By Bob Katzen
The Education Committee accepted only written testimony on a bill that would suspend the requirement that a student take the Massachusetts Comprehensive Assessment System (MCAS) test as a graduation requirement for the school year, beginning in the fall of 2020 through the school year ending in 2023.
“My colleagues and my constituents all agree that it makes no sense to keep planning for a high stakes test like MCAS when the basics of how students and teachers will go back to school is in such chaos,” said the bill’s sponsor Rep. Jim Hawkins (D-Attleboro). “There would be no relevance to the data since there was no test last year to compare to, this year many parents will opt out, and there is no way the test can be administered fairly in either a hybrid or remote classroom plan. And the part we cannot ignore is that MCAS will involve an expenditure of over $33 million to the for-profit test prep corporation at the same time as the low-income portion of the Student Opportunity Act was underfunded by some $74 million.”