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State OK’s Trial of New Education Tests

Boston Globe (11/19/13) Vaznis, James

The Massachusetts Board of Elementary and Secondary Education has approved a plan to do a two-year test run of the Partnership of Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC), a new state standardized testing system based on the Common Core State Standards that will eventually replace MCAS tests in English and math. About 100,000 students in grades 3-8, representing about 15 percent of those statewide, will take the PARCC exams in 1,250 schools from Boston to the Berkshires. The following spring, field testing will expand, with about half of the state's schools taking the new exam and the other half taking MCAS. State education leaders are hopeful that the division of which schools take each test will enable them to compare results to ensure the PARCC tests are just as rigorous. State Education Commissioner Mitchell Chester oversees the consortium developing the tests, which are based on national academic standards that Massachusetts adopted a few years ago. Chester said he was happy the board approved his recommendation on the trial testing. If the test is superior, the board would vote in the fall of 2015 to adopt the new system.
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