BOSTON (CBS) — The Massachusetts Teachers Association is speaking out against MCAS, saying the state’s standardized test “has allowed white supremacy to flourish in public schools.” The teachers union is endorsing a bill that would eliminate the MCAS graduation requirement in the state.
The bill scheduled for a committee hearing Monday on Beacon Hill would offer “multiple pathways” for students to demonstrate educational competency, outside of standardized testing.
MTA President Merrie Najimy said the MCAS has been “alienating students who have diverse backgrounds and differentiated learning styles.”
“The implementation of the MCAS and other standardized tests has had the exact opposite effect of what was supposed to occur when the system was introduced more than 20 years ago,” Najimy said in a statement. “Public schools in predominantly Black and brown communities have been taken over by state bureaucrats who have been using standardized testing as a tool not to improve opportunities for students but instead as one to pry public education from the hands of the families and educators who know best what their students need.”
The MTA shared a Twitter video earlier in the week saying, “It’s time to cancel MCAS.”
What impact has MCAS had on your students and your classroom? What do we need instead? 🗣🗣🗣 Join Cambridge high school history teacher Christopher Montero in sharing your story at https://t.co/zMjMlgI7G9. #CancelMCAS pic.twitter.com/CcAZz6Zzwm
— Massachusetts Teachers Association (@massteacher) September 15, 2021
Bill sponsor Sen. Jo Comerford said that while standardized testing may be required by federal law, it doesn’t need to be a graduation prerequisite.
“Right now, in the Commonwealth, a single test can derail a young person’s future. A minority of states hold to this same rigid, punitive practice, with more and more states transitioning every year to a more nuanced set of graduation metrics,” she said in a statement. “For the sake of generations of students, Massachusetts should join them.”
Earlier this year, an MCAS alternative for graduation was offered to 5,600 high school seniors in the state.