Next Generation MCAS

PARCC Scores 2015 and MCAS 2.0 Preview

November 27, 2015 Update

Following the decision of the Board of Education North Reading will be administering the PARCC assessment in the Spring of 2016 for grades 3-8 ELA and Mathematics.

MCAS will still be used for grade 10 ELA and Mathematics as well as Science/Technology Engineering in grades 5, 8, and high school.

The MCAS Alt. and Access for ELL students assessments will also be used.

For the PARCC assessment some decisions remain to be made about the modality of the assessment (computer or paper) as well as more information about next generation MCAS 2.0 which will be administered in the Spring of 2017.

Letter from Commissioner Chester, October 20, 2015:

October 20, 2015

Dear Superintendents, Charter School Leaders, and Principals,

I am writing to update you on discussions I had with the Board of Elementary and Secondary 

Education at its meetings on October 19-20.  As you know, we have reached the end of our 

two-year test drive of PARCC, and the Board is scheduled to vote on Nov. 17 on next steps for 

statewide testing.  While I have not yet made my recommendation to the Board, I want to 

share with you what I have shared with the Board.

Until recently, I thought about this as a binary decision: whether to adopt PARCC or continue 

with MCAS.  On October 19, I told the Board there is a third option worth considering:  using 

the effort we've invested in PARCC to create MCAS 2.0.  To this end, I shared three 

considerations that are guiding my reasoning.

First, MCAS has served the Commonwealth well.  I can’t imagine that the success of our 

students and educators would have been possible without a high-quality assessment that 

provided feedback on student, school, district, and state achievement and progress.  Now that 

we have the benefit of two decades of experience and have upgraded our curriculum 

frameworks and content standards, it is time to upgrade our assessments.

Second, in important ways, PARCC sets a higher bar than MCAS for student performance.  This 

is particularly true as students move into middle and high school.  This higher bar is not simply 

about being harder.  PARCC is designed to assess our updated understanding of learning 

progressions in mathematics, text complexity and the interplay of reading and writing, research 

skills, and the academic expectations of higher education and employers.  Many Massachusetts 

K-12 educators, higher education faculty, and DESE staff contributed to making PARCC a strong 


In addition, the online assessment experience is qualitatively different than taking a paper-and-

pencil test.  The online environment is more engaging (students prefer it by almost a two-to-

one margin); the introduction of video and audio increases accessibility for many students, 

including English language learners and students with disabilities; and the online setting mirrors 

the digital world that is ubiquitous in students’ lives and futures.

Third, while Massachusetts has exercised a leadership role among the consortium states, any 

path forward that includes PARCC must be a path over which we have control.  To be confident 

that we exercise ultimate agency over the direction of the Commonwealth’s assessment 

program, I am considering options for taking advantage of our access to PARCC to build MCAS 


I will continue to develop these ideas in the coming weeks, and I look forward to sharing my 

recommendation to the Board with you in early November. 

On Nov. 16, the Board will hold its last public comment session on PARCC at Malden High 

School, and the Board vote is scheduled for Nov. 17.  If you are looking for more background on 

PARCC in Massachusetts, please see 


Mitchell D. Chester

Commissioner of Elementary and Secondary Education

In 2010, the Massachusetts Board of Elementary and Secondary Education adopted new academic learning standards in English language arts and mathematics to ensure that all students are on the pathway to college and career readiness. To measure progress against those learning standards, we are now developing a new student testing program. The Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers – or PARCC– is a state-led project to develop a next-generation, computer-based testing program aligned to our academic learning standards. PARCC will consist of rich, performance-based tasks that will provide you with a better measure of our children's ability to write, think critically, and apply what they know. PARCC will also provide clearer signals to educators and parents about students' readiness for the next grade level and, in high school, for college and careers.

In the spring of 2015 the North Reading Public Schools will be participating in the test drive for the ELA and Mathematics PARCC assessment at the Batchelder (computer-based), Hood and Little elementary (paper-based) schools.  Students in grades 6-8 will also take the PARCC assessment in ELA and Mathematics.  Students in Grade 9 Algebra will also take the PARCC assessment.  

Students in grade 10 will still complete the MCAS in both ELA and Mathematics through the class of 2019.  Students in grades 5,8, and those taking Biology will continue to take the MCAS Science exam.

Students participating this year will receive a score based in his or her performance. In the Fall of 2015 Massachusetts will decide whether PARCC or an updated MCAS will be as our new state assessment in the spring of 2015 and beyond. 

If you wish to learn more about PARCC, please visit
contact me at any time or 978-664-9557.

For more information regard PARCC please visit:

                                                                                    -- Patrick Daly
                                                                                       Assistant Superintendent

PARCC Updates 7.22.15 SC

YouTube Video

A message from Commissioner Chester.

Boston Globe Article on Possible Replacement of the MCAS

Parents and students can click on the links above to explore the PARCC assessment together!

Boston Globe Article on PARCC field Test

5.23 PARCC-MCAS ChoicePresentation

North Reading Transcript Artice 5/15/14

Next Generation Assessments Presentation 6/9/14


On June 9, 2014 Dr. Daly presented to the School Committee on the topic of the next generation assessments for Massachusetts and the choice that the School Committee must make based upon the recommendation of the Superintendent.  This decision centers around whether North Reading will choose to begin the next generation assessments in 2014-15 or to wait another year and continue with the MCAS assessment for one more year.  The MCAS assessment as currently constructed will not be given after 2014-15.

Following an engaging discussion the School Committee has asked Dr. Daly to present on the topic once again on June 23rd.  The content of the Presentation is above and the full presentation of the meeting will be available on NORCAM.

Transcript Article 12/9/13

 Academic Services Blog

YouTube Video

CCSS Math PPT_Parents

PARCC slides from Parent Presentation 6-12 Mathematics


Inside NRPS Episode 2