State education officials plan to bring in outside researchers to analyze this year’s MCAS test results for any “unintended consequences” of a question on the 2016 novel “The Underground Railroad” that sparked student concerns and calls for the test as a whole to be disregarded.

Five groups — the Mass. Teachers Association, the Boston Teachers Union, the American Federation of Teachers Massachusetts, the Massachusetts Education Justice Alliance and the New England Area Conference of the NAACP — this month called on the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education to invalidate this year’s English language arts exam, saying students were shaken by a question that asked them to write a journal entry from the perspective of a character the groups said is “openly racist and betrays slaves trying to escape.”

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