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Massachusetts Tests for Educator Licensure (MTEL)

Update: Additional Alternative Assessment to the Communication and Literacy Skills (CLST) MTEL

We are excited to share an update on the availability of the MTEL alternative assessments that the Department will be piloting through June 30, 2024. Based on a regulatory amendment, this pilot aims to create and evaluate increased flexibility in assessments for educator licensure. Please see more information about the regulatory pilot.

In addition to the alternative assessments to the Communication and Literacy Skills (CLST) MTEL that were previously approved, the Department has approved one additional alternative from the Evaluation Systems Group (ES) of Pearson.

Core Academic Skills Assessment (CASA)

  • The two subtests required for the CASA are:
    • CASA: Reading subtest
    • CASA: Writing subtest
  • Please use this link for more information and to register for this assessment. Testing availability begins November 8, 2021.
  • The CASA is offered via Online proctoring only.

Candidate Eligibility: All candidates required to take the CLST MTEL can take one of the above assessments approved by the Department. The assessment may have been taken, or be taken, any time between when the pilot was approved by BESE on October 20, 2020 through the end of the pilot on June 30, 2024. As candidates register and take these alternative assessments, results will be electronically and securely sent to the Department. Please keep in mind that if a candidate previously passed one of the above tests after October 20, 2020, they will need to contact the applicable vendor above and arrange to have their score electronically and securely sent to the Department. There may be a fee associated with this request.

The Department is continuing to work on additional alternatives for the subject matter knowledge MTELs. Please continue to check Massachusetts Tests for Educator Licensure (MTEL) for more information on the upcoming alternatives.

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.

Additional Information about the Regulatory Pilot

The 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, 2024. Any candidate who passes an alternative assessment during that period 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.

The Board of Elementary and Secondary Education (BESE) voted on this amendment in October 2020, and the Commissioner, on behalf of the Department, approved an initial set of three different alternative assessments to pilot. One of these pilots is to accept alternative assessments that are aligned to the CLST MTEL. For more information about the other two pilots, please see Regulatory Pilot — Information about the Alternative Assessments to the MTEL.

All educator licensure candidates (teachers, specialist teachers, administrators, or professional support personnel) must pass the CLST. The CLST includes reading and writing subtests and assesses skills such as reading comprehension, summarizing, sentence construction, vocabulary, grammar, punctuation and writing. The purpose of the CLST is to ensure that newly licensed educators have the communication and literacy skills necessary for effective instruction and communication with parents/guardians and others.

Last Updated: December 7, 2021

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Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education
135 Santilli Highway, Everett, MA 02149

Voice: (781) 338-3000
TTY: (800) 439-2370


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