A message from the
Massachusetts Department of
Elementary and Secondary Education

June 7, 2022
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News from DESE Student Assessment Services

For All Schools

1. TestNav Requirements for 2022–23
Pearson, the testing subcontractor, has posted the TestNav system requirements for 2022–23 computer-based testing, which provide updates for the next school year in alignment with the TestNav System Requirement Policy, which brings TestNav system requirements in line with manufacturer-supported operating systems (OSs) and devices. Please see this bulletin for details. 

As most schools in Massachusetts use Chromebooks, the following information is of particular note. ChromeOS 91–101 will no longer be supported in the 2022–23 school year. Another update for next school year is that the TestNav requirements for ChromeOS users now provide options for Stable Channel (S) or Long Term Support (LTS). Schools should not be using a beta version of ChromeOS.
Please review these requirements with your technology teams and reach out to with any questions or concerns.
2. Completing the PCPA
Schools should be completing the Principal’s Certification of Proper Test Administration (PCPA) online form to certify that all students participated in testing as required and that test administration and security protocols were followed. Instructions for completing the PCPA can be found in Part IV, section I of the Principal’s Administration Manual (PAM), and the certification statements on the PCPA can be found at
For grades 3–8, there is one PCPA to complete at the end of all MCAS testing by May 31. For high schools, there is one PCPA to complete at the end of all grade 10 testing (i.e., a combined PCPA for English Language Arts [ELA] and Mathematics), and a second one to complete at the end of Science and Technology/Engineering (STE) testing. The ELA and Math PCPA due date was May 26, and the high school STE PCPA is due on June 13. Schools that did not complete the PCPA for grades 3–8 or grade 10 ELA and Math should do so now.
Schools will need their MCAS Service Center passwords in order to complete the PCPA for each test administration. As a reminder, memos containing passwords for use in 2022 are posted in the MCAS 2022 Data folder in DropBox Central, which is located in the Department’s Security Portal. Please contact the MCAS Service Center with any questions (see contact information in the footer of this update). If you need help accessing your DropBox, please contact your District-Level Directory Administrator.
3. Released Items from Spring 2022 ELA Tests
The 2022 ELA released items have been posted, and can now be found at the following webpages:
4. Students Who Are Absent from MCAS Testing Due to Covid or Quarantine
Students who did not participate in MCAS testing because they had Covid or were absent from school because they were quarantining should be marked as having a medically documented absence following the instructions on page 126 of the PAM. This step can be completed now in PAN for high school STE, or during the discrepancy period in  August for all other grades/tests if this applies to any students at your school but was not done before the end of the test administration window.
5. Wrong Name and SASID Reported in Early Release Data
The Department's MCAS testing contractor identified the following two issues that may be perceived as discrepancies while reviewing early release data in .CSV files, student rosters, and ELA released essays:
  • Students’ names default to "NONAME" when a paper-based test is processed without a Student ID Label
  • Students’ SASIDs default to a number starting with 774,  727, or 728 when the SASID is missing or incorrect.
These issues will be resolved prior to the release of full preliminary data for the August 9–12 discrepancy reporting period. No action is required on the part of school or district staff, and we apologize for any concern this is causing during the review of early release data.
Please contact the MCAS Service Center with any additional questions.
6. Second Webinar on Spring 2022 Reporting
On June 24 at 9:30–11:00 a.m., Department staff will hold a reporting webinar regarding the next round of results that will be reported and covering the following topics.
  • Release of the following data:
    • Grade 10 ELA released essays
    • Early release round 1 machine-scored items for grades 3–8 and 10 Math and grades 5 & 8 STE
  • Viewing the test designs
  • Accessing the .CSV data file, student rosters, item analysis templates, and grade 10 ELA released essays
  • Viewing statewide raw score results and conducting preliminary analysis of your school and/or district data
  • Future release dates
A slide presentation will be provided to participants before the webinar, and there will be demonstrations and opportunities to ask questions. Registration is available. Questions may be submitted in advance by emailing
7. MCAS Alternate Assessment Results
a. Preliminary 2022 MCAS-Alt Results Available Electronically on June 13
Portfolio Feedback Forms (PFFs) containing preliminary MCAS-Alt results will be available June 13 in each school's DropBox in the DESE Security Portal. The principal or test coordinator should download the PFFs and share them with the teacher who compiled the MCAS-Alt. For assistance logging in to the Security Portal, contact the district (or organization) Directory Administrator. MCAS-Alt portfolios will be returned to schools in the fall with a print copy of the PFF.
b. MCAS-Alt Score Appeals: Submit between June 13 and June 24
Once principals and educators have reviewed the preliminary MCAS-Alt results, if there is evidence that a portfolio was scored incorrectly, the principal or other designee may submit an MCAS-Alt score appeal. The deadline for score appeal submission is 5:00 p.m. on Friday, June 24. Score appeals will not be accepted after this date and no changes to an MCAS-Alt score can be made after the score appeal process. Schools must review the following materials before submitting an MCAS-Alt score appeal:
  • the PFF from the scored portfolio (available as described above)
  • the photocopy of the portfolio kept at the school
  • the frequently asked questions about MCAS-Alt score appeals
To submit an MCAS-Alt score appeal, beginning on June 13, go to the 2022 MCAS-Alt score appeal website and follow the instructions on the appeal application. Note that additional portfolio evidence may not be submitted with the score appeal. Once the appeal is submitted, an email will be sent to the administrator confirming receipt. Notification of appeal results will be provided by mail to schools by the end of July.
8. Reminders from the Previous Update

a. Early Release Schedule for Spring 2022 MCAS
Dates for the early release of spring 2022 MCAS raw data are scheduled to be available as indicated in the table below. As a reminder, early results have not been reviewed for potential discrepancies and may therefore change after the conclusion of the discrepancy reporting period, scheduled for August 9–12.
2022 MCAS Early Release Schedule*. *All dates are tentative. Grade/Subject. Round 1: Machine-Scored CBT Items Only. Round 2: Hand- and Machine-Scored CBT and PBT Items, Raw Scores Only. ELA Released Essays. Location	. PearsonAccess Next (PAN) Published Reports for Schools and District. Published Reports for Schools Only. Delivery and Date. Grade 10 ELA, April 20, May 25, June 3. Grades 3–8 ELA, May 20, June 17, June 27. Grades 3–8 Math, Grades 5 & 8 STE, June 24, July 11, n/a. Grade 10 Math, June 17, July 11, n/a. High School STE, July 11, August 1, n/a. Who has access? Superintendents, Principals, School and District Test Coordinators. Others can be assigned the Published Reports role in PAN, as needed.
b. ACCESS for ELLs Test Results and Score Reports
ACCESS for ELLs and Alternate ACCESS for ELLs electronic test results are now available in  WIDA AMS. Printed Individual Student Reports (ISRs) were delivered on May 24. Please see the previous update for further information, and contact with questions.
For Grades 3–8

1. Grade 8 Civics Assessment Administration Survey
The Department is inviting all grade 8 Civics/History and Social Science teachers, curriculum coordinators, and test coordinators to participate in a survey about the scope and sequence of grade 8 civics courses. Your participation in this survey will help to inform the direction of a new grade 8 state-level assessment for civics. The survey should take less than five minutes to complete.  Responses are due by Friday, June 17.
For High Schools

1. Steps to Complete During and After High School STE Testing
a. Enrollment Transfers
Schools with students who transfer into or out of their school after the initial Student Registration/Personal Needs Profile (SR/PNP) process has been completed will need to use the enrollment transfer feature in PAN. Guidance on how to complete enrollment transfers is available here on the MCAS Resource Center.
If a transfer student was assigned to a PAN Session at their previous school, they will be automatically assigned to a Transfer PAN Session at the new school. These Transfer Sessions cannot be prepared or started, and the student must be moved to another PAN Session in order to complete testing. See more information in the Enrollment Transfer Guide. Please note that schools may receive an error message when trying to move students from a Human Read-Aloud Transfer Session. Please contact the MCAS Service Center for help with these cases.
b. Tasks to Complete After Testing
Schools are reminded that the last day for make-up testing for students with extraordinary circumstances is June 13 for high school STE. Schools do not need to contact DESE for permission to use this date for make-up testing.
As testing is completed, principals should follow the instructions listed in the Tasks to Complete after Test Administration section of the Principal's Administration Manual (PAM), starting on page 57, including the following:
  • checking that all computer-based student tests in PAN are in Complete or Marked Complete status (Schools will need to mark tests complete for students who did not complete testing and have at least one test session with a status of Exited, Resumed, or Resume-Upload, including students who started testing but did not finish; see details in step 8 on page 59 of the PAM.)
  • checking that all PAN Sessions are stopped (See page 60 of the PAM.)
  • updating PAN for students who were absent (See page 126 of the PAM.)
The deadline to complete these tasks is June 13.
2. Grade 10 ELA Released Essays from Spring 2022 MCAS now Available in PearsonAccess Next
On June 3, as part of the Early Release of spring 2022 MCAS results, the Department made grade 10 ELA released essays available in PAN. The essays, available in PDF format and at the school level only, contain the following information for each of the two released essays: item number; essay prompt; student's response; student’s idea development score/possible points (x/5); and student’s standard English conventions score/possible points (x/3). As in prior years, the Department releases 100 percent of items from the grade 10 spring ELA test; these items, and the passages on which the essay prompts are based, are available on the ELA Released Items page on the MCAS Resource Center.
3. CD Status for High School Students in MCAS 2022 DropBoxes
The Department recently placed a spreadsheet file in XLS format in school and district DropBoxes that lists the CD status as of June 1, 2022, for students reported as enrolled in March SIMS in grades 9, 10, 11, 12, and SP.
4. Reminders from the Previous Update
a. Clarification of First-Year EL Student Participation in MCAS
All students must participate in high school STE by grade 10. First-year EL students in grade 10 must participate in a high school STE test in grade 10 if they have not already taken a test. Please see the previous update for further information.
b. Round 10 Modified CD Memo and CD Roster in Edwin Analytics
Results of the Department's review of round 10 Modified CD data are available according to the schedule posted in the previous update.

Other Important Dates

Table with Category, Date(s), and Item. High School STE, June 7, Administer session 1. June 8, Administer session 2. June 9, Only if needed for Biology or Introductory Physics: Administer session 1 to any remaining students who did not participate in the first set of dates due to technology/device limitations. June 10, Only if needed for Biology or Introductory Physics: Administer session 2 to any remaining students who did not participate in the first set of dates due to technology/device limitations. Last date for regular make-up testing. June 13, Deadline for updating SR/PNP information and marking students’ tests complete, if necessary. Deadline to complete the PCPA (one combined PCPA for all the high school STE tests). June 14, (PBT only) pre-scheduled UPS pickup (and deadline).
MCAS Service Center
for logistical support, including tech support for PearsonAccess Next and TestNav

Phone: 800-737-5103
Student Assessment Services
for policy questions, including student participation

Phone: 781-338-3625
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