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Possible replacement for MCAS is gaining momentum

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The MCAS, the gold standard of measuring school success in Massachusetts, is moving closer to extinction as schools prepare to try out a new standardized testing system this year.

Momentum for the potential switch has been accelerating this month as more than 1,250 schools, about two-thirds of those statewide, learn that at least one of their classrooms will “field test” the new exams next spring in math or English.

If the try-outs prove successful, the new testing system would represent a major shift in the way Massachusetts tests students. The new system aims to assess all students online instead of using paper booklets, and the questions will attempt to gauge students’ understanding of a topic by asking them to explain the rationale behind their answers.

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