MCAS Results to be Sent Home in October

Dear Parents and Guardians,

 

Soon you will be receiving the results of your child's 2017 MCAS assessment . These results include scores from the next-generation MCAS, an updated version of the test that was given for the first time in spring 2017 to students in grades 3-8 in English language arts and mathematics. Eventually, all MCAS tests will be next-generation MCAS. The next-generation MCAS was developed after the Board of Elementary and Secondary Education voted in November 2015 to create a next-generation, computer-based, and Massachusetts-specific test. It is an updated version of the nearly 20-year-old MCAS assessment and is designed to focus on students' critical thinking abilities, ability to apply their knowledge and ability to make connections between reading and writing.

 

In 2017, Hatfield opted to have all students in grades 3-8 take the next-generation MCAS on a computer. This was done in preparation for this year when all school systems in the state will be required to administer the next generation MCAS on computers in grades 3-8. High school students are still taking the legacy MCAS tests. These tests are still adminstered on paper and pencil and are the only test required for students to pass in order to receive a diploma. The next-generation tests will be introduced at the high school level in spring 2020.

When looking at your child's report, please know that the score levels for the next-generation MCAS are different from those of the legacy MCAS. Next-generation MCAS scores fall into four categories: Exceeding Expectations, Meeting Expectations, Partially Meeting Expectations and Not Meeting Expectations. Some students will find that they scored Proficient on the previous (legasy) MCAS in 2016 but only Partially Meeting Expectations on the next-generation MCAS in 2017. When looking at your student's results, please keep the following in mind:

  • In general, the new standards for Meeting Expectations are more rigorous than the standards for reaching the Proficient level on the legacy

  • Next Generation MCAS set the new standards to help signal student readiness for the next grade level and indicate when students might need additional help to succeed. Ultimately, this will give students a better sense of what they need to do to be prepared for college or other post-secondary training.

  • Spring 2017 is a baseline for a new test in grades 3-8, and spring 2017 scores should not be compared to previous years’ scores.

 

A higher percentage of students are likely to score Meeting Expectation or above in future years as students and teachers become more familiar with the tests' expectations. More information for parents about the test is available at www.doe.mass.edu/mcas/parents, but the best place for parents to go with questions is their classroom teacher, school guidance counselor, or principal, who can put the test results in context.

 

Sincerely,

 

John F. Robert