The MCAS (Research Paper)

Essay by vinni119 April 2002

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Despite initial problems and opposition, MCAS testing will result in a more rounded and educated student body. The testing may prove to be a difficult change for some students and faculty but it will reap many rewards in improved learning and problem solving.

Adjusting to new methods of teaching and test taking has always been a topic of debate. Both sides are vehement in their support or opposition. Just like other tests that have been introduced, the MCAS testing has been met with different responses. Opponents point out that Massachusetts students perform very well on national standardized tests and have no need for additional test taking. Advocates for the new form of testing acknowledge this but point out that there is still room for improvement in the manner in which students learn. Both sides agree that the test may result in improved learning over a short period of time but they differ in the thinking of whether this additional work is worth the time and change it will require.

Arguments like this are prevalent when it comes to the new form of testing because it is a measure that has and will continue to drastically change the manner by which teachers conduct their classes. New information needs to be included in the curriculum and previous material may need to be omitted due to time restraints.

The decision to implement the MCAS came in 1993. Following a mandate by the Education Reform Law it became a requirement for additional test taking in Massachusetts schools. The new statewide test was designed to test how students were meeting the new frameworks of the education department. It was hoped that this additional testing would improve the manner in which students problem solved and took in new information. Due to the high levels of comprehension...