MCAS Performance Appeals

Guidelines for Filing Portfolio Appeals for the Competency Determination

September 2021

Submission Requirements for MCAS Portfolio Appeals

Provided the student is eligible for an MCAS Performance Appeal and the district has submitted a completed online MCAS Performance Appeal application, the student's portfolio appeal will be granted if the student fulfills the requirements outlined in the guidelines below and demonstrates in his or her portfolio a comparable level of performance to a student who has scored at least Needs Improvement (or the next-generation equivalent passing score) on the high school MCAS test in the content area. Expert panelists in English language arts (ELA), mathematics, and the four disciplines of science and technology/engineering (STE) (biology, chemistry, introductory physics, and technology/engineering) will review and make a recommendation on each portfolio. Feedback will be provided to the district, once the portfolio has been reviewed, describing which sections of the portfolio are sufficient and in which sections more or different work is needed.

Each piece of student work in the portfolio must be attached to a completed High School Competency Portfolio Work Description (links provided below). Links to sample MCAS portfolio excerpts are provided below.

Portfolio Requirements in Each Content Area to Earn a Competency Determination

Please note that, due to the transition from "legacy" to "next-generation" MCAS tests, there are updated requirements for competency portfolios for English Language Arts, Mathematics, Biology, and Introductory Physics. The term "legacy" refers to the earlier versions of the high school MCAS tests, which were based on previous editions of the curriculum frameworks. The legacy tests have now largely been replaced with "next-generation" tests based on the 2017 curriculum frameworks for English Language Arts and Mathematics and 2016 curriculum frameworks for Science and Technology/Engineering. For the 2021-2022 school year, Competency Portfolios submitted for the first time must be based on "next-generation" standards and portfolio requirements. Previously submitted competency portfolios that are being resubmitted in 2021-2022 may be based either on "legacy" or "next-generation' standards and requirements. However, individual portfolios being resubmitted either in ELA or Mathematics may not combine (or mix-and-match) standards from different editions of the curriculum frameworks. Please contact with specific questions about the updated requirements.

English Language Art Requirements



Mathematics Requirements



Science and Technology/Engineering Requirements

Excerpts from Sample MCAS Appeals Portfolios

Sample Competency Determination Portfolio Feedback Forms

Last Updated: October 19, 2021

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