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News

MCAS Paused: State Standardized Tests Delayed For COVID-19

COVID-19 in schools
COVID-19 in schools Photo Credit: Wikimedia Commons: Dan Gaken

The Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education said that due to COVID-19, the normal MCAS standardized testing schedule would be disrupted.

In September, the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) announced the initial testing schedule for MCAS and ACCESS tests for 2020-2021.

In an open letter to the community on Monday, Dec. 7, DESE said that "in recognition of the scheduling and logistical challenges that schools and districts are experiencing, I have decided to adjust the schedules and expectations." 

The changes are for MCAS high school testing and ACCESS testing as follows:

1. January-February High School MCAS ELA and Mathematics Tests

  • Students in grade 11 (class of 2022) will no longer participate in testing during the January-February window. Testing for this class in ELA and mathematics is being postponed until later in the year.
  • Students in grade 12 (class of 2021), as well as adult test-takers, will remain eligible to participate in one or both tests beginning in January to earn their competency determination (CD). Please note that currently enrolled 12th-grade students who were previously on track to graduate during the 2019-2020 school year do not need to take the tests, as they remain eligible for the modified CD.
  • The testing window for eligible students is extended through February 12, giving schools an additional week to complete testing. The full testing window will be from January 14 through February 12, 2021.

2. ACCESS for ELLs

  • The testing window for the ACCESS tests is being extended for several additional months.
  • Schools will be able to administer the ACCESS tests at any time between January 7 and May 20, 2021.
  • Results will be returned in late summer.
  • Schools may assess students at any time during the window, at their discretion, but results for all students will be returned at the same time, regardless of when tests are administered during the window. 

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