MCAS; Should it Stay or Go Away?

Most high schools use MCAS as a part of their graduating  requirements. However, MCAS could ruin a perfectly good student’s future. MCAS has been administered to students since 2003, and ever since it has been a part of the graduating requirements, thousands of students have not graduated high school.

MCAS exists to determine which schools are doing a great job teaching their students and determining which schools are not. Even with that in mind, MCAS does have other benefits, even if us students don’t believe so. MCAS helps us and our teachers by letting our teachers know what to teach and when and it also lets our parents know how we are doing as a student.

Even with that in mind, MCAS does cause a lot of harmful things that could actually hurt someone’s health and future. Just four years ago,  3,000 seniors did not graduate high school because they all failed the science section of the MCAS. That says a lot.

MCAS and other standardized can also cause stress and test anxiety, which can cause negative health issues and hinder the students’ overall performance. Young elementary students suffer from this anxiety too. Tests have shown that 1 in 3 elementary students suffer test anxiety during big standardized tests like MCAS.

The thing with MCAS and other standardized tests is that they only test students on one or two days and the students do not get to show the state everything that they are capable of. MCAS only tests a student’s performance on a tests, not the overall growth of the student’s learning. Also, MCAS “undermines America’s ability to produce innovators and critical thinkers” because it only tests students on limited information and doesn’t allow the students to really be creative. It’s like testing students on drill-like information.

Lastly, even though MCAS is like a guide line for what teachers have to teach their students, they can start only “teaching to the test,” which is when teachers only teach the material that they are almost positive that would be on the big test. This can then hinder the students’ education and not receive all of the details and material that can help them improve as students.

MCAS could easily just be eliminated or could be less stressful by not being a graduating guideline. However, it could still be a part of a student’s graduating requirement if teachers did not always tell students how extremely important it is to do well. That just adds more pressure to the student to do a great job on the test.

In my opinion, I would just get rid of the test all together. If the state really wants to see how a school is doing, why don’t a representative come in and evaluate a class or something some other less stressful way? It would get rid of all the test anxiety and put students, about to graduate, in more peace.