SPED Handbook

Reading Matters   

 The Massachusetts Child

Works 4 Me

High-Stakes Testing Links

MCAS Basics & Test Prep from the DESE

Massachusetts DESE
Official news and information on the Massachusetts Comprehensive Assessment System, including test dates, the alternative assessment process, sample test items, and past results. Separate sections for teachers, parents, and students.

Media Coverage

Education Week
A collection of articles on Testing and Accountability from the respected independent journal of American education.

Boston Globe
Look up scores for your school district and access selected testing materials.

Cape Cod Times
Scores for Cape school districts.

PBS Frontline: Testing Our Schools
"A business school graduate and self-styled "CEO President," Bush envisions a business model where educators set objectives, measure performance, and hold students and teachers accountable for results. But will the business model work in education?"" Information and reaction to the March 2002 documentary.

High-Stakes Testing Advocates

The testing and standards movement has a long history that has spawned many advocacy organizations. Many of these ostensibly non-partisan groups are connected to one another and financed by business interests.

Achieve, Inc., an education reform organization backed by the Education Trust, the Thomas B. Fordham Foundation, and the National Alliance of Business. Massachusetts is one of five states selected for Achieve's American Diploma Project. The project has three main objectives: "assist states in strengthening and/or revising their current standards-based systems; develop and solidify demand -- from higher education and employers -- for standards-based high school assessment data in their admissions and hiring process; and create new high school graduation benchmarks in English language arts and mathematics that all states may use to analyze the quality and rigor of their current standards and assessments."

The Education Trust
A national organization whose stated mission is to "work for the high academic achievement of all students at all levels, kindergarten through college."

High-Stakes Testing Critics

Fair Test
The National Center for Fair and Open testing is a Cambridge-based group "working to end the abuses, misuses and flaws of standardized testing and ensure that evaluation of students and workers is fair, open, and educationally sound."

Alfie Kohn
Kohn writes and lectures extensively about the standards movement, including MCAS in his home state of Massachusetts. (See Poor Teaching for Poor Students: One More Reason to Boycott the MCAS.) Follow Kohn on Twitter.

Rethinking Schools
Developed by a group of Milwaukee-area teachers, now a national publication and Web site addressing education issues, including assessment, from a progressive perspective.


Educational Disinformation Detection and Reporting Agency
The late education researcher and writer Gerald Bracey published annual reports on education for many years before his death in 2009. Much of his work centers on the misuse and misrepresentation of test-score based educational data.

Education Policy Analysis Archives
Based at Arizona State University, this site has been publishing online. peer-reviewed articles on education issues since 1993.

Myth of the Texas Miracle in Education
A report by Walt Haney, a Boston College professor, contends that the Texas educational turn around is ""more hat than cattle.""


National Board on Educational Testing and Public Policy
Supported by a grant from the Ford Foundation, this Boston College-based organization monitors tests for "appropriate use and technical accuracy." Several reports are posted on the site.

National Center for Educational Statistics
NCES is the primary federal entity for collecting and analyzing data that are related to education in the United States and other nations.