Department of Elementary and Secondary Education Logo
Educator Effectiveness

Pilot of Alternative Assessments to the MTEL

At their October 2020 meeting, the Board of Elementary and Secondary Education (BESE) approved an amendment to the Regulations for Educator Licensure and Preparation Program Approval that seeks to create and evaluate alternative methods of assessment for educator licensure. Based on feedback from the field, the Department seeks to be more inclusive in our approach to identifying strong educators in the state. This amendment is designed to identify and pilot alternative mechanisms for assessing knowledge and skills and be responsive to feedback from the field while continuing to hold a high bar for all educators.

The new regulation states:

The Department may conduct a pilot of alternative assessments identified or developed to satisfy the requirements of 603 CMR 7.04 (2) (a) (2) and (3), and 603 CMR 7.04 (2) (b) (2) and (3), and 603 CMR 1.06 (4) (a). Any alternative assessment identified or developed for this purpose shall be determined by the Commissioner to be comparable to the MTEL Communication and Literacy Skills test or subject matter knowledge test. The alternative assessment pilot period shall continue through June 30, 2025. Any candidate who passes an alternative assessment taken prior to July 1, 2025 will be deemed to have satisfied the requirements of 603 CMR 7.04 (2) (a) (2), or (a) (3), or 603 CMR 7.04 (2) (b) (2) or (b) (3), or 603 CMR 1.06 (4) (a), as applicable. During the period of the alternative assessment pilot, the Commissioner will report to the Board at least annually on any alternative assessments, including the number of candidates taking the alternative assessments, any evaluative information regarding these candidates, patterns of employment, and feedback from school districts and educator preparation programs. Prior to making any recommendations following the conclusion of the pilot, the Commissioner shall conduct or contract for an evaluation of the alternative assessment pilot.

Students deserve to have teachers with strong content knowledge. Through these pilots, we hope to learn about alternative, authentic ways to assess prospective educators' content knowledge and communication and literacy skills in a way that maintains a high standard for the profession.

Please click on the link below for more information about the alternative assessments for the Communication and Literacy Skills MTEL and the Subject Matter Knowledge MTELs.

For questions about the alternative assessments to the MTEL, please contact . For licensure questions, please contact the Licensure Office: 


Licensure Call Center: 781-338-6600
Hours: Monday–Friday 9am–1pm & 2pm–5pm.

Last Updated: June 14, 2023

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.