Framingham Superintendent: Massachusetts Making Changes To MCAS Testing in 2021 Due To COVID-19

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FRAMINGHAM – Due to the coronavirus pandemic, the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) is making modifications to MCAS requirements in 2021.

“DESE will significantly reduce testing time for students in grades 3-8 through a session sampling approach, in which each student will take only a portion of each MCAS assessment in each subject,” wrote Framingham Public Schools Superintendent Bob Tremblay to the School Committee.

“This modified MCAS administration will preserve the validity and reliability of the test at the school, district, and state levels. When combined with other data points, this approach will provide meaningful diagnostic data at the individual student level,” said Supt. Tremblay.

And the make-up MCAS administration window for seniors which was scheduled to open on January 14 has been postponed, explained Tremblay to the Framingham School Committee.

“The Commissioner has recommended to the Board of Elementary and Secondary Education (Board) that the competency determination (CD) requirement be modified in English language arts and mathematics for students in the Class of 2021 who have not yet earned their CD. The recommended modification would allow students to receive their CD by passing an approved course and demonstrating competency in that subject in lieu of a qualifying MCAS score. Seniors who still want to take the tests may take them later this school year. Members of the class of 2021 will have opportunities to receive additional academic support this spring and summer,” wrote Tremblay to the School Committee.

And “DESE has provided school districts flexibility on scheduling the high school biology MCAS test. Schools may offer the biology MCAS to first-time 9th graders in June, instead of or in addition to offering it in February,” wrote Tremblay.

Also due to the pandemic, the Massachusetts Education Commissione “will not name or recommend to the Board any new underperforming or
chronically underperforming districts or schools in the upcoming school year.”


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