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MCAS Future Directions General Survey

The Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) is inviting educators, parents, current and former students, and other community members to participate in this survey. It will provide feedback on the Massachusetts Comprehensive Assessment System (MCAS) to help inform the future direction of the testing program. The survey should take about 10 minutes or less to complete. We will be collecting responses through Friday, January 27 at 5:00 p.m. Please contact the Office of Student Assessment Services at mcas@doe.mass.edu with any questions. 

 
1. Please select your role(s). Choose all that apply. 
2. Please select the way(s) in which you have interacted with the MCAS testing program. Choose all that apply.
Communications and Support
3. DESE communicates important information about the MCAS testing program through the MCAS website. School and district staff also access information through the biweekly Student Assessment Update newsletter and the MCAS Resource Center.

Have you viewed the MCAS website, Student Assessment Update, or MCAS Resource Center?
4. Consider the ease with which you are able to find necessary MCAS information in the locations described in the previous question.

How easily can you find MCAS policies and other important information?
4. The DESE Office of Student Assessment Services staff are available by phone at 781-338-3625 or email at mcas@doe.mass.edu to answer questions, including questions about test results and student participation.

Have you contacted the DESE Office of Student Assessment Services?
5. How satisfied are you with the level of service provided by the DESE Office of Student Assessment Services?
Accessibility and Accommodations
5. When taking MCAS tests, all students may use a range of accessibility features on the computer-based versions (e.g., using a highlighter, flagging a test question to come back to it later). In addition, students with disabilities and English learner (EL) students are provided any necessary accommodations to access the tests (e.g., a paper-based version of the test, or a Braille edition for students who are blind or visually impaired). (For more information about the accommodations available, see the Accessibility and Accommodations Manual.)

How satisfied are you with the range of accessibility features and accommodations that are available to students for MCAS testing?
6. DESE currently provides Spanish/English versions of high school mathematics and science and technology/engineering (STE) assessments as an accommodation for English learners who have been in the U.S. for less than three years. If DESE decided to add additional versions of the MCAS tests in languages other than English, which of the following would be most important to you?
Data and Reporting
7. School and district staff can access results from MCAS tests through DropBox Central and Edwin Analytics, and Parent/Guardian Reports and released student essays in PearsonAccess Next. Aggregate results are also publicly available on School and District Profiles

How satisfied are you with the reports and data that are available?
7. Parents receive MCAS Parent/Guardian Reports each year with their child’s MCAS test results. The reports show information such as the child’s score, their achievement compared to the school, district, and state, and information about how they performed on each test question.

How satisfied are you with the information that is provided on the reports?
7. If DESE decided to make changes to how it reports results, what enhancements would you like to see?

Please select how important each of the following possible reporting enhancements is to you.
Space Cell Very importantSomewhat importantNot very importantNot important at allNo opinion/don't know
DESE-provided online portal for parents/guardians to access MCAS results
Integration of MCAS results with districts' data and reporting systems (e.g., access to MCAS results for families within districts' family portals)
Additional translations for Parent/Guardian Report templates (DESE currently provides translations in the 10 most-frequent non-English languages statewide.)
Practice Tests and Released Test Questions
DESE provides both practice tests and released questions, which are available through the DESE website, the MCAS Resource Center, and the MCAS Digital Item Library.
8. Have you ever used the practice tests?
9. If DESE decided to make changes or updates to the practice tests, what enhancements would you like to see? 

Please select how important each of the following is to you.
Space Cell Very importantSomewhat importantNot very importantNot important at allNo opinion/don't know
Creating additional or longer practice tests
Ensuring all item types are represented on practice tests
Ensuring that each practice test covers all the standards for that grade or subject
9. Have you ever used the released items?
10. How satisfied are you with the different ways that the released questions are provided?
10. How do you use the released test questions? Choose all that apply. 
Assessment Features and Innovations
10. DESE is currently piloting new tests in STE in grades 5 and 8 and civics in grade 8. These new testing models include features such as simulations, and classroom-based formative assessments.

Please select which features you are most interested in seeing on MCAS tests in the future.
Space Cell Very interestedSomewhat interestedNot very interestedNot interested at allNo opinion/don't know
Interactive simulations
Videos and animations
Ability for students to create their own computer-based diagrams and graphs
Formative assessment tools provided alongside the state assessment
Professional Development and Assessment
 
11. If DESE were to provide professional development opportunities around assessment, which areas would you be interested in seeing offered?
 
Space Cell Very interestedSomewhat interestedNot very interestedNot interested at allNo opinion/don't know
Research-based practices in creating classroom tests and test questions
Additional information about understanding MCAS data and results
Scoring of student constructed-responses
Scoring of student essays
General Feedback