For some students it may not be possible to use a student's course grades for the purpose of filing an MCAS cohort appeal either because a previous cohort appeal was denied or because there are fewer than six students in the school or program who took the same sequence of courses as the student for whom the appeal is being filed. In such cases, the superintendent or school director may submit an MCAS Portfolio Appeal consisting of the student's current or cumulative work in the content area of the appeal. Please see appeal regulations for information about a district's obligation to file an appeal when the parent of a student with a disability (or student with a disability aged 18 or older) requests one. The portfolio appeal includes student work collected during one or more years in high school that attempts to demonstrate that the appellant meets a comparable level of performance to a student who has earned a score of Needs Improvement or the next-generation equivalent passing score on a high school MCAS test in the subject of the appeal. Portfolio appeals may be filed for students either with or without disabilities. Please see the attached guidelines for specific requirements in each content area.
Follow the guidelines carefully for submitting portfolios. When evidence in the portfolio does not closely follow the guidelines, it will most likely be insufficient to show that the student has met the required standard. For a student in special education, the Department strongly encourages collaboration between general and special educators to develop the portfolio. Schools should begin collecting work samples as soon as possible for students in high school for whom a portfolio appeal may be needed.
Portfolio appeals for the 2021-2022 school year must be submitted according to the timetable shown below. Portfolios received after the listed deadlines may not be reviewed. All portfolio appeals must be submitted using the Department's Security Portal online MCAS Appeals application. Please contact, MCASappeals@doe.mass.edu with questions about the online submission process.
Students who have not yet earned a scaled score of 220 or the next-generation equivalent passing score in all high school MCAS tests required to earn a Competency Determination (English language arts, mathematics, and one discipline-specific science and technology/engineering test) should be encouraged to participate in MCAS retest opportunities, even if an appeal has been filed. Students must also fulfill the requirements of an Educational Proficiency Plan (EPP) if they have not yet scored 240 (i.e., Proficient) or the next-generation equivalent score or higher on the English language arts or mathematics MCAS tests. More information about EPPs is available on the Department's website at College and Career Readiness.
Attached are guidelines for filing portfolio appeals.
Last Updated: October 20, 2021
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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