Boston schools haven't fared so well with the newly reworked Massachusetts Comprehensive Assessment System (MCAS). Test results show scores falling for elementary and middle school students. However, policy makers have cautioned that the new iteration of the test should not be compared directly with the old test.
How did my school district do?
You can look here for an interactive graphic of school district scores: http://cambridge.wickedlocal.com/news/20171018/interactive-graphic-find-out-how-your-school-district-did-on-2017-mcas.
If you would rather just look up your school district, you can look here: http://www.masslive.com/news/index.ssf/2017/10/mcas_2017_scores_look_up_resul.html
So how bad were the scores?
- Amount of third-graders passing MCAS 2.0 fell 20%
- Among elementary and middle school children: 3% exceeded expectations, 28% met expectations, 47% partially met expectations, and 22% did not meet expectations.
How did the MCAS change?
The test was reconfigured to align more closely with Common Core.
A few years ago, elementary and middle schools nearly adopted something called the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC) exam, which closely followed national Common Core standards. Rather than completely discard the MCAS, Massachusetts schools combined elements of MCAS with elemenets of PARCC to create "MCAS 2.0". The so-called next-generation MCAS has the following features:
- Administered via computer
- Aligns more closely with Common Core principles
- Score brackets: Exceeding Expectations, Meeting Expectations, Partially Meeting Expectations, and Not Meeting Expectations
- For comparison, the older MCAS score brackets for grades 3 through 8 were: Advanced, Proficient, Needs Improvement and Warning
High school students are still taking the older MCAS, but that should change by 2019.
State officials have cautioned that their next-generation MCAS is more difficult by design. So if your child's scores fell this year, keep in mind that the new test uses an entirely different scoring system and direct comparisons with the older MCAS should be avoided.
School district offices will receive printed reports for parents and guardians on October 24, 2017.
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