The first of several pilot alternatives to the MTELs is now available for licensure candidates. The PRAXIS Core (Reading and Writing) or the NEA-EAS (Reading and Writing) may be substituted for the Communications and Literacy MTEL through June 2024.

Way back in January 2020, the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) proposed a pilot program to explore alternative assessments that prospective educators could use to satisfy licensure requirements. In March of 2021, DESE announced the details of the regulatory pilot that will run through 2024:

1. Alternative Tests for the Communications and Literacy assessment
2. Preparation Program Subject Matter Attestation
3. Subject Matter Assessment (SMK-Alt)

In July 2021, DESE announced the first of the alternative options available for the Communications and Literacy MTEL requirement. Two standardized test vendors and minimum scores have been approved by DESE.

All candidates required to take the ComLit MTEL can now apply one of the alternative assessments towards licensure requirements. The assessment may have been taken, or be taken, any time between when the pilot was approved on October 20, 2020 through the end of the pilot on June 30, 2024.

If a candidate passed one of the eligible tests tests after October 20, 2020, they will need to arrange to have their score electronically and securely sent to the Department.

Essential Academic Skills (NES-EAS).

  • The two subtests required for the National Evaluation Series- Essential Academic Skills assessment are:
    • NES-EAS: Subtest I: Reading
    • NES-EAS: Subtest II: Writing
  • Registration is now available through the MTEL website for the EAS assessment. Candidates should register through the Massachusetts link to ensure scores are submitted directly to your Massachusetts ELAR account.

Praxis Core 
Massachusetts Communication and Literacy Praxis Test

  • The subtests required
    • Massachusetts Communication and Literacy Praxis Test: Reading
    • Massachusetts Communication and Literacy Praxis Test: Writing
  • Registration and test preparation materials are not yet available as of July 2021

In addition to the additional assessment options that DESE is piloting, DESE issued a memo discouraging educator preparation programs from requiring passing scores on MTELs as part of program requirements. This includes preventing candidates from starting practicum or student teaching semesters, advancing through coursework or program completion endorsement in ELAR. Candidates should no longer be forced to take a semester off from a program or be locked out of a practicum because on an MTEL score. Preparation programs can submit program endorsements in ELAR without all the MTEL (or equivalent) assessments completed.

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