According to media reports, on Sunday, the Massachusetts Teachers Association (MTA) board of directors voted unanimously to back a ballot issue that would do away with required standardized testing for high school graduation.
The MTA has filed an inquiry for the 2024 election to the state Attorney General’s Office. This inquiry is motivated to do away with the need to pass the MCAS to graduate. Instead, students might graduate if they took enough classes to fulfill the state’s minimum requirements.
Max Page, president of the MTA, said that the over-emphasis on high-stakes testing is a significant problem in American public schools and that the union is working to address it.
Students will be evaluated based on how well they complete the required coursework that proves they have met state requirements. The union says that kids with trouble with standardized examinations, such as those with impairments or low English proficiency, are disadvantaged by the MCAS requirement. Each year, the test prevents the graduation of around 700 high school pupils.
Chris Anderson, head of the Massachusetts High Technology Council, was quoted as saying that the MCAS requirement helps ensure children are ready for life beyond high school, whether in further education or the job.
According to Anderson, this plan would be detrimental to the prospects of Massachusetts high school graduates, the state’s position as an education leader, and the state’s economy. Some instructors believe that the exam involves substantial preparation in the classroom, but eliminating this statewide benchmark would be damaging to all children, particularly those in struggling districts and schools.
Massachusetts educator Reva Finley-Call said that implementing the policy was always a challenging week whenever they had to do it. As a teacher, she said she’s seen firsthand the toll that the stress of academic achievement on pupils can take. She never enjoyed standardized tests, not even while she was in school.
The Massachusetts Attorney General has not yet decided whether or not MTA’s proposed issue would appear on the 2024 ballot.