MCAS: Are you for or against it? Analysis of an editorial + my own opinions on MCAS test administration

Essay by NelthariusJunior High, 9th gradeA, February 2004

download word file, 3 pages 3.0

Downloaded 45 times

Recently, there have been many centerpieces written condemning the Massachusetts Comprehensive Assessment System (MCAS) and a few supporting it. One I found particularly interesting was an article titled "High-stakes testing defeats purpose of education." It condemned and blamed the MCAS in many radical ways and thinks MCAS prevents Massachusetts from being an "equitable society."

Society isn't equitable. It's completely biased and has its own hierarchies. If Massachusetts were egalitarian, then the average know-nothing civilian would be almost right to call us "communist." Face the facts: the world is full of competition; MCAS just reduces the time for judging who's on top and who's on bottom. Why did the legislators in this state pick MCAS? It was made by this state and it stays in this state. This enables the researchers to gather information on the state's education systems more carefully. This way, teachers will have a better idea on what to teach every year.

The article argues teaching in preparation for the MCAS would defeat the purpose of education. The author of the article noted education as "helping students to think and critically, analyze and become engaged in the wonders of learning." The author also points out "What is eliminated and not taught while teachers spend maximum time covering material on these high-stakes tests?" In response to her question, almost nothing is eliminated. MCAS only provides guides to teachers. It, by no means, is and edict enforcing only one way of teaching. Many good schools across Massachusetts teach not only in preparation for standardized tests, but many more in addition to the standard "MCAS-suggested" curriculum.

Over the years, the educational system of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts has only gotten better. The amount of students that failed the MCAS last year is significantly lower than the amount of students who...