Measuring school success by MCAS testing may be a thing of the past if a new testing system proves worthy. 

State Commissioner of Elementary and Secondary Education, Mitchell Chester, said two thirds of the state's schools will soon try out a new assessment system called PARCC, an online program that replaces paper books with online questioning that attempts to gauge the student's understanding of a topic by asking them to explain the rationale behind the answer.

Mitchell said MCAS was never intended to be an indicator of college or career readiness. Some critics say the new online system lowers the bar in terms of lower academic achievement.

As for MCAS, it may never fully disappear altogether because the state intends to test students in science, an area not covered by the new system and a requirement 10th graders need in order to graduate! Nothing has been announced whether or not New Bedford Public Schools will participate in the new assessment online testing system.