Working people across the United States have stepped up to help out our friends, neighbors and communities during these trying times. In our regular Service + Solidarity Spotlight series, we’ll showcase one of these stories every day. Here’s today’s story.
The Massachusetts Teachers Association (MTA) hosted a rally on May 24 at the Jacobs School in Hull, Massachusetts in a show of support for a teacher facing sanctions after refusing to provide the Massachusetts Comprehensive Assessment System (MCAS) tests.
The MTA, Massachusetts Association of School Committees and Massachusetts Association of School Superintendents are all opposed to requiring the MCAS this year, suggesting that local diagnostic tools would be more effective in determining learning loss. The organizations cite concerns about students’ mental health and about the loss of learning time in an already truncated year. This year, the tests will also measure the quality of students’ WiFi connections, their access to technology, the stability of their housing and the amount of COVID-related trauma they have endured.
“The MTA and allies are continuing to fight by raising public awareness about the negative impact of high-stakes testing on students and by advocating for a bill to end the state’s MCAS-based high school competency determination forever,” stated the organizations.
“If state and federal bureaucrats refuse to cancel the MCAS, parents can take charge to protect their children. They can opt out—refusing to let their children be subjected to this unnecessary, stressful and racially biased test in the middle of a pandemic.”