the class of 2025 and earlier will be eligible to take them. See the February 15, 2022 edition of the Student Assessment Update for more information.

Update to the Adams Scholarship for the Class of 2024 (2/15/2022)

The eligibility criteria for the class of 2024 will be based on students who qualify for the scholarship with all three scores (Option 1) and again for students who qualify based on their ELA and Math scores only (Option 2). See the February 15, 2022 edition of the Student Assessment Update for more information.

Updated Grades 3–5 Science and Technology/Engineering (STE) Instructional Guidelines (2/15/2022)

The STE Grades 3–5 Instructional Guidelines have been updated to include additional information about the science and engineering practices (SEPs) and the disciplinary core ideas (DCIs). See the February 15, 2022 edition of the Student Assessment Update for more information.

Updates to TestNav and PearsonAccess Next for Winter 2022 (1/5/2022)

Next-Generation STE Tests will be Offered in American Sign Language and Spanish in June 2022 (11/2/2021)

The next-generation Biology and Introductory Physics MCAS tests, in addition to the grade 10 Mathematics test, will be offered in both American Sign Language (ASL) and a Spanish/English edition in June 2022. See the November 2, 2021 edition of the Student Assessment Update for more information.

Update on Eligibility Guidelines for the November 2021 MCAS Retests for Adams Scholarship (10/19/2021)

DESE is permitting students in grades 11 and 12 to participate in the November 2021 MCAS retests for scholarship purposes. Refer to the participation guidelines for details. See the October 19, 2021 edition of the Student Assessment Update for more information.

MCAS Interim Passing Standard for CD Extended (10/19/2021)

At its September meeting, the Board of Elementary and Secondary Education voted to extend the interim passing standard for the MCAS competency determination (CD) to students in the classes of 2024 and 2025 in English Language Arts, Mathematics, and Science and Technology/Engineering (STE). See the October 19, 2021 edition of the Student Assessment Update for more information.

New Operational Report: Students with Multiple Tests of the Same Subject Area (10/5/2021)

Schools are encouraged to run the new operational report titled "Students with Multiple Tests of the Same Subject Area" to confirm that students are only assigned to one format for the November retests (next-generation for ELA and Mathematics, or legacy for ELA and Mathematics). This report is available in PAN under Reports > Operational Reports > Students and Registrations. Please see the October 5, 2021 Student Assessment Update for further information.

High School Science MCAS Update (10/5/2021)

Students in the class of 2024 who completed a high school biology course last year in 2020-21 are eligible and should be provided the opportunity to take the February 2022 Biology test. Four high school STE tests will be offered in June 2022: Biology, Introductory Physics, Chemistry, and Technology Engineering. Eligibility for each test is available on the Transition Information page. The Biology and Introductory Physics tests will be next-generation, computer-based tests aligned to the 2016 STE standards . The Chemistry and Technology/Engineering tests will be legacy, paper-based tests aligned to the 2006 STE standards . Please see the October 5, 2021 Student Assessment Update for further information.

MCAS Retest Design Updates (9/22/2021)

Updated test designs for MCAS retests are now available, including the test designs for the next-generation tests. Please see more information here for ELA and here for mathematics.

Math and STE Equation Editor (9/22/2021)

The Equation Editor (EE) tool that is embedded in MCAS computer-based next-generation tests in Mathematics, Introductory Physics, and grade 8 STE was recently updated with additional symbols and revised symbol descriptions. In addition to using the EE tools that are embedded in the Mathematics and STE practice tests, schools can use the EE guides and symbol key documents available on the MCAS Resource Center to help familiarize students with the updates.

Updates to TestNav and PearsonAccess Next for Fall 2021 (9/29/2021)

TestNav System Requirements and Updated App Available for 2021–22 (6/16/2021)

Pearson, the testing subcontractor, has posted the TestNav system requirements for 2021–22 computer-based testing. Please see this bulletin for details. Schools should note that in accordance with the TestNav System Requirement Policy, ChromeOS 83–90 will no longer be supported.

Additionally, the latest annual TestNav release, app version 1.10, is now available for download. Districts must install this latest version of TestNav for use in the 2021–2022 school year. Please see this technical bulletin for more information.

Last Updated: March 30, 2022

 
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