November 17, 2015 – Boston, MA
Statement of Higher Education Commissioner Carlos Santiago on Board of Elementary and Secondary Education Vote to Create “Next Generation” Student Assessment Program:
As Commissioner of Higher Education in Massachusetts I am pleased to commend Commissioner Chester and the Massachusetts Board of Elementary and Secondary Education on today’s vote to begin work on a next-generation, computer-based assessment program that builds on the best elements of both PARCC and MCAS. Today’s vote reflects our shared commitment to college readiness and the depth of higher education’s involvement in the PARCC assessment work.
Speaking before the Board of Elementary and Secondary Education last month, I reiterated that, since 2008, higher education has been deeply involved in all aspects of this collaborative process to advance readiness for college and careers for all high school graduates. Far too many Massachusetts high school graduates begin their college experience in non-credit developmental (remedial) education, which represents a broken system for many students, some of whom fail to move forward into credit-bearing coursework.
A new, jointly developed and adopted college readiness assessment, together with our shared definition of college and career readiness, will not eliminate the need for remediation but will send a clear message of what constitutes college knowledge, skills and practice. Together they will also drive more rigorous instruction, allow us to addresspersistent “readiness gaps” in high school and most importantly, provide a pathway into entry level credit-bearing college coursework for high school graduates.
Our public colleges and universities will continue to contribute expertise through both theK-12 and higher education Technical Advisory Committees and Expert Review Panels to assist inmoving the Commonwealth toward its goal of administering a next-generation assessment that is squarely focused on academic success for all studentsbeyond high school.