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 ConcordCarlisle 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 912 (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 fouryear 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 midJanuary
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.

© 2001 The Carlisle Mosquito