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MCAS Information


Spring 2020 MCAS next generation testing calendar for parents updated January 15, 2020

Building a New Assessment for the Next Generation and Reviewing the Massachusetts Curriculum Frameworks

The Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (ESE) is in the process of upgrading MCAS to better measure the critical thinking skills students need for success in the 21st century.

The new test, informally called "Next-Generation MCAS," will build upon the best aspects of the MCAS assessments that have served the Commonwealth well for the past two decades. The test will include innovative items developed by PARCC, along with new items specifically created to assess the Massachusetts learning standards.

Next-Generation MCAS will be designed to be taken on a computer. The plan is to phase in computer-based testing so that computer-based tests are fully administered statewide in 2019, with many students participating as well in 2017 and 2018.

Massachusetts will have complete control of test administration, test content, testing windows, and the reporting of results.

Please email us with your questions or comments about the next-generation MCAS.

(Assessing Comprehension and Communication in English State-to-State for English Language Learners)


Federal and state laws require that English language learner (ELL) students be assessed annually to measure their proficiency in reading, writing, listening, and speaking English, as well as the progress they are making in learning English. In fulfillment of these laws, ELL students are required to participate in ACCESS for ELLs tests, which replaced MEPA tests beginning in the 2012-2013 school year.

ACCESS for ELLs are administered once annually in January-February.

Growth Model

Student Growth Percentiles (SGPs) complement the MCAS year-by-year test scores. They measure change in achievement over time rather than grade-level achievement results in any one year. Growth scores are available for schools, districts, and students taking the standard MCAS test in grades 4-8 and 10 in English language arts and mathematics.

Access school and district growth results

Letter to Educators Explaining the Growth Model

MCAS Student Growth Percentiles Tutorial Series. Narrated tutorials explaining the basics of student growth percentiles.

 Tutorial 1 – The Basics of the Growth Model
 Tutorial 2 – Understanding Growth on the MCAS Parent Report
 Tutorial 2 – Spanish Version
 Tutorial 2 – Portuguese Version
 Tutorial 2 – Haitian Creole Version
 Tutorial 2 – Chinese Version
 Tutorial 2 – Vietnamese Version

MCAS Student Growth Percentiles:

Interpretive Guide is designed for educators and other interested stakeholders who would like to understand the Massachusetts growth model.