Faculty Advisor

Wilkes, John M.


An analysis of 1129 cases of fourth grade Massachusetts Comprehensive Assessment System (MCAS) test results from 9 schools in 3 districts by learning style, grades and other achievement tests revealed several useful and some disquieting patterns in the results. The learning style indicator (MMTIC) identified a fairly consistent rank ordering of scores by type of learners regardless of subject. In short, the MCAS is cognitively biased in a pattern reminiscent of the SAT at the high school level. However, using information available at the time the students took the test (3rd grade test scores and 4th grade report cards), it is possible to predict who is most likely to have difficulty with the test. Some of the MMTIC types are more predictable than others based on this kind of information. Those in the districts that had the lowest average scores are the most predictable. Hence, considerable progress has been made in coming to understand the MCAS and who it serves most and least well, given its cognitive bias.


Worcester Polytechnic Institute

Date Accepted

January 2001

Project Type

Interactive Qualifying Project


Restricted-WPI community only

Advisor Department

Social Science and Policy Studies