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A message from the
Massachusetts Department of
Elementary and Secondary Education

April 12, 2022
Student Assessment Update banner/logo

News from DESE Student Assessment Services

For All Schools

1. Resources and Support during Testing
With the start of spring MCAS testing, the MCAS Service Center has been experiencing a higher-than-usual call volume. To help reduce wait time, schools are reminded that the following resources are available. Schools should also note the following:

a. Reminder to Verify Accommodations Prior to Testing
Principals and test coordinators should follow the instructions for verifying accommodations prior to testing, as described in the Principal’s Administration Manual (PAM) on page 50. Test administrators should also check these accommodations prior to students signing into the test, as described on page 48 of the Test Administrator’s Manual for Computer-Based Testing. Students with any of the following accommodated forms will have designations next to their names on the Students in Sessions page in PearsonAccess Next (PAN).
  • TTS – Text-to-speech for the electronic read aloud
  • WebX – Web extension for embedded speech-to-text and word prediction
  • AT – Assistive Technology for students that use an installed software program such as Dragon or ZoomText
  • SR – Screen Reader for students who are legally blind and use JAWS or NVDA
b. Human Read-Aloud Sessions
Students with the Human Read-Aloud accommodation need to sign in to TestNav with their student testing ticket, not the proctor testing ticket, in order for their responses to be recorded. The test administrator should check that the student has signed in with the correct testing ticket by verifying that the student’s name is in the upper right-hand corner of the TestNav screen, and the student is listed as Active in PAN. As a reminder, proctor testing tickets for Human Read-Aloud Sessions are available in the Resources dropdown menu on the Students in Sessions page in PAN.

c. Managing PAN Sessions
As a reminder, the Training page of the MCAS Resource Center contains a number of training modules to help schools complete tasks in PearsonAccess Next. Two that may be of particular use during testing are the Sessions Management and Moving Students Between Sessions modules. The Sessions Management module explains how to prepare, start, and unlock PAN Sessions. The Moving Students Between Sessions module describes the steps used to move a student from one PAN Session to another.
 

d. Undoing Test Submissions
District test coordinators can undo a test submission in PearsonAccess Next if a student accidentally clicks “submit” before completing a test session. Refer to this resource for the steps involved in undoing a submission. Questions may be directed to the Office of Student Assessment Services (see contact information in the footer of this update). 

e. Grades 3–8 ELA Testing Ends on April 29: Complete Steps after Testing
Schools are reminded that the ELA testing window for grades 3–8 ends on April 29. Schools should plan to complete all testing, including make-up testing, before this date. Schools may use May 2 as a final day for make-up testing for students with extraordinary circumstances. 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 PAM, starting on page 57, including checking that all computer-based student tests in PAN are in Complete or Marked Complete status, and that PAN Sessions are stopped. Instructions for students who were absent can be found on page 126 of the PAM. The deadline to complete these tasks for grades 3–8 ELA is May 2.
2. Availability of TestNav during the Week of April 18
TestNav will not be available during the week of April 18, since it is anticipated that schools will not be open due to April school vacation. If a school is in session and would like to request permission to conduct testing that week, follow the steps in the PAM on page 26 in section e.
3. Manuals Shipments
Schools are reminded that that they received a combined shipment of manuals for both ELA and Mathematics testing (and grades 5 and 8 STE).  Schools should plan to keep their manuals after ELA testing in order to use them for Mathematics and grades 5 and 8 STE. High schools will receive a second shipment of manuals for high school STE testing.
4. Early Reporting and Discrepancy Reporting Schedules
Dates for early reporting and the discrepancy reporting window for the spring 2022 MCAS administration are now available. As in the past, early reporting and preliminary results are embargoed and should be used only for educational planning purposes; they may not be shared with personnel outside the school district. Early and preliminary results have not been reviewed for potential discrepancies and may therefore change after the conclusion of the discrepancy reporting period, at which time official embargoed results become available. Scaled scores and achievement levels will be available on August 9 in the preliminary .CSV file in DropBoxes (except for high school Biology and Introductory Physics results: these will contain only raw scores until standards for next-generation reporting are set in August). Student growth percentiles will be available with official embargoed results in mid-September.
 
2022 MCAS Early Reporting 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
(Release dates for ELA essays to be determined)
Location PearsonAccess Next Published Reports for Schools and District
Delivery and Date Grade 10 ELA April 20 May 24
Grades 3–8 ELA May 18 July 8
Grades 3–8 Math
Grades 5 & 8 STE
June 17 July 8
Grade 10 Math June 17 July 8
High School STE July 8 Not available in PAN; available August 9 in DropBox Central
Who has access? Superintendents, Principals, School and District Test Coordinators. Others can be assigned the Published Reports role in PAN, as needed.
 
 
2022 MCAS Discrepancy Reporting Schedule*
*All dates are tentative
  Preliminary Embargoed Results
Raw scores only; scaled scores, achievement levels, SGP to be determined.
Discrepancy Reporting Period
Examine student rosters and data files for potential discrepancies (missing results; incorrect SASID; incorrect test status).
Location and Date

 
August 9: DropBox Central  
 
August 9‒12: MCAS Service Center
August 16: Edwin Analytics
Who has access? Superintendents, Principals, School and District Test Coordinators
5. Reminders from the Previous Update
a. Early Return Deadline for Paper-based Testing (PBT) for Grades 3–8 ELA, Grade 10 Mathematics, and High School STE
For grades 3–8 ELA, grade 10 Mathematics, and high school STE, in order for students’ results to be included in the early reporting data, schools will need to return paper-based testing materials before the scheduled automatic UPS pickup date (note that this does not affect computer-based testing). Please see the previous update for the specific dates and additional information.  
 

b. Updating Operating Systems
As a reminder, student testing devices must be updated to an operating system that meets the TestNav System Requirements. Schools that attempt to use an unsupported or beta version of an operating system may experience errors in TestNav as well as security issues. Schools using Chromebooks for MCAS testing should see this additional technical bulletin. School principals/test coordinators are asked to share this information with their technology coordinators.  
 

c. “Web Extension” Compatibility with iPads for Students with Accommodations
The “web extensions” for the use of speech-to-text and word prediction accommodations are now supported on iOS (iPad), in addition to Windows, Mac, and Chromebook operating systems. The web extensions are not currently supported on Android. Please refer to the Assistive Technology Guidelines for MCAS and the previous update for additional information.
 

d. ACCESS for ELLs Pre-Reporting Data Validation: April 11–19, 2022
The pre-reporting data validation window provides an opportunity for schools to correct demographic errors for students who participated in the 2022 ACCESS tests. This will be the only opportunity to correct the information before ACCESS results are released in WIDA AMS on May 19 and mailed to schools on May 24. Uncorrected errors may result in duplicate student records and incomplete test results. Please see the previous update for further information, and email access@mass.gov with any questions.
For High Schools

1. MCAS/EPP Mathematics Test for Spring 2022
The MCAS/EPP Mathematics test is an option for students in the class of 2023 to successfully complete the mathematics assessment portion of their EPPs (Educational Proficiency Plans) (other assessment options are described on the Department’s website). An EPP is not required for students in the class of 2022, as seniors are eligible for the modified CD.
 
Students may participate in the MCAS/EPP test as described in the table below.
 
Student Score for MCAS Mathematics Eligibility for Participation in Spring 2022 MCAS/EPP
Students in grade 11 who scored between 469 and 485 (Needs Improvement on the legacy MCAS test) on the grade 10 MCAS Mathematics test or retests Eligible
Students in grade 11 who scored below 469 (Failing on the legacy MCAS test) on the grade 10 MCAS Mathematics test or retests Not Eligible
(Students must participate in the MCAS retests until they reach 469.)
Students in grade 11 who scored 486 or above (Proficient or Advanced on the legacy MCAS test) on the grade 10 MCAS Mathematics test or retests Not Eligible
(Students met the MCAS graduation requirement for Mathematics.)
 
The window to administer the Mathematics MCAS/EPP test is April 25–May 6, 2022, and secure MCAS/EPP Mathematics tests are being posted to MCAS EPP DropBoxes early this week (principals should consult with their Directory Administrators to find who has the MCAS EPP DropBox role for their school). The full schedule for MCAS/EPP Mathematics tasks is available.
 
Answers to questions about the EPP may be found in these FAQs, and other questions may be directed to the Office of Student Assessment Services (see contact information in the footer).
2. Results from the March Retest
Results for the March 2022 retest are scheduled to be available as indicated below.
 
Information Delivered Scheduled Delivery Date
.CSV files posted in the MCAS 2022 Data DropBox, in the DESE Security Portal April 29
Student Rosters and other Interactive reports available in Edwin Analytics May 6
Electronic Parent/Guardian Reports posted in PearsonAccess Next May 13
Paper Parent/Guardian Reports (one copy) delivered to district offices May 18
3. Results from the February Biology Test: Updated Schedule
Please see the table below for the updated schedule for the release of the February 2022 Biology results.
 
Information Delivered Scheduled Delivery Date
.CSV files posted in the MCAS 2022 Data DropBox, in the DESE Security Portal Available now
Student Rosters and other Interactive reports available in Edwin Analytics Available now
Electronic Parent/Guardian Reports posted in Published Reports at the school level, in Pearson Access Next April 13
Paper Parent/Guardian Reports (one copy) delivered to district offices May 18
4. Reminder about MCAS Scores and the Interim CD Standard
When reviewing results from the March retests, note that certain next-generation scaled scores that fall under Not Meeting Expectations still satisfy the interim CD standard in those subjects. At its September 21, 2021 meeting, the Board of Elementary and Secondary Education voted to extend the interim CD standard through the class of 2025 (to include students in the classes of 2020–2025). Please see the November 16 Student Assessment Update for a table of the next-generation cut scores and associated CD status for each subject. Additional information about graduation requirements is available on the DESE website.
5. Reminders from the Previous Update
a. Deadline to Submit the SR/PNP for High School STE: April 15
The initial window to complete the Student Registration/Personal Needs Profile (SR/PNP) for the high school STE MCAS administration is open until April 15. Schools should review these additional participation guidelines, and see the April 4 Student Assessment Update for further information.

b. Desmos Calculator Update on the Introductory Physics Computer-Based Test
The Desmos scientific calculator embedded in the computer-based Introductory Physics MCAS practice test is not working properly when solving equations for Newton’s law of gravitation and Coulomb’s law. This issue will also occur on the June 2022 test. Please see the previous update for instructions on how to address this issue.  

Other Important Dates

Table with Category, Date(s), and Item. Spring Grades 3–8, February 4–April 22 (for Math/STE), Extended pre-administration SR/PNP window for CBT. March 28–April 29, ELA testing window. April 11, Receive Mathematics and STE PBT materials for accommodations. April 11–21, If necessary, order additional manuals and PBT materials for accommodations, and report packing discrepancies for PBT shipments for Math and STE. April 25–May 27, Mathematics testing window. April 26–May 27, STE testing window (grades 5 and 8). Spring Grade 10 Mathematics, February 7–May 16, Extended pre-administration SR/PNP window for CBT. May 3, Receive Mathematics PBT materials for accommodations.
Additional Resources
CONTACT
MCAS Service Center
for logistical support, including tech support for PearsonAccess Next and TestNav

Email: mcas@cognia.org
Phone: 800-737-5103
Student Assessment Services
for policy questions, including student participation

Email: mcas@doe.mass.edu
Phone: 781-338-3625
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