Note: All indented texts are direct quotes from Mass DOE documents, screen shots are from their documents. Most are referenced twice, once as a link to their site, and once to a copy on this site, just in case something changes or moves in the future. Any text rendered in red is their text with my emphasis. Sometimes we are both emphasizing the same thing!

What does the Commonwealth MANDATE in the MCAS-Alt?

Just a random sampling of what the Commonwealth says MUST be included in the MCAS-Alt. Note that the MCAS-Alt is a "portfolio" and not a typical test looking thing. BUT, the portfolio includes testing and tested items.

Note that the word "must" is highlighted by both the Commonwealth and me. There is NO exception for the severely disabled, the non-verbal, the ones who cannot communicate. The rule is that all MUST show an attempt was made to learn a new skill.
The following evidence must be included in each strand of the portfolio:

• One Data Chart
A completed data chart must be included that measures the student’s accuracy and independence in performing tasks on at least five different dates based on a single skill or outcome in the learning standard being assessed.

Data charts must show that the student attempted to learn a new skill. Therefore, data charts will not be scored when they indicate that the student’s performance started and remained at 80-100% accurate and 80-100% independent throughout the entire data collection period.

2008 Educator's Manual for MCAS-Alt, page 36. (Mass DOE web site) (this web site)

Here is another mandatory guideline of the MCAS-Alt. The student must self-evaluate.
Guidelines for Collecting Data on Student Performance
Step 9. Student self-evaluates.
At the end of a series of instructional activities in which strategies for reinforcement and/or consequences are used, it is important to provide opportunities for a student to evaluate and reflect on his or her performance. ...

2008 Educator's Manual for MCAS-Alt, pages 38, 43. (Mass DOE web site) (this web site)

REMEMBER: The MCAS-Alt is for the disabled, the special needs students. Some of these students are non-verbal, they cannot communicate AT ALL. They make no known movements with intent. And this is how they MUST be tested! For more on these students and the test ... check out this website.

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