MCAS 2.0 development is kicking into high gear for grades 3-8. It looks like Massachusetts may be sticking with the legacy version of the MCAS for grade 10 English and Mathematics until 2018 (the class of 2020). This change in the rollout of MCAS 2.0 for high school competency determinations (also known as the graduation requirement) will give all students the opportunity to take an MCAS 2.0 assessment at least once before the high school test changes.

It appears that 2019 will be the first year that all students in grades 3-10 will take the “next-generation” MCAS test in English and Mathematics. DESE also continues to target 2019 as the deadline for 100% computer-based testing.  No word yet on the latest versions of the Massachusetts History or Science and Technology assessment changes.

From the Commissioner’s Update August 26, 2016:

Existing 10th Grade MCAS May Continue an Additional Year

Following a recommendation from the High School Testing Workgroup, Commissioner Chester plans to recommend to the Board of Elementary and Secondary Education that ESE extend the legacy MCAS to the class of 2020. This means that the first class of students to take the grade 10 Next-Generation MCAS tests would be the class of 2021, this year’s eighth graders. The eighth graders will take the grade 8 Next-Generation MCAS in spring 2017.

The recommendation helps ensure that students have experience with a next-generation assessment before they take the grade 10 Next-Generation MCAS, which are required to earn the competency determination required for a high school diploma.

The commissioner will bring his recommendation to the Board in September.

Update to the Board:

More information on the progress of the Next-Generation MCAS is available in Commissioner Chester’s August 22, 2016 memo to the Board. It includes information on participation rates, standard setting, and the review of Massachusetts’ learning standards. More detailed information will come in Student Assessment’s back-to-school newsletter in September.

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