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State Tests

Assessing Comprehension and Communication in English State-to-State for English Language Learners (ACCESS for ELLs) is an assessment given to English Language Learners once a year in January. Students in grades K-12 are tested in speaking, listening, reading, and writing. There are 5 standards in which students are tested: The Language of Social and Instructional Language, the Language of Mathematics, The Language of Science, The Language of Social Studies, The Language of Language Arts. Students are scored in all four language domains and are given an English proficiency level on a scale from 1-6: Level 1: Entering, Level 2: Emerging, Level 3: Developing, Level 4: Expanding, Level 5: Bridging, Level 6: Reaching.

The Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC) are designed in English and Mathematics and are for students in grades 3-12. They will begin in the school year 2014-2015. PARCC is aligned with the Common Core Standards and uses technology in their assessments. The assessments will build a pathway to college and career readiness by the end of high school. School districts will choose this year whether to administer PARCC or MCAS.

Massachusetts Comprehensive Assessment System (MCAS) tests students in grades 3 through 8 and 10 in English Language Arts and Mathematics, and in grades 5 and 8 in Science. Students must pass the grade 10 MCAS in order to graduate. Additionally, Massachusetts Comprehensive Assessment System Science and Technology/Engineering Tests (MCAS STE) tests in Biology, Chemistry, Introductory Physics and Technology/Engineering are administered to students in grades 9 and 10 enrolled in a corresponding STE course. Beginning with the class of 2010, the MCAS STE became a high school graduation requirement. The MCAS tests are standards-based tests that measure specific skills defined for each grade or subject by the state of Massachusetts.

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