As time pushes us closer to the 2017 testing season, rumor has it the PARCC (Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers) will be replacing MCAS (Massachusetts Comprehensive Assessment System) in the future.

Assistant Superintendent, Dr. Hunter says PARCC will indeed be replacing MCAS in grades 3-8, but DHS will be sticking with MCAS for a while.Until 2019, High-Schoolers will take traditional MCAS.

Dr. Hunter has said that In the future, traditional MCAS will be receiving a change. Massachusetts has developed its own assessment,”Next-Generation MCAS.”This new test will be distributed instead of PARCC for High-Schoolers.

Massachusetts will still belong to the consortium that develops PARCC, so it is likely that questions on the “Next Generation MCAS” will be similar to the ones on PARCC.

Most people think that PARCC and MCAS are basically the same thing. PARCC (and the new Next Generation MCAS) are structured quite differently than each other. The tests are also administered electronically, which will likely reduce stress for many students. Dr. Hunter said “Alden and DMS took PARCC online last spring and will take the Next General MCAS online this spring.” DHS students can expect to take MCAS online starting in 2019.

But, why did MCAS need to be replaced in the first place?

Dr. Hunter has stated that the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education felt that MCAS was no longer rigorous or reflective of the skills students need to be college. Also, because MCAS needed an update to keep up with the ever changing times.


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