A message from the
Massachusetts Department of
Elementary and Secondary Education

February 3, 2022
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Special Edition for High Schools

News from DESE Student Assessment Services

For High Schools

Invitation to Apply for High School Biology and Introductory Physics MCAS Standard Setting
We would like to invite educators to apply to participate in standard setting for the high school Biology and Introductory Physics MCAS tests. The meetings will be held from August 9–12, 2022. The purpose of standard setting is to identify and recommend achievement level cut scores for these tests. A cut score defines the minimum performance required for a particular level of achievement.  
DESE is recruiting panelists with content expertise, familiarity with the 2016 Science and Technology/Engineering Massachusetts Curriculum Framework, and teaching experience in grades 9 or 10 biology or physics. DESE is looking to select from a diverse pool of candidates who have experience working with racially, ethnically, and linguistically diverse students. DESE is especially interested in recruiting educators of color for the standard setting panels. In addition, DESE is recruiting educators from institutions of higher education, special education educators, and English learner educators who are familiar with the content standards in the Framework and instruction in high school biology or physics. 
Panelists will make recommendations regarding the level of content knowledge and skills that students must demonstrate at the Exceeding Expectations, Meeting Expectations, and Partially Meeting Expectations MCAS achievement levels. Panelists will also participate in a process to validate the interim Competency Determination cut scores.
Participating in standard setting is both an excellent professional development opportunity and an opportunity for educators to help define the next-generation MCAS tests. In addition, a $200/day stipend will be offered to panelists, and all panelists will receive professional development points (PDPs) for their service. 
More information, including how to apply, is posted on the Department’s website. The deadline to apply is Monday, March 28, 2022, and educators are encouraged to apply early. We ask that you share this opportunity with relevant staff in your districts. Questions may be addressed to
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
Schedule a Call with Technology Support Specialists
available prior to test administration
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