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Strategies for MCAS Next Gen ELA
MCAS Next Gen 2.0 ELA – Expect greater emphasis on text comparison.

by Joan Reissman, MCAS Maven

The biggest change in the MCAS Next Gen 2.0 ELA test, coming to 10th grade next month, is a greater emphasis on text comparison. Although people read every day, much of the reading students do on the phone or computer is recreational. Nobody is going to quiz you on detailed comprehension after you read something on social media. There is ongoing debate over whether students comprehend better on paper or screen. But it’s academic to us, because Next Gen MCAS is coming on a screen.

Last- minute quick tips for the MCAS ELA open response

Simple techniques to improve performance

by Joan Reissman, Blended Learning Specialist
Many students lose points on the ELA open response questions. We know that some students don’t like to write. But even so, we can improve their performance with some simple techniques.

The 2017 average on ELA multiple choice questions was 80%. Yet the average on open response questions was only 68%. The discrepancy is not due to test position: students did best on the first and last questions of the four open response questions (Reading Comprehension section). So how can we help students score at least a 2 or 3 on open responses?

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    JFYNetWorks Massachusetts Comprehensive Assessment System (MCAS) Preparation

    MCAS is the statewide testing structure adopted in 1998. High school testing occurs only in the 10th grade. There are three MCAS tests: English Language Arts, math, and science/technology/engineering. JFYNet focuses on ELA. A new testing system, PARCC, is expected to replace MCAS at some point. PARCC is being piloted in the lower grades and in selected high schools. The Department of Elementary and Secondary Education has announced that MCAS will continue to be the high school graduation standard for the next several years.

    The JFYNetWorks MCAS Preparation program is designed to help 9th and 10th grade students reach Common Core-aligned standards with the goal of on-time grade progression and ultimately successful graduation from high school and success in college.

    We measure our success by improved MCAS scores, teacher and administrator satisfaction surveys, and testimonies and stories from students and teachers about the impact of the program on their lives.

    Learn more about JFYNet’s methodology.


    WEBINAR: MCAS 2.0 Prep Tips found here.


    JFYNetWorks offers a complete MCAS 2.0 prep curriculum including practice tests and test-taking strategies for math and ELA. We’ve been providing blended MCAS prep programs to schools since 2000. Our focus is on standards-based instruction. We raise test scores by building students’ skills.

    Our blended learning academic support programs have a long history of documented student gains. We’d be glad to discuss them with you on the phone or come and present a demo. Please shoot us an email or give us a call.

    JFY Accuplacer prep College Readiness
    JFY Accuplacer prep College Readiness

    Another New Beginning-Start of school

    It is exciting. It is exhausting. It is a time of transition for everyone.

    by Eileen Wedegartner, Blended Learning Specialist

    It’s that bittersweet time of year again, the start of school. We pack away our summer gear, bags loaded with suntan lotion, flip-flips, towels and sand, and trade them in for book bags stuffed with new notebooks. Schools have been freshly cleaned and waxed and everything has a glimmer of hope. It’s that glorious time when every desk is shining, every pencil is sharp, and every Expo marker works.

    The Year in Review - Looking back on a busy 2018-19

    Looking back on a busy 2018-19

    by Gary Kaplan

    The end of a school year is a traditional time for reflection. This year offers a wider than usual range of events to reflect on.

    Education occupied an unusual amount of front page real estate. The quarter-century anniversary of Education Reform last year kicked off a long process of re-evaluation that continues to the present moment. The Legislature is still working on a new funding formula to correct the flaws in the old formula that widened the gaps in resources between wealthy towns and poor cities. These dollar gaps correlate with longstanding student performance gaps. There is a wide opinion gap on the degree to which correlation is causation, and on how to ensure that increased funding produces higher performance in the places where it is most needed. The Legislature’s Joint Committee on Education are untangling the strands of three competing proposals and weaving them into a tapestry of consensus.

    Reflections on the Blue Line - A school year draws to a close

    A school year draws to a close

    by Cathie Maglio, Blended Learning Specialist

    Here I am at the tail end of another school year. It’s been busy getting students ready for MCAS, both in ELA and Math, and ready for college. This year I have been responsible for two schools, Revere High and East Boston High. Though only a few stops apart on the Blue Line, they present very different challenges. I’ll get off at Maverick first and save Revere for next time.

    MCAS 2.0: Standards-based assessments support data-driven, student-centered instruction

    How standards-based assessments support data-driven, student-centered instruction

    by Cathie Maglio, Blended Learning Specialist

    The JFYNet program creates opportunity by using technology in the form of student-centered blended learning to help young people develop the skills to thrive in school and ultimately in the world of work. This is accomplished by working in schools to help students improve their reading, writing and math skills. There are a few ways to measure the skill development of each student: MCAS scores, quizzes embedded in the software programs, scores on SAT and Accuplacer, and finally placements directly into college-level classes without remediation.

    Online Education—Time to Start is Now

    by Greg Cunningham, JFYNetWorks Blended Learning Specialist

    Online Education can be daunting even for digital natives

    Everyone over 30—or is it now 20? — assumes that young people are completely tech savvy. They walk the streets and hallways with their faces plastered to their phones, texting, posting, broadcasting live video from concerts or from lunch, always up on the newest apps to keep constantly enmeshed in their social webs.