The Carlisle Mosquito Online

Friday, November 23, 2001

News

High MCAS scores could yield college tuition waiver

Current high school juniors and seniors may want to take a close look at their MCAS scores. If you scored "Advanced" in at least one category, math or English/Language Arts (ELA), and "Proficient" in the other, you are a candidate for the Stanley Z. Koplik Certificate of Mastery. The Certificate of Mastery is part of the Education Reform Law of 1993, designed to recognize students who demonstrate high academic achievement. The award was actually available for the first time in 2000.

According to Rachelle Engler, director of the Office of Student Leadership, Massachusetts Department of Education (DEd), last year a total of 186 students (117 from the Class of '02 and 69 from the Class of '01) from Concord-Carlisle High School were eligible to apply for the Certificate based on their MCAS scores. The DEd received applications from 11 students. Of these 11, eight have received the award and three are expected to receive the award this month.

MCAS scores alone are not enough to be awarded the certificate. Students must also have qualifying scores on either Advanced Placement (AP) or SATII exams and/or other achievements set by the DEd. Applicants must be juniors or seniors, Massachusetts residents and attending secondary school.

Criteria for Certificate of Mastery
To actually receive the Certificate of Mastery, students must fulfill additional requirements covering both fields of arts/humanities and mathematics/science. Additional achievements are most often qualifying test scores on either Advanced Placement (AP) or SATII exams. Which AP or SATII exams to take depend on the MCAS scores:

· MCAS scores: If Advanced in ELA, and Proficient in math (and science/technology if taken): at least one of the two additional achievements listed must be in the field of math/science.

· MCAS scores: If Proficient in ELA, and Advanced in math (and/or science/technology if taken): at least one of the two additional achievements listed must be in the field of arts/humanities.

· MCAS scores: If Advanced in ELA, and Advanced in math (and/or science/technology if taken): the two additional achievements listed can be in any academic subject (math/science and/or arts/humanities).

Additional achievements may be in the following combinations:

· two AP exams; or

· two SAT II exams or

· one AP exam and one SAT II exam (in a different subject); or

· one AP exam and one other achievement; or

· one SAT II exam and one other achievement.

AP exam scores must be three or higher and SAT II exams must have a score determined by the DOE. For instance, the minimum qualifying score on the Writing exam is 630, Literature 612, US History 608, Math 1C 640, Math 2C 649, Biology 600, Chemistry 646.

Achievements other than AP or SATII exams are awards given during grades 9-12 (or ages 14 and older). These awards must be given outside of the students' school, such as through competitions and publications. The table below gives a partial list of examples of activities and competitions that offer qualifying awards and commendations (taken from the DOE web site). Participation itself may qualify if it requires a competitive selection process involving students from more than one school.

Free tuition

In addition to the certificate, any recipient who attends a Massachusetts public college or university will receive a four-year tuition waiver. The tuition waiver, which covers tuition fees only, requires that a student maintain a grade point average of 3.3 for continued eligibility.

Applications for the 2002 Stanley Z. Koplik Certificate of Mastery Award will be sent to high schools in mid-January and will also be made available on the web at www.doe.mass.edu/osl/mastery/com.html. In the meantime, students with qualifying MCAS scores should register for the additional tests required, such as AP or SATII exams.

Call 1-781-338-3099 or email: osl@doe.mass.edu for more information.


2001 The Carlisle Mosquito