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BOSTON (AP) — This year’s 11th graders won’t be required to take the MCAS test to graduate as the state continues to slowly emerge from the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education board voted Tuesday to modify graduation requirements so members of the Class of 2022 won’t be required to take the MCAS test to graduate due to the turmoil created by the pandemic.

It marks the first time since 2003 that an entire high school class has been exempted from having to pass the exam in order to graduate.

The change had been recommended last month by Massachusetts Education Commissioner Jeffrey Riley.

Thousands of students across the state have begun returning to in-classroom education after the pandemic forced many schools to adapt to remote teaching.

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