The question about whether or not there will be MCAS testing in Massachusetts has now been answered. Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker signed the bill Friday that mandates the cancellation of the testing statewide.

According to the Massachusetts Teacher's Association, there was disagreement within some school districts about whether or not the testing should be done in light of the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic.

Among other issues, one of the problems is that scoring for this year's test would be unfairly compared to scores in both the future and the past, even though this year's students were not exposed to the same number of school days.

The unexpected interruption of the school year makes it impossible to know which districts covered which material at each grade level. Even though virtual schooling and classes are now up and running across the state, it is still difficult to hold students, especially in the younger grades, to any level of true accountability.

The level of support and guidance that parents are giving their children is a major variable. While that variable also exists during normal times of learning, the instructional time in front of a teacher is equal for all students.

With all of these factors in mind, the decision was made by the Massachusetts Teachers Association to lobby against the implementation of the MCAS test in 2020.

The teacher's union has never been a fan of the standardized testing. In a statement released this weekend, the Massachusetts Teachers Association said, "Educators, students, and families have long criticized the MCAS testing regimen for narrowly defining the curriculum and for being used to punish schools and districts."

The union suggested we take the pause and use it as an opportunity to evaluate the overall purpose of the MCAS.

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