The PARCC vs. MCAS debate is finally settled and the outcome is the hybrid MCAS 2.0. MERSD will continue with the MCAS this spring, and prepare to make one move when the new assessment is available next school year. According to the Commissioner, MCAS 2.0 will seek to marry the best of both tests creating an assessment that is…
- aligned to the MA Frameworks that have been updated to reflect the common core,
- fully technology based by 2019,
- and, a more rigorous assessment setting a higher student performance requiring demonstration of critical thinking, application of knowledge, research, and connections between reading and writing.
There are still some big unanswered questions that will be turned over to advisory committees.
- When will the new science assessment be ready? What will it look like?
- What are the parameters of the high school competency determination? Will it be at grade ten or eleven?
- Will there be guidance/structure for providing accommodations?
Given the number of unanswered questions and the cost of statewide implementation of online assessment, the timeline seems a bit ambitious. That being said, MERSD is at the ready for conversion. Our measured approach to this debate has positioned us well and allowed us to avoid the disruptive rollercoaster ride of shifting testing formats multiple times. Our curriculum is aligned, we are well resourced, and our tech team has a good sense of what we will need to be fully ready for 2019!