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MCAS
MEPA
DIBELS
Roots Assessment
MAP


Massachusetts Comprehensive Assessment System (MCAS)

MCAS is the statewide assessment program used to measure the performance of students, schools and districts on the academic learning standards contained in the Massachusetts Curriculum Frameworks, fulfilling requirements of the Education Reform Law of 1993. MCAS tests are administered in the spring of each school year.

Because the MCAS tests are designed to measure student performance on the learning standards contained in the Massachusetts Curriculum Frameworks, results on the MCAS tests are reported in terms of performance levels that describe student performance in relation to established state standards. Students receive a separate performance level score in each subject area.

MCAS is the statewide assessment program used to measure the performance of students, schools and districts on the academic learning standards contained in the Massachusetts Curriculum Frameworks, fulfilling requirements of the Education Reform Law of 1993. MCAS tests are administered in the spring of each school year.

Because the MCAS tests are designed to measure student performance on the learning standards contained in the Massachusetts Curriculum Frameworks, results on the MCAS tests are reported in terms of performance levels that describe student performance in relation to established state standards. Students receive a separate performance level score in each subject area.

This is the second year that MCAS Parent Reports will include growth model data. We recognize that this is somewhat confusing system, that may leave many parents with questions. To help address that need the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education has developed an online tutorial geared specifically for parents. The tutorial is in powerpoint format with audio, but requires no special software to use. The tutorial is posted at The tutorial is posted at http://www.doe.mass.edu/mcas/growth/tutorial2.html

General MCAS Performance Level Definitions

Performance Level Description
Advanced (A) Students at this level demonstrate a comprehensive and in-depth understanding of rigorous subject matter and provide sophisticated solutions to complex problems. (Scores 260-280)
Proficient (P) Students at this level demonstrate a solid understanding of challenging subject matter and solve a wide variety of problems. (Scores 240-258)
Needs Improvement (NI) Students at this level demonstrate a partial understanding of subject matter and solve some simple problems. (Scores 220-238)
Warning/Failing (W) Students at this level demonstrate a minimal understanding of subject matter and do not solve simple problems. (Scores 200-218)

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Massachusetts English Proficiency Assessment (MEPA)

The MEPA Tests are administered to all students in grades K-12 who are Limited English Proficient (LEP). The purposes of the MEPA tests are to: measure the progress a student is making toward English proficiency; identify whether a child has achieved proficiency in English; and comply with state and federal assessment requirements. New LEP students are tested twice within the school year. Students participate in the Fall MEPA-R/W and MELA-O if they are in grades 1-12 and did not take the MEPA in the spring. This includes students new to Massachusetts schools, as well as students who were absent or took only part of the spring MEPA. Kindergarten students do not take the fall MEPA. Results are reported in terms of five performance levels: Level 1, Level 2, Level 3, Level 4, and Level 5.

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Dynamic Indicators of Basic Early Literacy Skills (DIBELS)

DIBELS measures have been established as accurate and valid measures of the early literacy skills used to predict students' success at learning to read. WE no longer require schools to administer DIBELS but many kindergarten and first-grade students are assessed during the school year in the areas of letter naming, phonemic understanding of words, correspondence between written letters and their sounds and oral reading fluency.

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Roots Assessment

The Roots Assessment measures student skills in the areas of letter naming and sound correspondence, decoding and reading comprehension. Student comprehension of text is assessed by student oral responses to predetermined comprehension questions. The assessment takes approximately 10-20 minutes per student and is conducted every 10 weeks.

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Measures of Academic Progress (MAP)

Measures of Academic Progress (MAP) are computerized adaptive assessments that provide educators with information they can use to improve teaching and learning. MAP tests provide highly accurate results that can be used to: identify the skills and concepts individual students have learned; diagnose instructional needs; monitor academic growth over time; make data-driven decisions at the classroom, school and district levels; and place new students into appropriate instructional programs. In addition, the MAP tests are state-aligned and may be used as an indicator of preparedness for state assessments. MAP test results are timely; educators have the information they need when it's needed most, not months later. Individual student scores are reported in RITs (Rasch Unit) and are available immediately following a test. A student's RIT score is then assigned a performance level in one of three categories: Warning, Basic or Proficient. These scores provide teachers and school administrators with information about the mastery and instructional levels of each student. School level results are provided by grade as the number and percent of students in each performance level. All students in grades 2-10 take MAP assessments in reading and mathematics in the fall, winter and spring of the school year. Students in kindergarten and grade 1 take MAP for Primary Grades in November, February and May.

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