Your monthly update on all things MS-CPAS
April 2020
Spring Testing is NOT Here  

Revisiting last April's title seemed appropriate as I penned this article from my home in Starkville. April in Mississippi beckons the start of warm weather and signals our approach to the end of another school year.

This year, thanks to what we now call COVID-19, it also started all our school districts quick migration to the world of online learning. It also marked the first time in a few decades of operation that MS-CPAS assessments would be suspended in our state due to this global pandemic.

Each of you is in our thoughts daily. We wish you only the best as you work harder than ever to provide the best learning experiences for the children of our state.

As I remarked in a draft of the spring newsletter for the   Consortium for Research on Educational Assessment and Teaching Effectiveness, the COVID-19 pandemic has shown us the grim reality that not only is human life fragile, but also the way we conduct our everyday lives, in education and beyond, can change as rapidly as Mississippi temperatures in the spring. Although we are far from out of the woods, there are a few things I have already seen that can prove to be a part of a silver lining.
  • Unity - I have seen increased unity and collaboration from educators at the local, state and national levels in recent weeks. We at the RCU are here for you day and night as you provide the best, albeit remote, educational opportunities for the students of Mississippi! Please do not hesitate to use any one of us at the RCU to help find solutions for you if you find yourself against a barrier for your students.
  • Online Learning - Albeit less than ideal, we have all had to adjust our lesson plans (mine included at Mississippi State) to move completely to a distance education model. To some extent, I think this shift is a great thing for the state of education. We have had to rethink our instructional methods, delivery models, and assessment strategies to gauge student mastery of the content. A new dialogue and constant reflection need to occur around how to meet learners halfway at the entrance of their neighborhoods. Making our learning more phone-based mixed with paper-pencil methods may be better way than looking for monies for tablets and computers for most students. This is just one of the many questions that would be interesting to hear about from our school systems.  
As Jon Gordon ( @jongordon11) tweeted recently about the recent events, "Don't look at problems in the world and allow them to get you down. Look inside yourself and look at your team and decide to change the world from the inside out." Educators have always been world changers. Now we get the opportunity to enact change on a grander scale. I look forward to what each of you come up with in the days and weeks ahead.

Hoping for brighter days for your families and you,

Sean Owen, PhD
Assessment Manager

A Special Update on Tech Master

The Mississippi Economic Council (MEC) has approved a waiver request for determining 2019-2020 Tech Master Scholars.This waiver only applies to the Class of 2020 and includes the following provisions:
  • Community Service - The number of required hours is reduced to 30.
  • CPAS - A CPAS Year 2 score is not required. Students must earn a passing score on CPAS Year 1 or an industry credential.
  • Attendance - The attendance calculation may be based on where a student was prior to school closure.
  • ACT WorkKeys/ASVAB - This requirement is waived for this year.
  • ACT - The ACT requirement is still 18, but districts may continue to award Tech Master Scholar designation throughout the Summer, so June ACT scores may be considered.
Schools may send orders for Tech Master Scholar awards to and she'll mail certificates and medallions to districts.

Important Dates

Postsecondary Testing (online)
March 30 - May 1
Postsecondary Final Reports Available
May 15
Secondary MS-CPAS Testing

MS-CPAS Updates
MS-CPAS testing is cancelled for the 2019-2020 school year by the Mississippi Department of Education. Postsecondary schools are currently scheduled to test from March 30 through May 1.Postsecondary programs can still upload, verify, schedule, and test until May 1.
National Certifications Updates
Welcome to April! I am sure this is not the April we thought we would see. Things are very different, and I pray all of you and your families are well and safe. There has been a lot to adjust to and I hope that we here at the RCU can be a guide to helping you navigate through these new and strange times.
National certification testing was scheduled to begin April 1. That is no longer the case. You may have heard by now that all testing has been canceled for the 2019-2020 school year, including national certifications testing. If you have specific questions about how the cancellation of testing will affect your district, please reach out to MDE.
To stay on top of this ever-changing situation, please visit the RCU website . There are already some resources available there to help during this time. As always, if you have questions, feel free to reach out to the RCU Helpdesk . Someone will be standing by and ready to respond to you. Please, stay safe and well.
Brian Dorsey
Performance Based Assessment
Submission and scoring for PBA Spring 2020 has been canceled. We appreciate all of the work that went into PBA this year by instructors and students. Please stay safe and reach out if you have any questions.
Key Contacts
Assessment Manager .........................
IAD Meetings and Training Events.......
National Certifications .........................
Data and Research..............................
Performance-Based Assessment.........

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