The poll initiative to toss out the MCAS commencement requirement reached 135,000 signatures forward of the deadline, the Massachusetts Teachers Association and allies introduced Wednesday — essentially the most signatures collected by any initiative this election cycle.
“The people are letting us know that all students deserve an education that is well-rounded and focused on students – not a one-time test score,” MTA Vice President Deb McCarthy mentioned.
The MCAS petition was one among a number of poll initiatives to satisfy the Wednesday deadline to gather 75,000 signatures and transfer ahead to being positioned on the November 2024 normal election poll.
Educators, mother and father and advocates behind the MCAS initiative met on the steps of the State House on Wednesday morning to announce the signature depend and stroll the final 20,000 signatures over to Secretary of State Bill Galvin’s workplace.
The query would finish using the take a look at as a commencement requirement, not nix the take a look at altogether. The union introduced they’d cleared the 75,000 signature requirement in early November, among the many first initiatives to take action.
Massachusetts is one among 9 remaining states utilizing standardized testing as a commencement requirement. Of the remaining 9, Florida, New Jersey and New York have additionally launched latest measures to dispose of the apply.
Advocates for the initiative have argued the testing requirement unfairly bars college students from graduating, disproportionally minority, decrease earnings, particular schooling and different marginalized college students. Others argue it restricts lecturers to educating to the take a look at.
“Analysis showed that MCAS does not improve graduation rates,” mentioned Lisa Guisbond, Executive Director of Citizens for Public Schools, talking to the group’s report on the impact of MCAS. “In reality, when the requirement was pause through the pandemic commencement charges rose particularly for English learners, college students with disabilities and college students from low earnings households.
Democrats for Education Reform Massachusetts Director Mary Tamer, a number one opponent of the poll initiative, launched a press release following the announcement pushing again and reiterating considerations concerning the impact on pupil achievement and fairness throughout college districts.
“Abandoning the MCAS graduation requirement would eliminate a single statewide standard based on consistent, objective measurements across school districts, significantly reducing the value of a high school diploma,” Tamer wrote.
Educators and fogeys Wednesday expressed confidence within the initiative because it strikes nearer to the poll, particularly in gentle of the passion by residents who signed on.
“Our families see the impact this test has on their students,” mentioned Sommerville instructor Dayshawn Simmons. “Educators see the impact this test has on our students. This will allow us to do the thing that we want to do most, which is just teach our kids.”