By Staff

BOSTON (CBS) – MCAS testing for this spring is being postponed to later this year so it doesn’t interfere with the state’s plan to reopen schools full-time in April.

The announcement came just hours before state Education Commissioner Jeffrey Riley formally asked the Board of Elementary and Secondary Education for the authority to start winding down remote and hybrid learning in school districts.  

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The board voted 8-3 to allow Commissioner Riley to move ahead with a phased-in plan for in-person learning beginning on April 5 with elementary students.

Riley sent a student assessment update to superintendents late Friday morning with new, tentative MCAS test dates for students in grades 3 though 8 for the spring.

MCAS in ELA, math and STE for grades 3, 4 and 5 will now be held between May 10 and June 11.

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The testing dates for grades 6, 7, and 8 are still yet to be determined.

Earlier this year, the state announced changes to the MCAS for grades 3-8 because of the unusual school year, including cutting test time in half. This year’s results will not be used to determine if any school district is underperforming.

Riley wants a phased-in approach to get children back in the classroom that would then extend to middle school grades next and then those in high school.

The 116,000-member Massachusetts Teachers Association opposes the move.

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In a statement Friday, MTA president Merrie Najimy said Riley’s plan will “increase stress on already stressed students and staff, disrupt lesson plans and teaching models, throw bus schedules to the wind and blow a hole through CDC health and safety guidance. This hastily conceived top-down mandate would violate local decision-making and be extremely chaotic.” Staff