In The People's Blog

I had the honor of joining Massachusetts Teachers Association, Citizens for Public Schools, and amazing speakers on May 17, 2022, at a really critical moment for public education – on the first day of the Math MCAS for 10th graders.

In the wake of an historic pandemic – where brutal, long-standing inequities were exposed along race, ethnicity, and class lines – the state has proposed to make it *harder* for students – many of whom were disproportionately hurt by COVID – to get a high school diploma.

There’s no other way to look at this consideration by the state’s Board of Education – other than, perhaps, as fossilized thinking on the part of Commissioner Jeff Riley and the Baker Administration – adding insult to the acute injury of this time. At this brutal time for teaching and learning, they want to make it harder to pass the MCAS and to retain the MCAS as a graduation requirement.

The federal government mandates standardized testing, but does NOT mandate that testing be high stakes. That a single test be given the power to determine whether or not a student gets a diploma – regardless if that student has passed all requisite coursework.

Let’s be clear, more and more states are deciding against what the Baker Administration is doubling down on. Soon we’ll be alone on a sad, cold puritanical island.

Through the passage of the Student Opportunity Act, the Legislature has made it clear that the state can and should provide more resources for teaching, learning, and the very cohorts of students who struggle to pass MCAS.

We must continue investing in our schools rather than setting a rigid bar that will do nothing but foreclose on many of our childrens’ futures and leave far too many behind.

Here’s what you can do to help:

  1. Share this video to help raise awareness:
  2. Write your legislator and tell them you want to END high stakes testing thanks to a toolkit from CPS:
  3. RAISE YOUR VOICE with the Board of Education and tell them not to raise the bar thanks to a toolkit from MTA:
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