Thursday, November 12, 2015

We have a recommendation UPDATED

on Massachusetts state testing...well, sorta:  Door #3 and split down the middle. You can find Commissioner Chester's full recommendation to the Board of Ed here. Briefly:

  • the state is looking to develop MCAS 2.0 for spring 2017. As the current MCAS contract is expiring, they'll be bidding it out, and "In order to expedite the development process and minimize costs, we will maximize the use of existing PARCC development, as well as MCAS test items, as appropriate." UPDATE: on the press call, Chester said that the test would contain more PARCC items than MCAS items. 
  • as we aren't going to have any such test ready for this spring, districts can pick (again). Mostly. If you did PARCC, you'll do PARCC again. If you did MCAS, you can switch to PARCC.
  • BUT if you stay with MCAS, you'll have some PARCC items
  • AND if you're a first timer on PARCC, your accountability level will be held harmless
  • All districts will be expected to be online for 2019.
There are some further recommendations about item reviewing and test questions.

A further note: as our NCLB waiver included a wrist slap for our "you pick" year, and DESE was sternly told that they had to pick this year, I'd say the waiver is back in play. UPDATE: And (h/t to Scott O'Connell for asking!) the Commissioner did not know how it would affect the waiver.

Good time for a moratorium! And to rewrite the waiver for authentic assessment!

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