Promotion and Assessment

  • Throughout the school year, teachers test or assess students on what they have learned and what they can do. Assessment includes paper-and-pencil tests, computer-based tests, oral and written reports, performances, and projects. Teachers or the companies that publish the textbooks used in our schools create some of the tests our students take. The Massachusetts Compre- hensive Assessment System (MCAS), discussed below, is given in every public school in the state. RPS also uses a variety of reading and math tests to assess students on a regular basis. This helps teachers adjust instruction to ensure that students have developed the skills and learned the content needed to be successful. For information on your child’s performance, please ask the teacher.

    MCAS Requirement

    Every student who attends a Massachusetts public school must take MCAS (Massachusetts Comprehensive Assessment System) tests. MCAS is given in grades 3 through 10. The  subjects tested vary by grade. They include English language arts (ELA), reading comprehension, mathematics, and science and technology/engineering (STE). MCAS tests how well students and schools are meeting the learning standards set by the state. The MCAS is a combination of multiple-choice questions (where a student chooses from a list of possible answers) and short answer and open-ended questions (where the student writes or shows an answer). 

    How are MCAS results used?
    Educators, parents, and students use MCAS results to:

    • Measure student progress: the MCAS is one of several tests that the Randolph Public Schools uses to make promotion decisions
    • Idenmic growth students have made from one grade to the next
    • The Mass. Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) uses MCAS results and other data to determine if schools and districts are meeting standards for improving student academic performance.tify strengths, weaknesses and gaps in curriculum and instruction
    • Gather information that can be used to improve student performance
    • Identify students who may need extra academic support

    The MCAS Graduation Requirement
    In order to graduate from high school, students must earn a Competency Determination (CD) in ELA, mathematics, and  science and technology/engineering (STE) as well as meeting their coursework and attendance requirements. To earn a CD in ELA and/or mathematics, a student must reach a performance level of Proficient or Advanced. 

    Students who score in a performance level of Needs Improvement in ELA and/or mathematics must also fulfill the requirements of an Educational Proficiency Plan (EPP), which is an individualized intervention plan that includes additional coursework and an assessment component. (Please ask your child’s principal for further information about EPP.) To earn a CD in STE, a student must pass one of the MCAS high school science tests.

    Students who do not pass high school MCAS the first time may retake it even after they leave high school. If a student has taken the tests at least three times or has participated in the MCAS Alternate Assessment twice and has not yet passed the ELA and/or math test, the student may be eligible to file an MCAS Performance Appeal for ELA and/or mathematics. To be eligible to file an MCAS Performance Appeal for STE, a student must have taken an MCAS high school science test at least one time (or completed an MCAS Alternate Assessment twice) and must be currently enrolled in a STE class or have completed grade 12. Check with the school principal to see if your child is eligible to have an appeal filed with the Massachusetts Department of Elementary & Secondary Education (DESE).