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MCAS Scores Statewide Have Dropped After Release Of New Test

Wednesday, October 25, 2017

The first round of MCAS scores have come in since the state rolled out a new, redesigned test earlier this year — and they're not great.

Statewide, students in grades 3-8 performed less well this year than they have in previous years. In a dramatic example, only 49 percent of students in eighth grade English met or exceeded expectations, compared to 79 percent of eighth grade students who achieved an equivalent designation on the old test in 2014.

But Harvard Graduate School of Education professor and former state Secretary of Education Paul Reville says comparing the old and new exams is like comparing apples and oranges — and that lower scores, at least at first, shouldn't come as a surprise.

"It's a new yardstick," he said. "We've set a higher standard."