MCAS Update

1% MCAS Alternative Assessment

The Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) has recently reinstituted guidelines requiring districts to account for proportionally higher numbers of alternative assessments used for students with exceptional needs.  In rare cases, some Massachusetts’ schools have sought to influence accountability data by recommending students for an alternative assessment regardless of their ability to show what they know on state testing.  Districts have been asked to provide an explanation to the state when their number of alternative assessments exceeds 1% of those students being tested.  Medway anticipates that 0.4% of its students taking the MCAS this year will be submitting an alternative assessment, and therefore Medway will not need to send a letter to state officials asking for a waiver of the 1% cap.

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