In January 2016, the Board of Elementary and Secondary Education voted to adopt the 2016 Massachusetts Science and Technology/Engineering Standards. These revised standards were incorporated into the 2016 Massachusetts Science and Technology/Engineering Curriculum Framework published in April 2016. The MCAS STE program will be transitioning to assess the new standards, as described below. The STE tests will also be redesigned for computer-based administration, as part of the Commonwealth's move to "next generation" MCAS assessments. This process will include the introduction of new test designs and new item types.
Grades 5 and 8 MCAS STE Transition
The grades 5 and 8 next-generation MCAS STE tests based on the 2016 STE standards will be first administered in spring 2019. New achievement levels for these tests will be set in summer 2019. The tests have new designs and include assessing both the content and science and technology/engineering practices in the standards. Revised practice tests are also available.
High School MCAS STE Transition
Currently there are four high school STE tests: Biology, Chemistry, Introductory Physics, and Technology/Engineering, that can be taken at grade 9 or 10.
In June 2019, all four tests will continue to be administered and will be paper-based. A revised Introductory Physics Reference Sheet will be used for the 2019 test.
The June 2019 Biology and Introductory Physics tests and the February 2020 Biology test will be based on "overlapping" standards from the 2001/06 and 2016 STE standards. The tests will consist of questions that align to both sets of standards, and the focus of the test questions will be on the overlapping content and skills between the two sets of standards.
The Department plans to administer next-generation Biology and Introductory Physics tests beginning in June 2020. The Department is recommending phasing out the Chemistry and Technology/Engineering tests due to low enrollment numbers. More information about the high school tests will be provided later in the year once a decision has been made.
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