Last week, the Board of Elementary and Secondary Education (BESE) held their final public forum inviting educators, business leaders, and members of the public to share their thoughts on what Massachusetts future state assessment should be. Stand had members from every neighborhood across the city of Boston, as well as our memberships from Springfield and Holyoke deliver testimony. Our parents spoke on their personal experience and strong support for PARCC.
On Tuesday, Nov. 17, BESE voted and agreed to take Commissioner Chester’s recommendation to develop a unique hybrid exam comprised of material from both PARCC and MCAS, as well as new test items developed with input from panels of Massachusetts educators. They also agreed that districts would continue to administer either PARCC or MCAS based on their decision from the previous school year. When the new assessment is administered in the spring of 2017, all districts will be held harmless and not see any consequences based on scores.
Over the next two years, Stand will work with our partners to ensure clarity for teachers, students, and parents. We will continue to strongly urge BESE to create the new state assessment using PARCC, primarily, in order to build upon the years of investment already made by the state and hundreds of Massachusetts educators who developed it. Massachusetts students deserve to have a fair and skills-based state assessment that will close the current ‘honesty gap’ with MCAS outcomes by giving students and families an accurate measure of whether students are on track to be successful in today’s colleges and careers. Read our statement and follow us on Twitter and Facebook to stay up-to-date on assessment outcomes.