Friday, October 28, 2005
Education in Massachusetts Education Reform Act of 1993
The Education Reform Act of 1993 was enacted in order to enhance the quality and accountability of all schools and to ensure that all students achieve high standards. The Act mandated:
• development of statewide curriculum frameworks in all core academic subjects;
• assessment of student progress toward learning goals outlined in the frameworks;
• demonstration of competency in the tenth-grade frameworks in order to receive a high school diploma.
Curriculum frameworks answer a simple question: What should young people know and be able to do when they graduate from high school? The state Department of Education has established frameworks for grades K-12 in English language arts, mathematics, science and technology, history and social science, world languages, the arts, and health.
The Massachusetts Comprehensive Assessment System, or MCAS tests, assess student proficiency in the frameworks. The tests are given in ten categories: third-grade reading, fourth-grade English and math, fifth-grade science, sixth-grade math, seventh-grade English, eighth-grade math and science, tenth-grade math and English. High school students must pass the tenth grade math and English exams in order to receive a diploma. In 2008 students will also be required to pass a tenth-grade science MCAS.
Special Education students
All students, including students with physical, emotional or learning disabilities, are required to participate in all MCAS tests scheduled for their grades. A student with significant disabilities may, on advice of his or her IEP (Individualized Education Plan) team, take the MCAS tests with accommodations (variations in presentation of questions or recording of responses), or take the MCAS Alternate Assessment exam.
© 2005 The