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After 16 years of the MCAS, state education leaders are exploring the once unthinkable: a new standardized testing system, this time done almost entirely online.
The potential switch is so dramatic — rife with debate about whether a technological divide among schools could influence performance — that the state is spending the next two years trying out the new exams before deciding whether to ditch the MCAS.
More than 1,000 schools across the state have been participating in a trial run for the past two weeks of the Partnership for the Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers, or PARCC.
The schools join thousands of others in more than a dozen states looking to adopt the same online testing system as Massachusetts, part of a push by the Obama administration for national standards in teaching math and English.