My union is wisely pushing for the state to cancel this year MCAS testing. You can call Commissioner Riley and your state legislators to make sure this happens.
For those who do not know, the MCAS is a standardized test given every year to test student achievement in the areas of Math, Science (Biology), and English. Students take the Bio exam their freshmen year and Math and English their sophomore year. Every student is required to pass this exam in order to graduate from a public secondary school in Massachusetts. Regardless of learning disabilities/accommodations/or English learner status.
Leaving aside the debate about the wisdom and high stakes of these exams in the first place, there is simply no way they can be equitably held this year. Districts began closing in early March in a patchwork, some districts like Everett closed for six weeks (prescient in hindsight) others like mine initially closed for two while others like Boston did not close at all until the Gov. Baker ordered a six week closure through April 6th. This closure was extended to May 4th.
Even if we get back in school on May 4th (I’m in the rest of the year will cancelled camp), it is not nearly enough time to catch the students up. Remote learning has had at best a 50% success rate, not just here, but from around the country. Most schools are not one to one with technology and neither are most districts, high need districts like mine they are have had difficulty ensuring every single student has an active device. Undocumented families do not want to interact with any level of government (wonder why) and many families are facing existential questions of eviction, homelessness, and hunger and have understandably not prioritized education during this time.
Regardless of your feelings on the exam, there is no way we can fairly test this year. Call Commissioner Riley and your state legislator to cancel. It’s the reality based fair thing to do.