Measured Progress Awarded Contract for ‘Next-Generation’ MCAS

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Computer-based testing program builds on state’s renowned, high-quality assessment system

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“We look forward to continuing to serve Massachusetts educators and students by creating and implementing high-quality assessments that improve teaching and learning.”

The Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (ESE) has awarded Measured Progress a five-year contract for the highly anticipated Next-Generation Massachusetts Comprehensive Assessment System, known as the Next-Generation MCAS.

The Commonwealth decided last winter to create a new assessment program to build on the strengths of both of its previous statewide assessments — the Commonwealth’s MCAS, and one provided by the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC®). For the past two years, districts chose between MCAS and the PARCC assessment for the bulk of their year-end testing. Their findings and preference contributed to the Massachusetts Board of Elementary and Secondary Education's decision that all districts use the Next-Generation MCAS beginning in spring 2017.

Measured Progress and the ESE have a longstanding collaborative relationship based on 20 years of working together on numerous assessment programs.

"My team at the Department and I are pleased to be partnering with Measured Progress as the Commonwealth transitions to next-generation, computer-based tests that will continue to provide essential information to parents, teachers and policymakers about students’ progress," said Michol Stapel, acting associate commissioner for student assessment with the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education.

Measured Progress shares the sentiment. “We’re energized and excited by this opportunity to continue our long and fruitful partnership with the Commonwealth and ESE, and to work on this excellent program, which shows so much careful consideration and planning,” said Martin Borg, president and CEO of Measured Progress. “We look forward to continuing to serve Massachusetts educators and students by creating and implementing high-quality assessments that improve teaching and learning.”

Measured Progress will lead test development, test administration, scoring, psychometrics, data analysis and reporting in consultation with ESE staff and Massachusetts educators. The organization will also oversee the efforts of several subcontractors.

The Center for Educational Assessment at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, will provide psychometric support and conduct validity studies.

Pearson will provide online item banking, test management, and test delivery systems via its stable, accessible technology platform and will also support program management, test form creation, scoring, psychometrics and standard setting.

​In grades three through eight, many of the tests will be delivered to students online. The online delivery platform will feature an innovative, technology-enhanced interface from Pearson. A wide array of media and digital content will support today’s heightened focus on interactive and immersive learning environments.

"For over two decades, Massachusetts has set a standard of excellence nationally for the delivery of a rigorous, best-in-class student testing program," said Bob Whelan, Pearson's president of assessment. "With this Next-Generation MCAS award, the unique partnership between Pearson and Measured Progress will enable the Commonwealth to preserve that same level of excellence as it develops a more sophisticated, technology-driven measure of the 21st century skills students need to succeed beyond high school."

Measured Progress will work closely with the ESE to develop new, enriched assessment content aligned with the Massachusetts Curriculum Frameworks and to provide continuity for all students, regardless of which test students took in previous years. Throughout the development process, a team of Massachusetts educators will be closely involved to provide insight and feedback.

For more information about Measured Progress, visit http://www.MeasuredProgress.org. Learn more about Pearson at http://www.PearsonEd.com.

About Measured Progress
Measured Progress, a not-for-profit organization, is a pioneer in authentic, standards-based assessments. Since 1983, we have successfully partnered with more than 30 states and hundreds of districts across the nation to support their assessment programs. Today, we develop 21st century assessments for classrooms, districts, states, and collaboratives. We are proud to be the nation’s leading provider of alternate assessments for students with cognitive disabilities.

Measured Progress connects the K–12 educational community with innovative and flexible assessment solutions. Our goal is to provide meaningful information about student progress to improve teaching and learning. It’s all about student learning. Period.

[1] PARCC® is a registered mark of Parcc, Inc. Measured Progress is not owned by or affiliated in any fashion with Parcc, Inc., the Partnership for the Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers, nor any state of the Union.

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Saul Hafenbredl
C. Blohm & Associates
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